Patron Saint of Bipartisanship

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A central issue for us as Americans in the aftermath is found in the prophet Jeremiah:

“An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?” (Jer. 5:30-31).

The first time you are lied to, there is some leeway for understanding why you might have been taken in. But the second time you are lied to, and you go through the motions of accepting it, this means that the liar now has an accomplice he did not have before. The people love to have it so.

One of those lies, incidentally, is the lie that bipartisanship is a good thing. A people without a moral compass (as people without the Word of God must be) are people who think of compromise as splitting the difference in a spirit of going along and getting along. The problem is that they do this with all issues. There are some things that a spirit of compliant accommodation is good for — your wife wants sushi and you are thinking steak, and so it makes sense to go to a steak and sushi bar. Good for you.

But there are other areas where bipartisanship just adds grievous insult to the grotesque injury. If one faction of your pirate band wants to rape all the virgins, you don’t address the root issues by suggesting that we just rape half of them. If the men on your front porch want to rape the angels in your guest house, it is not high moral courage to offer your daughters instead. Let’s not be like Lot in this — patron saint of bipartisanship.

If the president wants to spend 10 trillion we don’t have, then don’t try to cheer me up with offers of whooping away 5 trillion we don’t have.

John Boehner says that he wants the president to succeed. At what? Why on earth would he want that? Well, he doesn’t want the Republicans in the House to get tagged as obstructionist. Right. If that happened, they might lose a presidential election or something.

This is why we are in deep trouble. This is one of the ways we “love to have it so.” Our leaders don’t mind if the trouble happens or not, just so long as they are not blamed for the trouble. And we are complicit because we don’t care if the trouble happens or not either, just so long as we think we can arrange to have it land on our grandchildren.

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