The return of bipartisanship 

I'm not one who worships at the altar of bipartisanship. In fact, those who proselytize about it typically make me nauseated. But for all the talk of Republican obstructionism, it should be noted that Washington has been a lot more bipartisan since the GOP's victories in last November's election.

Both the tax deal negotiated late last year and the budget deal struck last week passed by overwhelming margins, with support and opposition in both parties.

President Obama talked a big game about wanting to work across party lines, but in the first half of his presidency, he showed himself to be a bitterly partisan president. Whether it was health care or the stimulus, Obama made a big show of reaching out to Republicans. But in the end, he wasn't willing to make any meaningful concessions, because he didn't have to. He was perfectly happy to ram through his agenda on a straight party line basis.

This is perfectly fine. It makes sense for presidents to push their partisan agenda and only compromise when they must. But at the same time, nobody has been more sanctimonious about bringing people together and overcoming differences than Obama. So it's worth noting that the only time he's been bipartisan has been when he's absolutely forced to be.

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Philip Klein

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