The Senate's Democratic-Republican Bipoligarchy

At The Think 3 Institute, Sam Wilson reflects on the absurdity of the Senate Finance Committee's now officially "bipartisan" health care reform plan:
The elevation of Senator Snowe to the status of a national heroine yesterday was a pretty contemptible display. I have no problem with her voting for the Democratic health bill, but the idea that her superfluous vote somehow legitimates the measure more than the already existing majority disgusted me. The Democratic party from the President down, as well as the allegedly liberal media, have in effect endorsed the notion that Bipolarchical coalition rather than majority rule is the governing principle of the United States. The majority party's desperation not to appear "partisan" despite the electorate's grant of power to rule on its own betrays the extent to which partisanship has become an extra-constitutional organizing principle of American politics [emphasis added] . . .

The American Bipolarchy is a historically accidental coalition of parties, each of whose efforts to manipulate the electoral system to its own benefit has benefited both parties to the effective exclusion of ideas and interest groups outside of a "mainstream" of fundraising entities that finance political advertising. It isn't a matter of conspiratorial collusion except insofar as it's motivated by a shared sincere belief that any "third party" must represent a dangerous form of extremism. Neither party has reason to disrupt a state of affairs that benefits both in turn, but neither would really object to the destruction of the other -- or so one assumes until one reads news like yesterday's, which reminds the reader that one partner in the Bipolarchy seems to be more naive than the other.

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