Obama’s Bipartisanship

Photo courtesy of WhiteHouse.gov.

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


Whenever someone tells me that Obama has reneged on his commitment to bipartisanship, I always come back at them with some less articulate version of what Nate Silver is saying here:

…bipartisanship, as Obama intended the term, should not necessarily be confused for “compromise”. Rather, it implied behaving in good-faith — hearing out opinions from different sides of the aisle and identifying the best ideas regardless of their partisan origin. Bipartisanship, to Obama, was a process rather than an outcome. He could plausibly have been acting in a bipartisan manner, even if he hadn’t gotten many Republicans to go along with his agenda.

In his election night victory speech, Obama repeated a line he had used throughout the campaign: “There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree.” I think as president, Obama has fulfilled the promise he made in that line. But listening to someone is one thing; doing what they say is another entirely.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate