Editorial: Bipartisanship is still the key

Editorial Board

Upon arriving for their new session, the U.S. Congress, now Republican-controlled, made it abundantly clear that their priority is to continue the divisive nature of national politics, which has always plagued this nation but has been especially noteworthy over the past six years.

One of the first actions that Congress took was to defund President Obama’s immigration reform program. Should this effort fail, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) of Virginia and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, believes that Congress’ next step should be to take Obama to court.

Regardless of the opposing feelings of Congress, to set the tone for the session as one of destructive rather than constructive policy reform offers little to no hope for progress, no matter your political affiliation.

If the prerogative of this new Congress is to denounce and destruct the actions of Obama, then let them. However, if there is any hope for progress in the next two years, then Congress must propose reforms of their own.

The problem is not that they are fighting policy, that is their Constitutional right and indeed their responsibility. The problem lies in the possibility that Congress will revoke important policy changes in order to maintain the status quo, adding no new laws of their own to fill the new void left in their wake.

If, as Republicans suggest, the overwhelming number of election victories for the Grand Old Party is indicative of Americans growing weary of Democratic policy — and more specifically Obama — then it must also be obvious that Americans did not vote for the same unbearable political gridlock that has characterized Obama’s time in the White House.

The GOP will not bend because they feel that the voting Americans have provided them some sort of “divine right” to wipe the slate clean of government policy. President Obama will not bend because he is a seventh-year president with nothing left to lose.

Interestingly enough, this “renegade” version of Obama is seeing his highest approval ratings in recent memory after announcing plans to reform immigration, as well as education and relations with Cuba.

Judging by the mass-election of Republicans and Obama’s rising approval numbers, it would seem that the most productive path lies somewhere in between extremes on either side of the aisle, which is exactly where the two parties must aim. Bipartisanship is still the only way forward for the United States.