More partisanship, please
Civility is fine. But I want results most – and that means winning.
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In fact, the fix has been in for political parties for decades. David Broder wrote a book called "The Party's Over" in 1972 and R. Buckminster Fuller predicted parties would be extinct by the year 2000. But here parties are just as intent on supremacy as ever. And until Americans switch to a parliamentary form of government, or public financing for elections, parties that depend on support will continue to seek support, from unions, corporations, churches, environmental groups – all with their own political agendas.Skip to next paragraph
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Hillary Clinton was right to note that President Lyndon Johnson got important laws such as the Civil Rights Act through Congress, and I'm hopeful that working with a strong Democratic majority, she can enjoy similar success. Am I the only one who dreams of what a President Clinton and Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D) of Illinois – a bright, effective leader in the mold of LBJ – can do together?
I also worry that Obama might make the novice's error that, frankly, Bill Clinton made in 1992 (and Mrs. Clinton is more likely to avoid). As I noted to friends at the time, too many young people got too many good jobs in the White House.
It's a tough business running a country. You need to believe in something better than yourself, but you also need to know how to win in an intensely political environment.
Obama's supporters seem to be inspired by his appeal to our better selves, just as I was inspired a generation ago when Robert F. Kennedy said:
"It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
Kennedy, like the woman who holds his Senate seat today in New York, was a keen player of, yes, textbook politics. Like President Clinton (and now, Mike Huckabee), I believe in a place called Hope. As for a political strategy, I believe more in a place called the finish line.
William Klein spent more than 20 years as a political consultant. He currently works as a political professional and blogger from Silver Spring, Md.