An opinion piece and contest announcement from onthewilderside.com:
The Wilderside’s “We Want More Than Bipartisanship Contest”
by Kimberly Wilder for onthewilderside.com
Political blogger Elizabeth Benjamin caught a great line from an editorial that NY State Senate Majority Leader John Sampson (D) wrote: “Bipartisanship is the only tool that will help fix New York’s problems.”
Bipartisanship. Harumph. Why is the word “bipartisanship” such a pet peeve of mine? Because, I am a third party activist. And, I am someone who also values the right of independent citizens to run for office. So, it galls me that someone would use a word that pretends to stand for some kind of “unity” and “all-inclusiveness”, when the word actually stands for the two most powerful groups teaming-up against everyone else and smothering the political process. I do not call that “bipartisanship.” I call it the gentleman’s agreement that keeps powerful people in power, and keeps ordinary citizens out of the smoke-filled back room, and out of any meaningful input into the political process.
Jay Jacobs, who was then only a Nassau County Democratic leader, but is now, Chair of the New York State Democratic Committee, once said on the radio, “The Republicans are my second favorite party.” That kind of bipartisanship is a tool to suppress third party and independent voices. (And, we note that it was not so effective for Jay Jacobs, who was part of the crushing loss of Democratic Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi to a Republican.)
Bipartisanship. On its face, it means friendship and cooperation among two parties: The Democrats and the Republicans. Those two parties are the duopoly who march us to war and injustice.
What is needed, instead, is discussion, media attention, election law, and ballot access rights at the service of everyone, regardless of their party affiliation. What is needed is at least multipartisanship — with the understanding that citizens who choose absolute independence are included in that model.
The Times Union published the bipartisanship quote above, in an opinion piece by State Senator John L. Sampson. State Senator Sampson discusses why he is appointing Republicans to the chairs of certain committees. He praises the effectiveness and accomplishments of bipartisanship, and goes on to say: “…And just imagine what we can do by working together.”
Your mission: describe who State Senator Sampson means by “we”. Please put your thoughts in the comment section [of the onthewilderside post] to participate in our “We Want More Than Bipartisanship Contest”. Your prize will be delighting the third party community, and being at the top of the post we will write to summarize the results.
On the surface, State Senator Sampson’s “we” means to stand simply for all the members of the NY State Senate. But, couldn’t his “we” also refer to all of the incumbent elected officials in Albany who have Albany wrapped up in their flag of slush funds and self-importance?
Please share your thoughts. But, let’s play this like Jeopardy. Your answer only counts if, at the top, you put in quotation marks the exact words you mean for “we”. After that, you can write any explanations.
Good luck and have fun.
A recent video at the Times Union might give you some visual inspiration about the folks in New York State government: