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Washington. Where Nobody is Bi

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What is the most amazing is how the Republicans can keep a straight face when they argue the Democrats' use of reconciliation to try and pass Health Care Reform will destroy Congressional bi-partisanship forevermore. In fact, it's surprising that when they tell that whopper, their noses don't grow.

What bi-partisanship, for cryin' out loud? The GOP has become the NOP, usually voting no as a single flock of automatons against just about anything on the White House wish list.

If one of them, in a rare, weak moment of concern for the country, dares to stray for a brief instant, he or she is, in effect, immediately waterboarded -- nearly drowned in a gush of scalding tea, while the party zealots carve the letters R.I.N.O on their foreheads. Thus vilified as Republicans-in-name-only, they are cast out, shunned, condemned to eternal damnation. If not eternal, it's at least until their vote is needed the next time around.

It is particularly ludicrous that Senator Lindsey Graham would go on one of the Sunday game shows to insist that the D's Reconciliation maneuvers would "...destroy the ability of this country to work together for a very long time."

Setting aside how dopey it is to worry about something that is so long gone, what makes Senator Graham's comments particularly bizzare is that he is one of those who carries the scarlet R.I.N.O on his forehead, branded because he has had the audacity to work across the aisle on national security issues. So feel free to question the heartfelt sincerity of his remarks.

In fact, feel free to dismiss as absurd, the protestations of concern for bi-partisanship from the leaders of the party with which he seems to be having an on-again-off-again relationship. Equally goofy are their claims that the administration has ignored their ideas on health care, of the economy, for almost anything that matters.

They have no ideas beyond tax cuts and rejecting anything the President wants, other than doing nothing meaningful that might disturb their wealthy patrons.

Critics have a point when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership's grovel-for-a-majority crew concoct a procedure that would allow frightened Democratic members to pass health care legislation, while claiming they didn't officially vote for it.

It's a mind-glazing procedure called self-enacting, and it's too silly to discuss in detail. It's dishonest, for one thing. It would be designed for those legislators who lack the courage to take a public controversial stand. Worst of all, it is so transparent, it wouldn't work.

Unfortunately, the very consideration of it shows just how ridiculously divided our political system is. Nobody is bi in Washington right now. Bi-partisanship, by definition, is a two-way street. What the Republicans are talking about is a no-way street, which is really a one way path to the election. Apparently they've successfully spooked the Democrats into considering a trip on the low road.

It's a shame there are so many vital issues that need to be addressed in Washington. They require that the elected officials need to stick around an go through the motions for awhile before heading home to see who gets re-elected.

Consider all this the preliminaries. Nothing more. It's all about who runs the show the next term around. It's a game and that's a shame. As for any pious worry about bi-partisanship: That's a sham.