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> Bipartisan Majorities, What can we all agree on?
schmed
post Mar 7 2006, 06:51 PM
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E PLURIBUS UNUM

"E Pluribus Unum" was the motto proposed for the first Great Seal of the United States by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson in 1776. A latin phrase meaning "One from many," the phrase offered a strong statement of the American determination to form a single nation from a collection of states. Over the years, "E Pluribus Unum" has also served as a reminder of America's bold attempt to make one unified nation of people from many different backgrounds and beliefs. The challenge of seeking unity while respecting diversity has played a critical role in shaping our history, our literature, and our national character.

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E Pluribus Unum.

One nation united from many states.

One unified nation from people of many different backgrounds and beliefs.

Out of many people, one nation.

E Pluribus Unum.


We have a great history in this country of striving to find unity from diversity. It is fundemental to our very existence.


But our Congress today is not respecting this common tradition of striving to find unity. We have a diverse Congress today. As our Congress has always been, since its creation. But this diverse Congress is not doing the hard work necessary to find points of agreement. Congress is concentrating on differences and ignoring similarities. Continuing this behavior is damaging to us as a nation and weakens us as a people.

But we can't ask Congress to find common ground if we can't find common ground among ourselves. The political beliefs of the members of this debate site cover the full spectrum of political views in the US and could serve as a fair approximation of the views of Congress.

If we can find common ground here, with all of our differences, then so can the US Congress.

Questions for debate: (edited to add question 1)

1. What issue could pass bipartisan majorities if proposed for a vote on America's Debate today?

2. What issue could pass both the House and Senate, with bipartisan majorities, if proposed for a vote today.



The Founders overcame differences far greater than face us today. And found agreement. We can, too.

E Pluribus Unum.

This post has been edited by schmed: Mar 7 2006, 08:41 PM
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Gray Seal
post Mar 7 2006, 07:07 PM
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I am pretty cynical about our congress. It is not diverse but rather uniform. It seems voters like to keep incumbents from the Democratic and Republican partys. These members are uniform in their desire to increase the power and stature of government. Every other issue takes a backseat.

So, to answer your question, I expect any sort of raise in salary or benefits or compensation will receive bipartisan support. Anything to limit competition from third parties or independents would receive bipartisan support. All other issues can be bickered and jockeyed as poll numbers see fit in order to please their base.
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Amlord
post Mar 7 2006, 08:08 PM
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I think the differences at the founding were honest disagreements, while today they are political mechanizations. Too often today it is more important WHO submits a bill than what the bill contains.

Of course over time Congress has acquired power, as all controllers of great wealth do. Congress's favor is then curried by those who seek to exploit it, avoid it or use it against their opponents. In effect, the Congress has much much more power than it did two centuries ago, power which it has usurped for itself from the states.

Power corrupts. Congress is then corrupt, but most definitions.

What issue could pass both the House and Senate, with bipartisan majorities, if proposed for a vote today.

"Sense of the House" or "Sense of the Senate" resolutions tend to do very well. Such things as "The Senate doesn't want Social Security to become insolvent."

Other than that, anything controversial is unlikely to pass easily since one side will want to take credit for it and discredit the other side.
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fontbleau
post Mar 7 2006, 11:30 PM
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O.K., I'll run a couple of ideas up the (American) flagpole ... us.gif

1. What issue could pass bipartisan majorities if proposed for a vote on America's Debate today?

Flag burning. I'll bet most of us would agree we're unimpressed with the act, but (two-fer) we agree that it should not be prohibited.

Bird Flu. We're against it. (Somebody has to write the tough editorials) mrsparkle.gif

2. What issue could pass both the House and Senate, with bipartisan majorities, if proposed for a vote today.

The use of eminent domain to condemn private property (i.e. your home) for the purpose of transfering ownership to another private owner (i.e. the guy who can build much more expensive, and more highly-taxed structures, on your property).

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Blackstone
post Mar 8 2006, 03:44 AM
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1. What issue could pass bipartisan majorities if proposed for a vote on America's Debate today?

I actually tried to rally people here around what should be one point of broad agreement by bringing up the issue of pork-barrel spending (hope nobody minds if I pimp my thread a little here). I'm not talking about government spending in general, because I know conservatives and liberals often disagree on that. I'm talking specifically about federal money that individual Congressmen manage to get spent on their home districts - usually by attaching riders that wouldn't get 10 votes if presented to the full House - just so that the people in those districts will keep voting for them. It's an enormously corrupt practice that makes it nearly impossible to reform any other aspect of Washington politics. I would hope that liberals, conservatives, and everyone else on this forum would agree that this is a major problem that needs to be combatted.

I think both liberals and conservatives are also against nearly all forms of corporate welfare, despite the fact that politicians in both parties seem quite in favor of it. This leads me to the next question:

2. What issue could pass both the House and Senate, with bipartisan majorities, if proposed for a vote today.

The problem is, there are a lot of things that bipartisan majorities agree on, and nearly all of them are things that are not good for the country. That's because the interests of career politicians are seldom the same as the interests of the country at large. I would say that the greater danger comes when politicians from both parties agree on a course of action, because those are the times when they're least likely to be subject to public debate and scrutiny. Both sides just look at each other, nod, and do it. And anyone who disagrees is immediately labeled an "extremist".
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