Partisan Asymmetry: Civility, Bipartisanship, Process, Ethics

It is impressive how Republicans, media, and Democrats hold Democrats to such high standard of civility, bipartisanship, process, and ethical standards. While, at the same time: Democrats, media, and Republicans just assume Republicans do not give a shit.

1) Civility – Fuck it: Democratic Rep. Waters asks for voters to be publicly challenge Trump cabinet members as they are ripping children from parents, throwing them in cages, and (apparently) destroying the paperwork, so they cannot be reunited. Her remarks were roundly criticized by Republicans, media, and by elected Democratic leaders. This is not about average Republican voters, this is about Republican leadership that is doing crazy, horrible things to migrants (along with Muslims, women, workers, etc.). They should feel uncomfortable in public, they should be pariahs. Meanwhile, the Republican President Trump mocked Rep. Waters and continues to stoke his fan base against her. She is inundated with death threats, and he made fun of that too. No one cares: Democrats just let it slide, it was like the 100th worst thing he said that day so the media shrugged, and Republicans do not criticize their leadership. Democrats should ignore phony, disingenuous calls for civility, but maintain a focus on social ostracizing to political leaders, not the general public. And, everyone should be more mindful of when Republicans cross that line with attacks on individuals and small-businesses, who do not deserve to be dragged into their circus.

2) Bipartisanship – Care about policy not appearances: Obama negotiates against himself on every policy issue, to show how bipartisan he is: Republicans, media, and Democratic leaders claim it is never enough until last Republican voter is happy! Bipartisanship for the sake of bipartisanship is stupid, because it incentivizes terrible behavior. Imagine if policy X can run from 0 to 100, where 0 is extreme right wing and 100 is extreme left wing. Now imagine that Republicans basically sit around 35 and Democrats around 65. If Democrats have a need for bipartisanship, Republicans are going to claim to be 5, rather than 35, so Democrats would move to the new mid-point between the two parites 35 (i.e., the Republican idealized point). Republicans have figured this out on issue after issue. On the flip side, when Republicans have power they do not even invite the Democrats to any discussion. During the recent immigration debate, the right-wing and far-right-wing Republicans negotiated against each other and the media dubbed it a compromise bill. What stooges. Democrats should ignore call for bipartisanship and focus on backing the policy they want to back.

3) Process – proceed with caution, but eyes wide open: This is the trickiest concept in the list. Democrats beat themselves up over taking a hammer to the filibuster, but Republicans would have just destroyed it anyway. Good they were able to get a few judges during their brief combined senate and president control. But, while bipartisanship is not a thing anyone should care about for itself, and civility is great (under normal conditions), there are many reasons to accept losses to preserve process. Process is democracy: the official rules are nothing with adherence to the norms. But, Democrats needs to accept that Republicans will do anything: they do not care about the democracy at all. If they could ban non-white men from voting: they would do it today. If they could give President Trump unchecked power … wait they are already doing that. Democrats cannot fight with one-hand tied behind their back, because if they lose there is nothing left to fight for. But, they should also make stands where necessary to preserve the essence of a democracy.

4) Ethics – do the right thing: Democrats immediately push out popular and effective leaders who have ethical lapses. Just this week: Trump hired man who oversaw massive sexual abuse mill for two decades, shrugs off House leader who covered up sexual abuse, and mocked "MeToo"Everyone shrugs. It is too important to let Republicans get away with degrading the experiences of women and sexual assault, and while that stand will not help Democrats politically, it will make them better for it.