Headline Reaction (Partisan Fever Edition)

The headline in question, via the NYTPartisan Fever in Senate Likely to Rise.

On the one hand, I expect the conservative commentariat’s collective head to explode after this vote and for there to be an overabundance of glee on the liberal side of things.  This is a polarizing decision that will, in many ways, ramp up the partisan fever (to use the headline’s terminology, which was taken originally from something Obama said some time ago).

However, given that the basic state of governance these days is impasse based on partisan disagreement, I am not sure that from a practical point of view this change will matter all that much. In other words, the Republican approach to public policy of late has been obstruction, and while the rhetoric surrounding the obstruction may get more heated, the actual amount of obstruction is likely to remain roughly the same.  Indeed, the change in the rules in the Senate now means a little less obstruction than there was just yesterday.

So, more partisan rhetoric and anger?  Yup.  A small bit of governing actually happening?  Yup.  This initially strikes me as a good trade, especially since the status quo ante already consisted of plenty of partisan anger and rhetoric combined with unreasonable obstruction to governing.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. JWH says:

    Partisan Fever in Senate Likely to Rise

    Is that like Cat Scratch Fever?

    Will it lead to a Zoot Suit Riot?

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Hey, anytime one can actually accomplish something through governance AND p!ss off the GOP is a win-win in my book.

  3. al-Ameda says:

    This is a polarizing decision that will, in many ways, ramp up the partisan fever (to use the headline’s terminology, which was taken originally from something Obama said some time ago).

    Every time you think it can’t get worse, it does. Part of the problem is that we’re now in a mode of aggressively rejecting both moderation and ‘old-style’ politicking. We’re in a zero-sum world where you cannot set aside ideology to make a deal to get something done.

    Remember when Tom Daschle was defeated and Republicans looked forward to dealing with a (perceived to be) docile Harry Reid? To the GOP, Daschle was a hard line partisan and Reid would be easy to roll. Guys like Speaker Tom Foley out, Newt Gingrich in, and John Boehner is hapless, strapped to the roof of Cantor’s car, along for the ride.

    Also, both Reid and McConnell present a generally sour and negative face to the public, which doesn’t help matters – although to be fair, I’m not sure that anyone could put a smiley face on what we’re been going through now, or for the better part of the past 20 years for that matter. On bright side, future historians and political scientists are going to have a lot to write about.

  4. anjin-san says:

    John Boehner is hapless, strapped to the roof of Cantor’s car

    Is Cantor taking his cue from Romney and the infamous “roof ride” of Seamus, the family dog?