Farmville Herald: Re-Elect Bipartisanship; Return Warner To Senate
We, the people, are all Republicans. We, the people, are all Democrats. We are all Independents. We are all each other. You and I are no ‘Us’ and ‘Them.’
Or, we shouldn’t be. We mustn’t be.
Sadly, however, not everybody looks at it the way Thomas Jefferson hoped we would when he declared during his inaugural address following the bitterly partisan 1800 presidential election, “We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.”
The US is us and the candidate for United States Senate who best understands that truth, which should be self-evident, is Senator Mark Warner.
Senator Warner offers more than the promise of bipartisanship. He offers the fact of it. The Democratic senator has a strong track record of reaching across the aisle. He did so as governor and he has done so—is doing so—as Senator.
Bipartisanship is our nation’s only hope of achieving its best destiny. We must have both political wings working together if we are to fly over and through the great challenges which confront us at home and around the world.
We absolutely need both wings to fly. That’s true of birds, from sparrows to bald eagles. And it is true of nations, whether the least or the greatest on Earth.
The United States of America needs Democrats and Republicans to work together effectively, the left wing and the right wing of our government, or we gridlock our wings and a slow descending spiral threatens to crash our best future.
There are too many politicians who cannot see beyond themselves and their political party. They would rather sink the ship than see the other party get credit for doing anything.
Senator Warner is not one of those politicians.
There is no greater example of his bipartisanship than his leadership, with Republican Saxby Chambliss, of the Gang of Six, which has been working to solve our nation’s debt crisis.
The Gang of Six is three Democrats and three Republicans who set an example the rest of Washington, and the nation, should follow.
In a July 20, 2011 article headlined “Signs of Intelligent Life in Congress,” the New York Times described the Gang of Six’s plan to cut spending and raise tax revenues as “signs of adulthood in Washington’s sandbox…”
The article went on to say the plan was “a serious attempt to grapple with growing levels of debt in the years to come. It is remarkable that three conservative Republicans have signed on to a plan that dares to use the words ‘tax’ and ‘revenue’ alongside cuts in spending. By the standards that prevail in Washington, that constitutes a breakthrough.”
The Gang of Six plan was felled by partisanship but those six senators showed what is possible when Republicans and Democrats work together. We need more of our elected representatives, on both sides of the aisle, to do so. Re-electing Senator Warner, a clear and proven leader in bipartisan statesmanship, makes important breakthroughs more likely.
Contrary to Senator Warner’s bipartisan track record, Ed Gillespie’s track record includes such purely partisan positions as Director of Communications and Congressional Affairs for the Republican National Committee, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia and he chaired Bob McDonnell’s campaign for governor.
Gillespie had this to say about himself this summer: “When I’m in a campaign, it’s not a bipartisan manner. I’m happy to be a partisan warrior.”
He may be happy but the one thing we do not need in this country is partisan warriors in Congress. Partisan wars are wounding this nation deeply. Too many members of the House and Senate remain in partisan warrior campaign mode for their entire term. House Republicans have been trying to overturn the results of the 2008 presidential election for the past six years. I doubt Gillespie’s ability to shift gears out of campaign mode, given the number of 24-7 partisan jobs in his past.
Gillespie’s campaign has been throwing the Obamacare kitchen sink at Senator Warner, which is ironic because the lobbying firm Gillespie co-founded was hired in 2007 by the Coalition to Advance Healthcare Reform, which promoted both an employer mandate and an individual mandate. That was a year before President Obama was elected to his first term.
Personally, given the choice as our nation’s policy, I much prefer Obamacare over a policy of I-Don’t-Care. Give me Obamacare instead of I-Don’t-Care any day of the week.
Obamacare isn’t perfect and Senator Warner has proposed ways to improve its evident flaws. Doing so will require bipartisanship, however. Some, looking at it through a purely partisan lens, want to throw the baby out with the bathwater and just get rid of Obamacare entirely. But that would throw more than babies out with the bathwater. It would throw people of all ages out into the uninsured void.
During his commencement address at Longwood University in May, Senator
Warner spoke of the bitter partisanship that seems intent on drowning out bipartisan voices and preventing bipartisan solutions. “You turn on the TV and you only hear the loudest voices on either end of the political spectrum, who spend all their time simply criticizing the other side—it happens in both parties—rather than trying to offer solutions,” the senator lamented.
“Don’t misunderstand me: disagreement and rigorous debate about the big issues of the day and the challenges we face is both healthy and proper,” the senator told Longwood graduates. “But we should be able to debate these critical issues without questioning each other’s motives or our shared commitment to America.
“I’ve been in politics almost 20 years and I can tell you this—no one in politics, and I mean no one, has a monopoly on virtue, patriotism or the truth,” he said.
Not everyone agrees, however.
Gillespie authored a book, Winning Right, which, through its title, describes the mindset Gillespie would take back to Washington if elected.
There is no winning left or winning right, however, unless one speaks of mere partisan political triumphs coveted by partisan warriors. We need someone who believes in Winning Together. Let’s write that book with Mark Warner on Election Day.