Biden is 100% right about working with ‘the enemy’June 21, 2019
By rushing to paint Joe Biden as soft on segregation, his 2020 rivals are proving the point he actually made about today’s insane hyperpartisanship.
Biden boasted about being able to successfully work with senators who’d strived to preserve Jim Crow not to excuse that injustice, but to make a vital point about healthy democratic politics.
“Today you look at the other side and you’re the enemy. Not the opposition, the enemy. We don’t talk to each other anymore,” the former veep sighed.
And all too often, he’s right — even though those senators were actually fellow Democrats, because Southern racists had been vital to the party’s national coalition for a century. And they were key to historic victories, including passing the entire New Deal.
Working with very different people on issues you do agree on is Politics 101 and it’s still necessary today. Even, maybe especially, when the differences turn on profound moral issues.
Pro-lifers and pro-choicers cooperate all the time, at every level of American government. If they didn’t, the government would never get funded and Washington would’ve reneged on the national debt years ago.
Heck, New York’s own Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is working with Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz on lobbying reform and legalizing over-the-counter birth control.
And if Congress is ever to strike a deal on immigration reform, infrastructure funding or even stopping foreign interference in our political campaigns, the politicians have to set aside irrelevant differences and even compromise on relevant ones.
It doesn’t make for flaming Twitter wars, nor for “watch our gal utterly destroy their guy” clickbait, but it’s the only way this Republic can survive.
Of course, it also requires leaders to face down the “base” of their own party — and other politicians to refrain from shooting those who do compromise in the back.
So: Shame on Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, and on Mayor Bill de Blasio, for trying to shame Biden for being entirely correct — all to score points with the very crowd Biden was criticizing.
In American politics and in governance, there can be no permanent enemies — not if the common interest is ever to be served.
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