Does anyone else notice that the word bi-partisanship is often used by every candidate who runs for office? Then when they are elected they again pledge to work across the aisle to bring a bi-partisan compromise to Congress. I've probably heard this from almost every elected official. Yet, whenever you hear of a particular bill being debated or voted on all you hear is one side saying this and one side saying that. Neither party is ever happy with the other side and instead of working out a bi-partisan compromise they just bicker back and forth. The minority party always complains that the bill goes too far or doesn't go far enough and the majority party just plows ahead without a care for the minority party. The Democratic and Republican parties are both guilty of this. It's simple politics.
All politicians care about is getting re-elected. Some come from reliable districts where they know they will be re-elected short of hell freezing over. Others come from districts that aren't afraid to vote out a one-term politician if they feel he doesn't share the same views or is seen as too willing to work with the other party on certain issues. Instead of going to Washington with the courage to stand up for what's right and listen to his/her constituents they blindly follow behind their party leadership and vote along party lines time and time again. This results in political grid-lock because when do members of both parties ever agree on anything of importance. We've wasted over a year on this health care debate and the result is a bill that still has people fighting and threatening and it's already been signed into law.
A possible solution to all this would be one-term limits for all members of Congress. I know that with age and experience comes wisdom but maybe this would foster politicians to work for the people that elected them and not simply their party and the lobbyists that support their party. There would be no lingering thoughts of "how will my vote enable me to get re-elected?" It's time politicians start working for us, not their re-election campaigns.