John McCain says he will include Democrats in his cabinet.
Hey, wait a second, that is essentially what George Bush did! Of course, in Bush's case, the lefties in his administration called themselves "neocon" and swore personal fealty to Bush in their grasp for power and thier cut of that ever so sweet government manna that comes from the like of Fannie Mae.
McCain's promise of overt bipartisanship is a welcome change.
Both Bush and Clinton tried the ruse of covert bipartisanship. The strategy of the fiscally conservative Democrat and compassionate conservative was an attempt to steal issues from their opponents with the notion that through such schizophrenic action, they could buy unending power. Elinor Burkett's Baby Boon shows how Clinton sold out the feminist constituency for a power grab at the family friendly center.
Bush shouted down fiscal conservatives in the Republican party, and committed the a sin in the eyes of the traditional Republican of invading Iraq without really thinking through the end game. Both the Powell Doctrine and Constitution of the United States demand greater scrutiny before engaging in things such as war.
The idea of invading a country in order to effect some sort of nebulous change is the antithesis of traditional Republican thought.
Bush and Clinton were both centrist candidates. The candidates wanted their names associated with the center. The problem with this type of character is that, when they make compromises, the candidates are so eager to get their name associated with the centrist legislation that they fail to acknowledge compromises as compromises. They fail to give credit to their opponents. Sucn an approach to politics makes members of the opposition party feel cut out and belittled and leads to angry self destructive politics.
A better approach to centrism and compromise is to keep one's message clear and to openly acknowledge compromises.
Back to McCain. McCain's decision to draw cabinet members might be a good sign. A cabinet that overtly acknowledges that it is drawing ideas from different ideological traditions might help our leaders maintain the integrity of their message.
IMHO, bipartisan efforts do better when the players openly acknowledge who they are, and overtly engage in discourse. In such a situation, the compromises are clear and different parties feel engaged. Efforts fail when politics is about backstabbing and undermining others in the grub for power and those ever so lucrative connections to Fannie and Freddie.
I think McCain is one of the few politicians who could pull off a mixed cabinet. I don't think Obama has experience at this point in his career to pull off a bipartisan cabinet. I don't think Bush had the clarity of vision to pull off a bipartisan cabinet either.
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