We heard a lot about reaching across the aisle if elected from both candidates. Now the president-elect has chosen Chicago congressman Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff. Emanuel knows DC, and he is good at getting things done. For those reasons, he was a good choice for the president.
Emanuel, however, is not one to play nice. As a Clinton staffer, he once waived a knife at a meeting after the 1996 election, and rattled off a list of names of Clinton’s political enemies, chanting “dead” after each name. Known for his foul mouth and lack of respect for dignitaries, are we to think that this is a good first step in the way of bi-partisanship?
Perhaps bi-partisanship is not what we really want. A friend’s boss told him that he simply cuts off people that are in the opposite ideological camp. Is that something that might start happening as the ideological fault lines are drawn?
If Emanuel was a good pick for getting the job done – meaning, getting legislation pushed through, then maybe we are no longer terribly concerned with bi-partisanship. Already conservatives are blaming Republican primary voters for choosing John McCain. Hard core conservatives were never happy with McCain, as they were not happy with George Herbert Walker Bush and Bob Dole. Moderate Republicans rarely win nationally.
Are we still one country? Or are we two countries living under one social security system? Do liberals and conservatives really see each other as fellow countrymen? It is beginning to look as though the intellectual divide is getting very deep. But maybe it’s just too soon after a campaign that went on too long.