In my recent letter to the editor in the Indianapolis Star, I said that “bipartisanship is a fraud and a hoax, and Republicans must reject it.” That is true… and I should clarify what I mean by that.
Of course there are areas where we can and should have bipartisan cooperation. The thing that comes to my mind first is criminal justice reform, where liberal Democrats and libertarian-leaning Republicans can cooperate ad have cooperated on legislation to make our laws less harsh and more effective. When Republicans and Democrats can work together on policy to get an outcome that both sides find positive, then that is a good thing and should be pursued.
What I vehemently oppose is bipartisanship for the sake of bipartisanship. Appeasing our political enemies for its own sake has never worked, does not work and will never work. What Republicans need to recognize is that those determined to hate us will always find some reason to viciously attack us. If there is not a legitimate reason for that attack, they will invent one out of whole cloth – even if that reason is the total opposite of what Republicans are actually doing and saying.
Take the Republican platform on strong families. As I explained, the platform is 100% inclusive and does not in any way oppose same-sex “marriage,” but that did not stop the homosexual mayor of South Bend from openly and flagrantly lying about it. The Republican establishment moved in a direction Democrats wanted to show they are “loving” and “tolerant” and all that jazz. Then for their efforts, the radical Left still lies about the Republican platform. You cannot appease people who hate you. They will still hate you, and you will alienate and antagonize your own base. It is stupid.
To sum up: Bipartisan cooperation to get a policy outcome is a good idea. Bipartisanship for its own sake – including abandoning your principles – is a stupid and counterproductive idea that will never work.