We Bow to the God Bipartisanship

Bipartisanship: the Holy Grail of American politics. Long the go-to buzzword for presidents, elusive cross-aisle support at home has all too often been purchased at the price of good policy abroad.

Issue: Nov-Dec 2011

UPON HIS departure as secretary of defense, none other than Washington’s latest living legend Robert Gates cautioned those he was leaving behind to cherish and nurture bipartisanship. “When we have been successful in national security and foreign affairs, it has been because there has been bipartisan support.” To drive the point home, he added: “No major international problem can be solved on one president’s watch. And so, unless it has bipartisan support, unless it can be extended over a period of time, the risks of failure [are] high.”

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