Do It Our Way

Many years ago, I worked in a governor’s office in which the chief of staff, a notorious tough guy (who later switched parties and became a prominent Republican campaign strategist), had a sign on his desk that read: “Let’s Compromise…Do It My Way.”

I thought of that sign today when I listened to Richard Mourdock answer Chuck Todd’s question about Sen. Lugar’s pious hope that his vanquisher would learn the value of bipartisanship by saying (via Think Progress):

I certainly think bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view. … If we [win the House, Senate, and White House], bipartisanship means they have to come our way, and if we’re successful in getting the numbers, we’ll work towards that.

By that logic, of course, Republicans should have come to the Democratic “point of view” when Democrats won the House, Senate and White House in 2008. But then Democrats basically thought they were pursuing a rational, practical agenda for addressing the country’s problems, not redeeming a divinely ordained plan to return to the constitutional structure, political economy, and culture of the early 1930s. Guys like Mourdock do not imagine that politics is a game where you choose up sides and play by a uniform set of rules. If he makes it to the Senate, and Republicans win a majority there, I’m sure he’ll be the very first to say the filibuster has to go.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.