31 January 2010

A Plea for Partisanship

Just about a year ago I wrote this post railing against bi-partisanship. Much of what has gone wrong in the first year of Obama-fest in my view has been driven by an insipid Democratic quest for bi-partisanship and consensus. I stand by what I wrote last January. I recently came across this brief essay in Dissent by Nancy Rosenblum*, a political theorist at Harvard, who not only explains (in ways I find congenial) the reasons why bi-partisanship and non-partisanship and being 'independent' are flawed, vacillating, and counterproductive positions, but argues that, in fact, partisanship "is the morally distinctive political identity of representative democracy."
* This essay reflects views that Rosenblum develops at considerably greater length in her recent book On the Side of the Angels: An Appreciation of Parties and Partisanship. Princeton UP, 2008.

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