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Why partisanship won't go away
And why that might be a good thing
P

resident Obama's "wailing about partisanship," said Richard Cohen in The Washington Post, can't change the fact that "ideology matters, ideas count, beliefs divide." Republican Sen. Judd Gregg's withdrawal as Obama's commerce secretary nominee was just the latest confirmation that the more Obama talks about change, "the more things remain the same."

The vote on the stimulus bill is another indication that Obama's "promise of bipartisanship has yet to be fulfilled," said Jay Cost in RealClearPolitics. But that's not a bad thing. "Partisanship is one of the precious few things in Congress that actually works for the people generally." The party-line vote will help average folks hold Republicans accountable if the stimulus works—and Democrats if it doesn't.

Still, said Rod Dreher in The Dallas Morning News, Obama, "to his great credit," seems able to keep the humanity of his opponents squarely in front of him. He can't end the culture wars, as some have suggested, because they're inevitable in a pluralistic, democratic society. But if we all avoid dehumanizing the enemy, "we can keep the culture-war casualty count low."

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