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January 16th, 2009
01:36 PM ET

Why can’t the two parties work together?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

House Minority Leader John Boehner sent a clear message yesterday to President-elect Obama that he is far from having the support he and the Democrats need to pass the 825 billion dollar emergency stimulus bill.

Why aren't there any Republicans in this photo?

The sticking point: The plan was crafted by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues without Republican input.

Obama has been pushing for bipartisan support and an end to 'politics as usual' in Washington. The country is in the midst of an economic crisis with no end in sight and the President-elect has warned of dire consequences if nothing is done. But Democrats and Republicans seem unable to put their differences aside and work fore the common good.

And it's a little more than egos and arguing for argument sake. Boehner says the Democrats are operating on "the flawed notion that we can borrow and spend our way back to prosperity."

Some conservative Republicans are uncomfortable with the hundreds of billions of dollars of spending in Obama's plan. Some Democrats don't like the amount of spending as compared to tax cuts in the bill, and there's skepticism whether the business tax cuts will really create the jobs they're supposed to.

Here’s my question to you: Why can't the Democrats and Republicans work together instead of against each other?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4 pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.


Filed under: Bipartisanship • Congress
soundoff (215 Responses)
  1. Terence

    Jack, Because they both have their own ways to take our money and use it for what they want to. It gives them two different ways to screw the us. Its a plan thats been working for years so why change now.
    Terence , Piscataway, NJ

    January 16, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  2. Charles, Lansing, MI

    I thought they have worked well together in contnuing the war in Iraq and giving all our money to the Wall Street Crooks.

    January 16, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  3. Rosemary

    They can't work together because we, the voters, keep electing leaders who are idiots. Some of these people lie to get elected and become part of bloc of of idots who want them to adhere to idiotic thinkings that does nothing but hurt the voters. So if they want to get elected they fall pray to this type of group thinking. When will we get politicians who will stand up and say "THIS IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO"? regardless of party lines.

    January 16, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  4. Conor in Chicago

    Jack,

    This is how they remain in power. The illusion of difference. They are the same party: The Political Corporation of the United States as I like to call it. The scam is that they differ on wedge issues just enough to divide the people into believeing that when you vote one or the other party in you actually get something different. You don't. The result is that people allow our government to not work in our interest and instead allow them to work in their own interest. We need a third party. I repeat, we need a third party.

    January 16, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  5. AndyZag Lynn, MA

    Because there is no incentive for the two parties to work together. Our Congress has chosen to forget that they are doing the work of, "We the people." The current career path of a new Congressperson is get elected, receive lots of untraceable cash from lobbyists and retire. no where in this life cycle is there any mention of the people that voted them into office.

    January 16, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  6. Christian Jones

    Democrats and Republicans can't work together because each party is looking out for what's best for their party instead of what's best the our nation.

    January 16, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  7. Tina Texas

    Too many strong egos to contend with. The Republicans only want to help the rich while the Democrats want to help the general public. I don't think they will ever come together and work 100% together. Those days are long gone.

    January 16, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  8. Diogenes in a greek joint in Reno

    Because the G.O.P. teaches that anyone who disagrees
    with their philosophy is actually a Commie agent.
    whom wants to grab their guns, force their daughters into
    a free love cult of the abortionists who dance naked and burn flags.
    while singing the international and eating quiche.
    That America should be run by the Legitamate americans not faux
    traitor agents of moscow.

    January 16, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  9. Joe in DE

    They do when te lobbyist push hard enough.

    January 16, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  10. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    Jack I don't believe Mitch McConnell and others understand that we are on the brink of a major depression. They think that they can throw rocks at Obama and he'll still be able to save the nation. We Democrats have a much more realistic assessment of the man. America will need the punks throwing rocks from the sidelines to instead put a shoulder to the wheel. Lead, follow or get out of the way.

    "Senators congressman please heed the call. Don't stand in the doorway don't block up the hall. For he who gets hurt will be he who has stalled. There's a battle outside and it's raging. It'll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls, for the times they are a changing." (Dylan)

    January 16, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  11. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: That is a simple answer---the same reason the weasel cannot be friends with the chickens-party ideology and it is in their nature-it has been that way as long as these parties have existed–sometimes they get pragmatic--but not often enough.

    January 16, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  12. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    They can’t work together because they are at completely opposite ends of the political spectrum and no one is willing to compromise anymore. They are both just as stubborn as the fool who is leaving office. Look at what stubbornness has gotten us – nice job you political hacks.

    January 16, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  13. Al in IA

    The two parties work fine together when it comes to enriching the investment class. They only have a problem when it comes to standing up for working people. The "no questions asked, don't even bother to inquire where the money is going" Wall Street banker's bailout versus the auto industry loans is a perfect example.

    January 16, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  14. Joe in DE

    Thy do when the lobbyists push hard enough.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  15. don dean FL.

    democrats are all for UNIONS,republicans are for the bosses

    January 16, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  16. Chicago Bob from Illinois

    You mean why can't the politically correct party and the self-righteous party get along?

    They can in individual cases of actual statesmanship.

    But also in more cases when there is money to be made. When the minority is holding out - it is for more pork.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  17. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    Jack it is all an attitude on both sides. Each saying to each other I just can not see how you can think the way you do. The way I see it is when it comes to party most do not have the word negotiate in their vocabulary. They should all read up on their history because without our founding fathers ability to negotiate we would not be the country we are today.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  18. Carol c.

    Term limits! No one serves ,more than 10 years and every vote they cast does on-line so their constituents can see what they are doing. I love what Mr. Obama says–there is no red America, there is no blue America, there is the United States of America.

    They should have got the message this election that the American people are tired of petty politics and if they can't grow up, they should polish their resumes and join the ranks of the people they have allowed to lose their jobs!

    Knoxville, TN

    January 16, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  19. douglas gengler

    because the republicans still blame clinton for their screwups that put this nation whereit is today. they had better wake up because we americans are mad as hell and they will be the next to join the unemployment ranks if they dont start working for all the people not just the rich.

    doug in arkansas

    January 16, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  20. Don in Fort Gratiot MI

    It's the Republicans fault! At least that's what my liberal, left wing, acedemic friend says.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  21. Linda in Florida

    Because each party thinks they are better than the other. Maybe Barack can knock some sense into their heads!

    January 16, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  22. Bessie Jackson

    we cannot work together because the republicans are still a group of old racist ,rich white people ,who refuse to submmit to the fact that all men are created equal,and that america and its pursuits belong to all who pursue ,not just them,and that everybody has the right to be able to survive! and now there will be a change ,because most of us are coming together and caring about our fellow man regardless of race ,creed ,class and etc.!!!!!!!!

    January 16, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  23. HD Taylor - Arizona

    Because the two parties primarily represent the extremes of their respective prejudices and ideologies as opposed to "we the people". On one hand, you have the Republican Party which is mainly composed of wealthy corporate elites, white good ole boy hate mongers, religious bigots and self righteous evangelical idiots who would love to turn the pages of American progress back to the days of the Salem Witchcraft Trials. On the other hand, you have the Democrats who want to invite every illegal alien from Mexico into the country and turn it into one big socialist state. It is always the extremist minorities at the extreme fringes of these two parties that make the most noise and cause the most damage. You’d have better success mixing whiskey and ice cream.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    January 16, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  24. Christine, Edmeston NY

    Only rarely do elected officials get rewarded with re-election votes when they have made a habit of "crossing the aisle." So it's all about job security. Until Americans stop voting with blind party loyalty, this will never change.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  25. Rod from Chicago

    Simple, they know that we aren’t going to do anything about it. I have a very good solution for this remedy Jack. Kick their butts out of office!

    January 16, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  26. Connie, Chicago, Illinois

    Jack:
    They're suffering from their ego's, the big I's and little you's. Each of the parties have their alpha males who like to granstand, posture, and constantly promote themselves, their agenda's, and their, "listen to me, I know everything." They fail to remember that WE ARE ALL PEOPLE, dealing with the same problems all over this country. When they finally grow up and implement some maturity, perhaps they will show genuine respect for the American people and put the people's needs before their egos.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  27. Rod from Allentown PA

    Special Interest groups and the never ending desire to get re-elected and make sure their parties 800 pund gorilla is better than the 800 pound gorilla of the other party. Quite frankly, the lopsided reporting by the media does not help. The media loves a fight, and if there is not one brewing, they will stir the pot until it does.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  28. Bob, MN

    The democrats can work with everyone Jack. Its the republicans who
    have the separatist mentality and think that they are better than
    everyone else. Its called false superiority complex (fauxus superious
    complexus).

    January 16, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  29. Jack Carlson

    There should be some disagreement to balance out the other side, however matters have become moral and decency matters that are in need of cleanup.
    We need to stop killing babies – how can we expect people to respect life w/such a low life attitude. This is why our 3 Generation Family left the Democrat party = they have no morals.
    Americans should come first and not people who are illegal and we need to stop throwing money at the economic problems and not be wiilling to endure the pain.
    We were terroist attacked several times under Clinton and he did nothing (however Bush did do something) and after listening to Obama's Cabinet choices now I see why we did nothing. Bush had cleaned up the CIA and it is a strong CIA now and Obama will emasculate that organization in 6 months.
    I see clearly now and so does our 362 family members.
    Jack CArlson
    Seattle WA

    January 16, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  30. D - Atlanta, GA

    Habit......bad ones at that!

    January 16, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  31. Donna Wisconsin

    I think it is that these men and women haven't yet 'Got It'. We elected Pres-Elect Obama and many more Democrats to Congress BECAUSE we were tired of the status quo. We want change. But Repulicans and some Democrats think they have to continue to stand by their party instead of 'We the People'. If they don't change their Bi-Partisian agendas we will un-elect them in 2010. And since the Repulicans got us into this economic situation with no regulation and a war we shouldn't have been in, they have no room to talk about "Fiscal Responsibility". No one has answers since we have never been in this kind of mess before. So work together or get out of the way.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  32. JD in NH

    It seems the Republicans block actions just for the sake of being an opposition party and nothing more. Take the current bailout bill coming to the table. During the Bush years, Republicans couldn't rubber stamp spending bills fast enough, but you can be assured they'll try to slow down the economic recovery of this country by blocking Obama's stimulus plan. In addition, they'll probably block healthcare and every other program that serves the people rather than the corporations. Vote them all out next time and give the Democrats a supermajority.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  33. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    They can't get along because of deeply embedded philosophies rooted in the past. They are both going to have to just get over it and pull together to get our country out of this mess and to restore the prospect of the American Dream.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  34. Sally, Michigan

    I was standing in a 2 mile long unemployment line the other day Jack,
    and the democrats and republicans were getting along quit well
    with each other.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  35. warren sanford

    Jack...what would be the point of a party system without partisanship?
    There are obvious differences like gay rights, choice, gun law, seperation of church and state.....etc. Its the pissing match and sour grapes that is getting in the way....no one thought a repub prez and repub congress was the end of the world-but woohoo a dem run congress and executive branch signals the coming of the anti christ.
    Pissing Match

    Warren Sanford
    Sacramento

    January 16, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  36. Anthony

    Who in their right mind could image two parties working together? Our society thrives on competition and inane posturing to have each his or her own way, and our nation's leaders hardly ever exempt themselves from this mentality. Each party's members make it their sole objective to score political points for the team, nation be damned. However Jack, in Obama's America, I believe you will get your wish. He will turn all the states purple and let unanimity flow, but you won't like it. Why? Because it would be a lot like my marriage; happy faces glowing on the outside, while a battle of wills rages just beneath the surface.

    -Anthony,
    -Miami, FL

    January 16, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  37. Annie, Atlanta

    Right off the top of my head, George Bush, and Sarah Palin, to name two, ignorantly reminding us all whenever they open their mouths that they represent the good and decent America and the rest of us suck.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  38. John

    Jack: They do not like each other. Simple hey!! The Democrats clean up messes and Republicans make the mess. Sort like pro and con, or for or against. What can say, Jack:

    January 16, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  39. John from collinsville, Illinois

    Jack it's like Yin and Yang describes the how seemingly disjunct forces are interconnected and interdendent in a natural heavenly world. Unfortuneitly our parties seem to be divorced and still unhappy about the arraignments. The lawyers or party leaders allways want more money from the third party the taxpayers..

    January 16, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  40. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    Very simple Jack, it's the duality of human nature. It's the eternal struggle between good and evil, the rational versus the irrational, the reputation versus true nature. Its the stuff of ancient oral legend, religious writings and the basic plot of every Marvel comic book. It's the very same reason that you Jack are Mr. Hyde on Monday and Dr. Jekyll on Friday. It's heaven versus hell. It's God versus Satan. It's the conflict that always has been and always will be. It is what it is. Get over it.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  41. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Actually, from what I can see on CSPAN none of them get along too well as they all want their own way, it's like Ali V's. book Gimme, Gimme and Gimme. Congress has an approval rating below the current stupid duck and that's in the cellar but it doesn't seem to make any difference to them. It's just like the bailouts, the public says NO and they do it anyway. We truly are the divided states of America and have been for a long time and won't unite until we have no other choice.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  42. Barry from Granger, Indiana

    Too much Ego for one. Also, they are affraid that if they agree with the other party, then when it comes time for re-election, they will not be re-elected.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  43. Billy, VA

    Because of fake barriers than have been historically set up. When I
    see a bank owned for sale sign on a lawn, I don't know if it belongs to
    a republican or a democrat, Jack. Foreclosures have no barriers. People
    shouldn't either.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  44. Robert in Louisville, Kentucky

    The two parties used to work together. The majority party mostly called the shots but they always offered an occasional "bone" to the underdog because everyone knew the pendulum swings the other way now and then.
    Then along came Newt Gingrich and his "contract with America". Republicans got power back after many years wandering in the wilderness and it went to their heads big time.

    Once Republicans recognize they do not have all the answers and will never have ALL the power, they may become cooperative again. Until then, watching them march in lock step with Mitch McConnell is like watching an old WW2 film of a parade in Berlin.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  45. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    They will never work together because they think the constitution reads: "We the Party...." Or to some of them: "We the Party In Power...."
    What is it like to have adults elected in both parties? I doubt we'll ever know. The ego trip never ends.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  46. Richie, Ypsilanti, Michigan

    The obvious answer is because they are two different parties. Its like being part of an honors fraternity and wondering...."wow why can't we party like those guys?."

    January 16, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  47. Julia Gale, Los Angeles CA

    They're all too scared to compromise on anything that might upset their constituents, and in turn threaten their re-election chances. Political theorist David Mayhew was right, the primary goal of a congressman is to keep their day job.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  48. Tony from Torrington

    Politicians worry about two things. Their re-election and maintaining power for their party. Every action they take is based on how their power and party will be affected. The American people, unfortunately, come last.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  49. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Have you ever seen a donkey and an elephant get along? Their logos fit them for they do not have a conscience and not humans with any compassion.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  50. Rodrigo in Brazil

    Jack, that's obvious when you're talking about politicians: The only time they work hard is when THEIR money is in danger!
    Enjoy the weekend watching CNN and try to get better questions for next week!

    January 16, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  51. Jim from CT

    Hi Jack,

    They CAN work together...BUT, they just CHOOSE not too.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  52. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    The media has inflated their egos to the point that these people think they can do anything they want, each has their own agenda which doesnt reflect thier parties goals. term limits and retirement at 65 would help.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  53. Jenna Wade

    Why can’t the Democrats and Republicans work together instead of against each other?

    Because that is how spoiled rich kids behave.

    Jenna
    Rosville CA

    January 16, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  54. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    It's the old adage, "It can bring out the best in people and it can bring out the worst in people, sibling rivalry."

    January 16, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  55. SHIRLEY-OHIO

    Because they have reps to protect.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  56. Joel New Brighton MN

    They had better learn to work together. Big business, personal greed, lack mortgage lending rules from congress and wall street got us in this mess. We had all better work together to grow a strong economy again. If people would just quit blaming and start fixing we will get through this sooner.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  57. Stan in Boston

    It's another thing we can blame on Bush. Before he took office it was not unusual for the two parites to work together. Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neal actually liked each other! And bills were considered on their merrits, rather than strictly on politics. A Democratic congress would not just rubber stamp what a Democratic president proposed. It will be hard for Obama to change this because we have forgotten what it used to be like. During the campaign, when Obama said that he could live with a different position in order to compromise, the media said he had flip-flopped. As long as changing one's position is considered such a major sin, there will never be compromise, and the two parties will not be able to work together.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  58. Kathryn, Santa Barbara, CA

    Because they refuse to learn how to play nice with the other children in the sandbox.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  59. Jack - Lancaster, OH

    Mr. Cafferty:

    The American voter can do nothing much (vote?) to facilitate the two parties to work together. The beauty (and the lie) of a two party sytem is that they fight and debate and yield a compromise for the Republic (!) If something good comes out of it for the people, they print up certificates and annoint each other as heroes, otherwise working together would be, well, work.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  60. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    Silly question Jack.. We both know that professional politicians do what is their own best interest. To believe otherwise is fantasy... They will work together only when and if they realize that to do otherwise will land them in the dreaded "public sector" (A.K.A. having to get a real job and earn a living) after the next election......

    January 16, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  61. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Jack, Because in the party leadership the Republicans have to cater to the extreme right and the Democrats to the extreme left, and most Americans are in the middle. That's with the exception of most people who answer your questions, who seem to be from the ulra, ultra extra wacky left.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  62. Vinnie Vino

    Jack,

    If the Democrats and Republicans were to ever cooperate then which party would have the advantage in any election...

    C.I., New York

    January 16, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  63. L.M.,Arizona

    Because the country is divided I read something yesterday that southern conseravative were worried about Obama well I had to live for eight years under Bush if that didn't scare you I don't know what else would.

    L.M.,Arizona

    January 16, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  64. Phil, OH

    The words Democrat and Republican may just become obsolete, Jack. Just walk into the soup kitchens, unemployment agencies and homeless
    shelters these days, and as a matter of fact, you can't tell which is which.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  65. odessa

    their egos are so bruised now because they are putting their ideologs above working for their constinents..i think that the democrats wants to solve problems while republicans aren't working with other side..one side is for rich folks,less taxes, less spending;one side is for poor,working,more spending, pay taxes etc..to be honest, all of these parties are so wealthy rich is time for them to look out for the american people not themselves.. both sides are fighting like children; the next set of elections will cost them to lose their seats..yes i am a progressive independent but i am really sick of this crap for both sides not thinking about the country only themselves...

    January 16, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  66. Eric Bracke, Fort Collins, CO

    The two parties can’t work together because the party system, by its very nature, establishes an adversarial environment. Each party and member of the respective party is beholden to the party and their special interest(s). If they should break from the party in an effort to actually solve some of our problems, then they could lose their power, funding, and prospects for re-election. As an independent voter for 35 years, I recognized long ago that the system is designed to fail the public. The American Citizen should be outraged at the behavior of our political system and the representatives we send to Washington. The shenanigans of the both parties are reprehensible.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  67. Jack - Lancaster, OH

    Mr. Cafferty:

    Let me summarize. The parties fight each other because that is like a "sport" (we're # 1, we're # 1 etc.). Working together for the people is like, well, work !

    Jack

    January 16, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  68. Mary - California

    Since both Republican and Democratic politicians think they can do anything at anytime, both sides have their own ideas on what is considered correct and incorrect. It is a situation of thinking that one party is smarter than the other and they can't reach a "happy medium", the better part of the time. It's like, who is going to win the "chess game" today?

    January 16, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  69. Bessie Jackson lutherville md

    because people like rush limbat ,sean insanity,tom dort, mark lefool and les consilly of the eib network ,are allowed to fire up racist people everyday one after the other calling themselves rightwing conservants claiming things that have gone wrong and that are bad ,came from the left ,and the ones they connect to act like they just dropped from out of space and did not see the person who is the president or who was running congress,someone's crazy and think we all are!!!!!! so there's no way they can work together if they are never on the same page!

    January 16, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  70. Charles-NJ

    All you have to do is listen to some of these posts and the answer is pretty clear. Some people have such partisan beliefs that they won't acknowledge if the other party is correct on a topic, even if it is. It's a real shame that people can't grow up and answer questions intellegently rather than have to take a shot at everyone they disagree with.

    I always vote split ticket because I take the time to see where people stand on issues before I vote. To simply vote party line in this day and age is just so lazy and counterproductive. Both parties have some good people.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  71. Rachel - Tennessee

    Every problem in the world can be summed up in two words. Power and money.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  72. Ed Reed

    The two-party system did not originate with our Contitution. Depsite our founding fathers' warnings, politicians bonded together for the same reasons criminal gangs do, for strenth and protection. And just like the Crips or the Bloods, membership requires absolute loyalty, which is why the Democrats and Republicans have become more loyal to their party than to their country.

    Ed Reed
    The Real America
    Port Aransas, TX

    January 16, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  73. Pugas-AZ

    We are just an extension of nature. Did you ever see birds in the morning jabbering and fighting in the trees? Constant jocking for position, the strong dominating the weak. Who is going to be on the highest limb, getting the most food, etc. But in a crises, they can work together for the preservation of the species. Can we? We'll see.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  74. Eileen Peabody MA

    WellJack, your question depends on whether you are speaking of philosophy or just plain stubborn stupidity. They should represent the core values of each party. A two party system is meant to bring opposing views to the table in order to come to consensus.

    The question here is can they compromise for the good of all. If I understand the goal of Barack Obama...that is exactly what they will do. If the members of each party have the skill to table their concerns and to talk them through we will ALL end up with the BEST solutions

    However, if our elected officials don’t have the common sense to realize there is middle ground we are in for a long hard fight against the economy.
    .

    January 16, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  75. Ken in NC

    Jack, there are two reasons the two partys cannot work together.

    (1) As long as each party thinks they have all the right answers, the two will never be able to work together.

    (2) Stupidity

    January 16, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  76. Joe G. (From Illinois)

    Wouldn’t be nice.. ?! But then again what some people call nice like: Butchering innocent children while still in the womb may not be all okey dokey with others!! And so on.. and on.. Does that answer your Astronomical and mind bugling question.. ? Obama wants to open the gates of hell and draw us all in peaceful coexistence.. Have you given any thought about that?

    January 16, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  77. Conor in Chicago

    Jack,

    Have you ever done any research on how impossible it is for a third party candidate to get on any Federal ballot in any state? There in lies your answer. The best way for them to keep power is to only allow the two parties who answer to the same corporations, the same military industrial complex, and the same foreign powers who wield undue influence (suddenly Israel comes to mind). They have a monopoly on power and the best way for them to keep it that way is to keep us arguing over what is in the end the same thing.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  78. Mike S., New Orleans

    We need more than two parties in the U.S. The two party system has not succeeded in bipartisanship, ever. So let's consider open primaries where any number of Democrats or Republicans or Independents or Libertarians can campaign to make the top two in a runoff.

    Of course, the two party system would never agree to abandon the two party system.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  79. LINWOOD IVES

    They obviously don't have joint bank accounts.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  80. Sandi, Chicago

    Jack...

    Neither party really 'WORKS'. They are too busy making phone calls for campaign contributions – spending time with lobbyists and so forth. Work? Politicians don't know the true meaning of that word.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  81. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    Because Republicans are grumpy old men who don't work well with others! What we've heard the last eight years is basically, my way or the highway! Now they're pouting because Obama was elected by a real mandate. Not the small percentage that Bush called a mandate!
    They're going to obstruct any progress they can,because they don't want to make the Democrats look good by actually cleaning up some of the mess made by Republican control!

    January 16, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  82. Ken in NC

    Jack it took a really big hero (THE US AIR PILOT) to replace you yesterday. I'm sure you have no objections to yielding to a hero of such great magnitude.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  83. David in Washington DC

    Simple, because one party believes that the intellectual skill and world view of Sarah Palin is sufficient to lead, while the other party understands that the bar is much higher.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  84. Dean in Macungie,PA

    Jack,

    If they work together for the good of the American people who would get the credit. On second thought who would take the blame.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  85. David, Tampa, Fl

    They have no vested interest in working together. Each party wants to rule so they can shovel as much money to the members of their respective party as quickly as possible. How can they rule unless they are the majority party and the only way to get there is to screw things up while the other party is in power. Notice I left out the part about either working for the good of the American people because neither does. I vote not for a canidate but hope that whoever gets my vote wont screw things up as bad as the other guy.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  86. Sandi AZ

    Ego's, Money, and Votes! With a "smart" American public, they can no longer blow smoke in our faces! We "know" what is going on, whereas, 20 years ago, we believed every word that was spoken, now we want the truth and the smoke screen dissolved. The Republicans had better get on board or they will become extinct in the next two elections. The Democrats had better keep their word to the people, or we may all go Independent next time around! We have been lied to, cheated on, and taken on an economy that we did not want nor do we deserve! Its high time we help the American families and let Wall St. and the Big Banks flounder like we Americans have these past eight years.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  87. Richard Green

    Jack,
    The two parties are beholding to corporations and industries competing for tax dollars and for any advantage they can get through favorable legislation. The American people are mostly just observers of that process. Neither party has demonstrated through their actions that the American people are whom they serve.
    The Republicans have been unrepentant in their abuse of America these last 8 years. I voted Democratic this last election because I thought the Democrats would do enough to help us keep our heads above water. There needs to be a strong infusion of men and women in our gov't who really care about the people of America and not just an ideology or a "fight against evil in the world". Sometimes I get the feeling that our gov't hates us because of the stupid, short sighted things it does.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  88. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    It comes down to having to "demonize" the other party and your political opponents in order to stay in office, which is goal one of all politicians. Hard to work with someone you just castigated in public.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  89. Chris - Savannah GA

    They can't get along because they are no longer in touch with their constituency. They rely on their party, the mainstreet media, special interests and money. When was the last time any average american had their representative have a neighborhood talk, too much time in
    unreal Washington and not enough time back home going door to door, but in this day of hustle and bustle, no one takes the time. We all need to make the time.

    January 16, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  90. Nancy from Richmond, Indiana

    Old habits are hard to break. Obama is one of those rare people who will reach out to both sides and not be afraid to take ideas from both. I was hoping with him as a fresh new leader they would be different but I guess that would be asking too much all at once to have a great leader and a great Congress at the same time.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  91. BD, Boise, ID

    The Democrats are looking to move forward into the 21st century, the Republicans are looking to move backwards into the 19th century. If they work together we'll all be stuck in the 20th century. Forget the past, it is time to leave the Republicans behind so we can move into the future without a bunch of dead weight slowing us down.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  92. MARCUS123 Flanders

    If they worked together ,why have two parties;we could have a one party system ,save money on elections ,no boring campaigns;and best of all we could all be comrads;;

    January 16, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  93. LINWOOD IVES

    They obviously don’t have joint political capital accounts

    January 16, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  94. roger dowdle lockhart, tx

    If they work together and the legislation works in practice, then they can't brag about being better that the other guy. If it fails, they can't put the blame on the other guy. Either way they, they lose the ability to shift blame for failure. When the legislation fails, they want to be able to blame the other guy for opposing it's implimentation, and claim that is the reason for failure. The good of the USA has no bearing on their performance or behavior!

    January 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  95. Sue -Idaho

    Jack, I think since Bush has been in office, it's been the "my way or the highway" mindset in D.C. and the GOP apparently wants to continue that scenario, but for a few who are open to listening. That said, we have such a mess in this country we don't have time for whiners. I say it's the old standard, lead, follow or get the hell out of the way!

    January 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  96. LINWOOD IVES

    Sorry. No acceptable opinions

    January 16, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  97. Al, Lawrence KS

    Because we reward their bad behavior with our votes. As long as we continue to send the same bad actors back to Congress, election after election, they have no incentive to change.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  98. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    They are slaves to their own parties ideology and to getting re-elected. That last thing on their minds is to work for the people and do things to get us out of W's mess.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  99. Sandra - Detroit, Michigan

    Democrats and Republicans need to get over themselves. It's reached a point where now they disagree just because they can – a reflection of how selfish they've become. What they're having trouble understanding is that it's not about the parties or their ideologies anymore, it's about the American people. We need to solve our country's financial problems. Both sides need to step up, open their minds to new ideas and appraoches, and work together.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  100. sully,,,forest park ga

    jack, because they are stupid and only think of thier parties and thier checks. The good of our counrty has nothing to do with it.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  101. Katiec Pekin, IL

    For way too many politicians ego and self interests override what they were elected to do. Our country is at a time where they MUST work
    together for our survival. We, the American voters, have demanded
    change in government. Do not see much of this happening. The usual postering, finger pointing and performances in front of the
    cameras continues.
    The question should be, what can we do to make these politicians,
    for once, put our country and us first??

    January 16, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  102. Carolyn in Houston

    Why can't they work together? Well, on some levels they can. Some Democrats voted with Republicans to go to war with Iraq. Both parties came together to give Wall St. a bailout.

    In all fairness to Democrats in the case of Iraq, they were pretty much buffaloed into it. But they allowed themselves to be buffaloed.

    There are major ideological difference between the two party. To name just a few: Republicans are anti-government. Democrats are pro. Republicans don't care much about the needs of the poor and economically disadvantaged (compassionate conservatism exists in name only). Democrats are more likely to care. Republicans want to deregulate, privatize and outsource just about everything to for-profit companies.

    Democrats are more willing to favor government oversight, accountability and transparency. Certain factions of the Republican Party embrace the Bush doctrine. Few if any Democrats do. Republicans are more likely to be anti-choice. Democrats are mostly pro-choice. Republicans blur line between church and state. Democrats do not.

    Republicans want low taxes for the very wealthy for they believe in trickle down economics. Trickle down, as we all know, does not work. Democrats are more likely to admit trickle down is a joke.

    That said, politicians on both sides of the aisle are guilty of working hard for the interests of the fat cats who donate to their campaigns. In too many cases this practice works against the interests of the folks who actually voted them into office.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  103. Randy from Salt Lake City

    A very stupid question, Jack. The party helps each candidate get elected, which means more power, money, drugs, hookers. If their party is not in power, they get much less money, drugs, hookers, etc. It's just that simple, Jack.

    The voters? Screw 'em!

    January 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  104. Ray in Nashville

    Because both are controlled by idiots; the Democrats by left wing nuts who would destroy everything this country was built on and the Republicans by the conservative Christians who, although denying Darwin's theory of evolution, wholeheartedly believe in Spencer's survival of the fittest theory, based on Darwin's work, in which if government will just leave everything alone, everything will work out fine. In other words, we're damned if we do, according to Republicans, and damned if we don't, according to Democrats.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  105. Cori from Colorado

    Jack, like Einstein said: "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

    When DEM'S AND REP'S live in two different worlds, their differences and stupidity will always be present, no matter where they exist in the universe. They will never get along!

    January 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  106. Roland

    I think George W. Bush summed it up when he said, during an interview, "I honestly don't understand how poor people think." I think Republicans in general tend to take life for granted without consideration that others may not have had the same doors opened or opportunities made available to them by virtue of being born into the right circumstances, etc. That's not to detract from their achievements or hard work, but I know many Republicans and most of them actually believe that poor people are poor because they are lazy or irresponsible, which is not true at all. The democrats know better and try to represent everyone's interest more fairly at the bargaining table, not just the rich and powerful.

    Roland
    St. George, UT

    January 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  107. Randy, NC

    Simple, Jack. The republicans just can't grasp that we don't live in
    1950's Mayberry with Andy, Barney, Opie, and Aunt Bee. Their minds
    just don't seem to register the year 2009.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  108. Richard Rohde

    Jack, read the comments, you will notice that none of the responses knock the democrats or call them names, question their integrity or their i .q.'s. Then read the obvious democrat responses. That should give you a clue as to why the parties can't get along.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  109. Norm Getty

    They cannot work together because their agendas put personal re-election first and the country last, in spite of all their blathering to the contrary. Actions always speak louder than words.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  110. Jaime, Sunrise Florida

    The question is flawed, Jack. Not all Democrats can't work with Republicans and vice versa. Framing the question this way perpetuates the pettiness that it seems to be decrying.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  111. George

    They don't get along because that is what they were elected to do. Get along, and take care of our Nation's laws, and other business, but no they just keep wasting time, and getting absolutely nothing accopllished. It is my belief that the Legislature should not have any political ties to any party, no political contributions, and an on-off button that say they have to vote either one way or the other, and now. Maybe just maybe they will get it right.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  112. Gigi in Alabama

    If they actually had the good of the country in mind, they would. They have their own agenda and the rest of the country can go hang as far as they are concerned. Maybe Lou Dobbs is right . . . it's time for a third major party.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  113. Billy G in Las Vegas

    because they are not SCARED enough yet about the economic situation. IF we were to go into a deep 1930's style DEPRESSION which COULD give rise to ultra left and right wing political parties, THEN they will learn to work together for their own self interest.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  114. Alex in Seattle

    Because they are more interested in winning points for their respective parties instead of doing what is good for the country. For example, Republican obstructionism since 2006 let them say the Democrats, with a razor thin majority in the senate, accomplished nothing.
    Another reason is the almost perpetual campaign season, there is no time to just govern. The day after the 2006 election they were already reporting the poll results for the possible candidates of the upcoming presidential campaign and the candidates began announcing soon after. And this year, the day after election day, there were Palin in 2012 t-shirts for sale.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  115. Don, Newton NC

    Simple, there all idiots.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  116. carson

    Jack, what is your party ,democrats ? if so then you are the winner, amender and creator, if not and you are broker, damager. So guess how can the brokers and survivors work together jack ?

    January 16, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  117. Willow, Iowa

    I believe that every politician should have term limits. and every one should have a change.gov website where they can poll their constituents in their district. And they should vote the majority rule in every bill presented to them. Allow the constituents to decide, and that's how the politician should vote. Give them 8 year term limits and they do the will of the people they are serving.

    Instead of acting like we are children and they alone know the answers, and that they have to protect us from ourselves, allow us, the constituents to be the deciders. If a congressman goes into a vote and says, "76% of my constituents vote yes". then he votes yes. Easy.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  118. Gerry In Toronto

    Jack the GOP have been the bullies in the sandbox for so long, it takes time for them to realize there's a new sherrif in town.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  119. Jerry: Alpharetta, Ga

    It's all about positioning. Members of Congress must create controversy so they can demonstrate to their consituents that they are on the job and doing what is right for America. They need this to get re-elected. The best thing that can happen is to have term limitations. Ten years for Senators and nine years for the House. Ten for the Senate as the term should be reduced to five years and nine for the House as terms should be increased to three years to keep them out of sync with the President and Senate. To hope that the two parties will get together is like asking a Red Sox fan to root for the Yankees. Lotsaluk

    January 16, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  120. mac from traverse city Michigan

    Jack I believe the republican party began to evolve into a cultlike entity after the Reagan administration and when the religious right became a powerful entity within the party the transformation was completed. Bush ll summed up the cult mentality when he told us all "your either with us or against us." It's impossible for another party to work with zombies.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  121. rpb Viburnum Mo

    It goes back to Jefferson and Adams it's idology. Repubs believe a small few should control most all the wealth and control the population. Dems think it's better to have a middle class. Repubs hated Rosevelt and what he did for this country. Repubs want the corporations to run Government you know privatise everything. Dems think everyone should get health care Repubs think if you don't have the money then die.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  122. Rich Monk

    Hey Jack,
    Both parties are as crooked as they come! Neither work for the people. They work for Corporate entities, and the wealthy elite. How else could we, the USA be in the position we find ourselves in today? Two wars, collapsed economy, free for all trade policies, no immigration policy, 50 years of failed Middle-East policies, a failed President trying to re-write history, Greedy Wall St., Bernie Maddoff, Katrina, torture etc., etc.....
    But life is good, it is 75* outside here at the beach in January.
    And after all, I did wake up today!
    Thomas in Carlsbad by the Sea, San Diego.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  123. Mike - Pueblo

    Republicans and Democrats don't work together well because elephants and donkeys have different DNA and they view and do things differently. Even if they agree on the same ends, there is significant disagreement on the means to get there.

    Mike – Pueblo, CO

    January 16, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  124. Emerson in Mass.

    Read the comments here and you can partly answer your own question.

    Over here people say things such as 'Right-wing Christians", "grumpy Republicans", and "dumb like Palin". Go elsewhere and you will see similar intolerance in the other direction.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  125. Dee from Florida

    Jack,
    I hope this makes sense…The Dems and the Reps CAN work together, but to cross party lines means dealing with the consequences the two parties put out there every day. When you listen to some of the language from these two parties, it makes you feel like you’re at a silence auction… you just want to say the dollar amount, but it would be like going against the ‘NORM’. People define themselves through different social norms (i.e. political party or political stand), and if you step outside that norm, you’re viewed with criticism and loss of love from your party. People always feel like they have to argue each point, because to sit back and listen to someone giving good suggestion or good insight, you’re viewed as a trader against your party. If we all closed our eyes for a second when speaking to someone from the other party, I guarantee that you would listen more to what they have to say, rather than focus on who you’re looking at, and what political party they represent. Thank you.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  126. Mark in OKC

    I think it may be that Democrats act like a donkey's behind and Republicans act like big, well-to-do, fatcats and the two just can't seem to get together on the kind of pizza they want to order at the party.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  127. Simpliticus

    These are turf wars which for all practical purposes the Republicans have lost. They lost the election, are losing senate seats due to retirements, and are losing the vaunted position of financial conservatives due to George W. Bush's trashing of most widely held conservative issues! I would think that Republicans should continue pressing their usefulness and look to closing up the part like the Whigs did. Did not the Republicans come out of the Whigs dissolution perhaps again related to usefulness issues? Maybe we are seeing this all over again!

    January 16, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  128. Pat,Lexington, Ky.

    What probably starts out as a concerned, patriotic citizen ends up labeled by one party or another. By the time he/she gets to Wash., the "American" and "concerned" components have vanished and the person is swallowed up in the partisan muck. Hopefully the citizenry of our country will remain on the front line and toss out those "representatives" who do not truly represent us!

    (By the way, what are "followup comments" that I can be notified about via email?? Could you all explain it? Thanks.)

    January 16, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  129. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    Because they can. Partisan politics is politics for the party. That is why there is an ever increasing number of Americans, like Lou Dobbs, who know where partisan politics leads. Division. Indecision. Lack of progress. Special deals and backroom agreements. George Bush being groomed for the Presidency regardless his obvious incompetence. We CAN find a better way to select our public officials, if only we looked outside the box in which the major parties have confined us.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  130. Jay in Texas

    I wholeheartedly agree with Conor in Chicago. We don't have two parties, we have one party. All the showmanship that goes on in Congress to convince the public that they disagree on important issues is just one ingredient of the illusion or smokescreen these creeps present to the gullible. They know that Americans have a very short memory and they take maximum advantage of it. The first Bailout for the super-rich is an excellent example. When it was first unveiled, over 90% of the constituents who called their congressmen and senators were vehemently opposed to the Bailout. Then senators Obama and McCain came to Washington and voted FOR it. One of them was elected president just a few short weeks later ! The Democrats criticized the Bush Administration for the War in Iraq and kept hollering "bring our troops home" when there were more Republicans in Congress than Democrats but, in 2006, when the power shifted to the Democrats, the new Congressional Democrat leaders greased the way for every funding bill to keep our troops in Iraq. The first thing that I remember Nancy Pelosi saying when she took the Speaker of the House position was "we are taking impeachment off the table."
    Brownwood, Texas

    January 16, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  131. perry jones

    There are two sides to every thing some call it the
    right and the left
    Religion and anti religion
    murder by abortion and pro life
    The death penalty and life at all cost
    Public welfare verses personal welfare
    Both sex or same sex
    Global warming or reality
    Anti drug and pro drug
    Illegal immigration verses legal immigration
    The right for all to work and the socialist labor movement originations
    Anti American and the pro American

    perry jones
    council bluffs iowa

    January 16, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  132. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    It's like prosecution and defense lawyers. They both love the same legal system, but have differing views. Or maybe it's one of those Tower of Babble things, their language is estranged because they're all evil.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  133. Carol Northampton, MA

    Nancy Pelosi is an idiot, didn't she learn anything from the bailout fiasco where she single handedly derailed the vote? With Pelosi and Reid as leaders, it's going to stay a mess. I love Obama, but these two have to go! Until they do, I don't blame Republicans for being contrary.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  134. JW in Atlanta

    My sense is that there are a very few really bad apples in the House and Senate, as might be evidenced by the 'Oh My God' Boehner remark. It just takes one Rush-Limbaugh type to stir up the unthinking, and the Legislative branch of late has been one unthinking institution. Boehner has rubber stamped us into Bush's fiscal disaster, now he wants to make remarks that impune the incoming adults before they even take the oath. The bastard should be ashamed of himself.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  135. LUCI - ILLINOIS

    It is clear to me. The Repubs are know it alls, and give all to the rich. They think they are all above the ordinary people and don't think a Democrat can be a Christian. When will they wake up. The Democrat has always taken care of the middle/ poor class. Maybe Repubs can learn from Obama and not make a mess like they have, ever again.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  136. Krishna Koliwad

    Jack,
    It isall about POWER and POSTURING-getting it and retaining it. I dare say, none of these guys is a true patriot. If you think it is bad in Washington, you see what is happening in Sacramento where the budget is in coma and both the parties are standing and pointing fingers and people are standing with soup bowls. The governor is a body builder and does not know one iota about governing and babbles party line. In democracy, the blame is squarely on the us the people. PERIOD.

    KK
    LCF, CA

    January 16, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  137. Chuck, NW Arkansas

    Simple answer: If Obama is sucessful, he gets reelected.
    If he fails, a Republican has a shot at the White House in 2012.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  138. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    The republicans are used to having things their way for a very long time. In the mean-time the democrats are hungry for the power they've wanted for so many years. The hell with the people, just get in front of the cameras and yammer about how they had no say in the matter, or there's not enough of tax cuts vs spending. I wish someone would bang all of their heads together and wake them up to the fact that this country is drowning, and matters will only get worse if they don't stop the political bickering.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  139. Sharon, Rockford, IL

    Until the republicans remember that we are a melting pot of different ideas, ethnicity, and religious beliefs, they will continue to promote ideas and laws for the few and not the majority. The republicans seem to have problems representing all of us. They don't seem to realize that America is only as great as the sum of its parts – not just the rich, well-connected or big corporations. Maybe they need to just disappear and eventually re-emerge as a party that is more open-minded and all inclusive. Until that happens, they should be sent to the corner with dunce caps – they need to grow up.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  140. Terry "the hillbilly Hooser"

    Jack,

    It's a marriage made in Hell; not of gender but politics. Only God can be their consulate. And God doesn't get involved in politics, remember He's a pretty smart fell'or.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  141. Jim

    Jack,

    There are, of course, genuine and legitimate philosophical differences between the two parties. But I suspect bitterness over their trouncing in 2008 and continuing unease with Pelosi and Reid, not to mention ceaseless agitation from the extreme right wing, will have republicans dragging their feet and opposing the democrats wherever they can. I'm hoping Obama's efforts at a more bipartisan approach to governing will chill out both sides and lead to an easing of tensions. If anyone can pull it off, I'm betting our President-Elect can.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    January 16, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  142. Tino

    Personally I don't know why they can't work together, after all they all suck so they really ought to get along in screwing us over! Odd isn't it?

    January 16, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  143. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    I think it's because they won't listen open-mindedly to each other. Both parties are sanctimonious, self-rightious and truly believe they have all the answers. Their own self-interests are more important than anything else and when they know they can't win, they "cave in" to the other side (war in Iraq, rendition, TARP, the Patriot Act, etc.). I truly believe their number one concern is for their careers and not the country. Maybe we need a "no politician left behind" to teach them what they should have learned in kindergarten.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  144. erico mb33139

    The reason as to why they do not (seem) to work together is probably due to something similar as that of a long term marriage. It is there to stay; like they say, "it's cheaper to keep her."

    January 16, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  145. Ron from SF

    Because the Republicans want what's good for them and their benefactors and the country be damned. We had too many years of that and all we need are a few less Republicans. Now that we have to clean up their mess, I'm not surprised that they won't cooperate. Unlike children, Republicans fight you when it's time to change the nation's diaper.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  146. vern-t anaheim,ca

    because the republicans favor the wealthy and cannot do anything right,it takes democrats to straighten out the mess republicans make

    January 16, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  147. Lois Canada

    This isn't about not working together, it's about doing what the majority of the American people want! Sometimes looking out for your own career seems more important than helping out the entire Country. The Stimulus plan if used correctly is almost a must! I don't envy anyone who has to vote on this.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  148. C. H. Collins, II

    When egotism, selfishness, and pride are in the mix, it is impossible for any of our policitians to work together. Until the parties feel that the public is serious about their actions of personnel greed, they will not feel the urge to perform self examination, and eliminate some of the negative drives that so motivate them. I think that the very actions of our President-elect is going to give THEM as well as us an example of putting others first. The funny part is that most of them got into the business to help others, but they soon learned, as well as being taught that selfishness is the way of the game, and they feel they cannot function without this motivation. The additional hope is that they see that our society is one in the middle, and as soon as they learn that, the more they will start governing in the middle. This in turn will cause our politicians to govern for all Americans, and get away from the Left or Right.

    C. H.
    Longview, Texas

    January 16, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  149. KarenB, Florida

    well–lets see...why can't pigs fly to the moon (?), easier question .

    the Democrats so desperately want "majority" so they don't have
    to "work together in bipartisan way"...some people just don't get that.
    the folks that foolishly believe it's "all the republican parties fault" need to have a reality check. that should come soon. has anyone noticed,
    the yellow brick road did not unfurl yet–perhaps in a day or two. the Republican party is not blameless, but also not totally to blame.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  150. richard a. winkler

    Because Bush and Rove started a new game eight years ago in which the Dems were excluded with the intention of destroying them. Now the Republicans think their party is more important than the country and they will continue with this nonsense until the people destroy them.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  151. Duop, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    The two partied can't work together because they have two different mind sets.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  152. Karl from SF, CA

    Boehner is an idiot and McConnel is retarded. Enough said? Republicans think they should be able to live in this country for free and let the Democrats pay to keep it running. Their president and their six years of Congressional domination put us where we are today. They just don't want to get along. Obama will prevail.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  153. David

    Jack,
    I think the last to election cycles are telling the politicians that the people don't have patients with partisanship. Obama is saying it too just the other day he told both groups who ever has the best ideas are the ones he's going use no matter if it Dem or RNC. That's what the American people wants to hear.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  154. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    All of Capitol Hill has 'lawyer mentality'. It isn't about what is right; it's all about winning.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  155. Duop, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Correction: The two parties can’t work together because they have two different mind sets.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  156. ken

    Because Queen Pelosi and King Reid want total control of their fiefdoms. It was so apparent when they present 1st bailout bill and said it was "bi-partisan," yet surrounded themselves on media with only Democrats surrounding them. They are still so angry with GWB Administration that they're acting like 3-year olds and wanting tit-fot-tat. I believe that if they ever worked on a true bi-partisan bill in either house, they'd have a coronary.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  157. David in Ohio

    Easy. I watched a lot of the confirmation hearings live on CSPAN. It was a perfect example of what is wrong. Both parties were quick to score political points and slow to actually examine whether the person seeking confirmation could actually do the job.

    A mutual willingness to listen to good ideas, wherever they come from, and act on them for the good of the country is needed. Obama is trying to start this but I fear he has an uphill battle.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  158. Bob D, Morristown, NJ

    So where were the Republicans when Bush was borrowing and squandering and undertaxing the wealthy at a time when the economy needed no stimulus?

    That said, Pelosi should have included Republicans in the crafting of the bill, even though she acceded to their wrong headed notion of "Tax cuts are the answer!! What's the question?"

    January 16, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  159. Veronica, Richmond, VA

    Jack, it's simple,The Bush Regime & it's crime partner's (Republicans in congress) stole ALL of the money, even the 350billion that Paulson stole on his way out, the don't want the Dems to fix the problems they left. They are a selfish bunch of crooks!

    January 16, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  160. Hugh ~ Tracy, California

    Jack,
    "Can't Means Won't." Except for a few centrist issues, they won't work together because the republicans embrace a right-wing conservative ideology, supporting Corporate America, the extreme religious right, the moral majority and a powerful military. The democrats support left-wing liberals, unions, minorities, equal rights for gays and a small military. "Can't we all just get along?" No, because can't means won't.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  161. Sherri

    NO JACK! Thats because the 2 parties have different agendas for America. My answer to Mr.Boehner and his stupid remark about getting America back to prosperity! Well Mr. Boehner America hasn't been in prosperity for 8 years under the Bush Administration, at least there was a budget surplus with President Clinton left office. President-Elect Obama is making the attempt to get America back on level economic ground and is attempting to help the average John & Jane Doe USA, that has been forgotten for 8 years! The Republicans fought against the extension of Unemployment Benefits in July 08 even when there was steady job losses since January 08 and the Democrats fought for the extension. Republicans learn nothing from their loss on election day and it appears they never will with the arrogant statements I have heard from Mr.Boehner & Mr.Canton. Where were they during the 8 years of the do-nothing for the middle-class , Bush Administration?. To busy kissing the feet of the lobbyists for the Credit card & Pharmaceutical corporations while this country was heading towards a recession I have never seen before in my lifetime! My trust is in the Democrats and Mr. Obama! My distrust is in the Republican party that for 8 years turned a blind eye to what this country was headed to!.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  162. Jane (Minnesota)

    Jack, speaking as a resident of Minnesota, the bi-partisan politics that currently exists in this state is the very reason why Minnesota elected Jesse Ventura (an independent) as Governor and recently gave 14 or 15% of the MN Senate election vote went to Barkley (an idependent) which more than likely caused the infamous recount) and also did similarly in the Governor's race 2 years ago. The girdlock in Minnesota between the partisanship of the 2 parties has resulted in very little progress for Minnesota & the people of this state are getting fed up with it – thus the votes that other Americans seem to think are jokes.

    Karl Rove & company have done a great deal of harm to this country to help foster this bipartisanship and polarization. God forbid that our representatives sit down and work together to solve the important issues that are vital to the success of America such as the economy, jobs, the environment and park their pary affiliations at the door. That would be way too much to expect of them. It's time for both parties to grow up!

    January 16, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  163. Lynn, San Diego County

    For one thing a whole new batch of Rep. and Sen. are coming in, so negotiations across party lines during the transition is really a waste of time – the Dem need a starting policy to work from come Jan. 21st. That Boehner guy doesn't want to work with anyone, he just wants to keep things boiling, all we ever hear out of him is "we can't do this and we can't do that...", why doesn't he come up with points to consider.
    I'm still a Republican, but I need to see Republicans like Boehner trying to fix the problem they help caused instead of standing around flapping their jaws. What? Are they afraid to fix things because then they would REALLY look bad, and who is Boehner to talk about wasteful spending?

    January 16, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  164. lynnej from lattimore, nc

    Because they are idiots and can't play well with others. It will only change when We, the People gain some sort of power prior to the elections to make them put our interests first instead of that winning to spite the other guy mentality that they both have.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  165. Meg Ulmes

    Jack–
    Each party wants to have the best "sound bite" for the evening news. I live in Boehner's district, and I have no respect for him and have not voted for him once. He is extremely partisan and limited in his scope. Now, the Republicans have a "dog in the manger" attitude since they lost the White House and most of the Congress because of their poor performance in both places the last eight years. The Democrats need to be careful about being too high-handed now that they have some clout. Both sides want to one-up each other instead of working together. I can only speak for myself–this American is very tired of it. Grow up–learn to play nicely together and get something done.

    Troy, Ohio

    January 16, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  166. bobby from Sebastian, florida

    it is odd, that both parties can not agree on anything. however back in 01; when 911 happened, both parties really tried to agree on the same plan. Apparently it takes more than ( What is going on ) in our country right now for both so called great parties to agree. It is Very Very Sad. Some day it could cost us Big Time!!!!!

    January 16, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  167. Warren, Minden, Ontario

    Jack, President-Elect Obama is inheriting a disasterous economy of unpresedented magnitude unseen in modern history. A simple solution to this boondoggle, would be to grab all the Democrats and Republicans, bang their inept heads together, threaten them with confinement and withold their salaries until they can immediately agree with each other. Hit them where it will hurt the most. In their pocket book. You'll see immediate action and bi-partisanship within hours.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  168. Annie Florida

    Because it is expedient for each of the parties to win and working together is not winning.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  169. Mike - Hot Springs, Arkansas

    As an old Attorney I learned to negotiate with most persons. However, there are some persons who are sto mean and nasty that virtually no one can work with them. I find that most Southern Republican Senators fit this description. The Republicans would do well to get a moderate in their to represent them. As long as they have the old guard, nothing will get done.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  170. Ray [Maryland]

    All that the two parties need to do to work together. Is look at any news cast of yesterday's plane crash, and they would learn how people should work towards "ONE" goal.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  171. Taylor from Toledo

    A house divided shall never stand in the Greatness of what this country could be. Once we get pass party theology ( the study of what makes a great nation great) that's being all on one accord, going in the same direction, maybe by then with our new President it can become a reality. If we continue to be separate and not follow leadership we'll never be as great as God wants us to be. If we all had of followed our Leader Pres. Bush we may have founded weapons of mass destruction........NOT......but at least we would have been on one accord. Any 2 party system going in two differ directions will never get to the promiseland. there's got to be a better way. Many feel Pres. Obama can make that transistion.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  172. Gigi

    We all no whats wrong but we are just as bad. We won't work out side our choice of party and until we do we might as well sit back and not complain. We need to ban together and vote, write not Jack but our representatives. I for one want to get rid of the IRS and have a flat tax. It would be a raise for me and maybe things would get better money wise. The Republicans want to trickle down to the people but they take the top off for themselves before they trickle down. The Democrats want to raise taxes and socialiize everything. The parties will never see eye to eye because the American Jane and Joe won't do anything but complain.

    And that is why they will not work together. Until we agree they will never agree. Good luck Obama.

    January 16, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  173. Roger from Espanola, New Mexico

    Let's look at congress as a classroom full of kids. No matter how bright the kids are, individuals have their own ideas and agendas. When the arguments cease to be intelligent and productive becoming chaotic, the teacher needs to step in and declare an end to the nonsense and take charge. This is what we need in Washington. Sometimes it may not seem like democracy, but for good or for bad, leadership and direction is needed. Imagine if the entire crew of a ocean liner were captains or navigators. Not only the ship itself would be in danger but every other ocean vessel as well. Fortunately, our contitution keeps our president from taking this power too far. But sometimes the class just needs to be told, "Enough is Enough!"

    January 16, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  174. Mageen in Old Virginny

    Why can't they work together? The Republicans see this "bailout" money as their money, that's why! Make it available to others, whatever their pedigree and/or need? Good grief, don't these people know that they can eat cake? Honestly, they can take their Marie Antoinette perspective and stick it!

    January 16, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  175. Alex

    Just like people are required to have a law degree to practice law, people are required to be partisan to be a politician. This is precisely why politicians can't get along with other politicians.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  176. Alan, Buxton Maine

    Old habits die hard and the good ole boys who are used to running things are not going to let go easily. These dinosaurs are reluctant to let the newcomers take the lead but they will go the way of their predecessors eventually but until that happens Obama and the new crew will have a difficult time getting anything done.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  177. Andy

    Jack,
    Because they are human. Dems more so than GOP.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  178. Sherri

    The government should do whatever is necessary to help those homeowners thru no fault of their own are losing their homes to foreclosure. It ticks me off to hear the Republicans talk about the government is NOT suppose to do this or the government is NOT suppose to do that!. But yet WE pay our taxes to the government or get thrown in jail if we don't. Those taxes are sent by our GOVERNMENT to other countries and we have no say as to where our monies go. The GOVERNMENT has spent $600 BILLION dollars to rebuild Iraq and pay blood money to insurgents and yet we have no say about that!. Yes the government should help the homeowners, my God! Do something for AMERICA for a change, and not for the hundreds of foreign countries that we send billions to each month.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  179. Lisa

    For decades now, Congress has been about power and dominance rather than serving. There should be an easily accessible, running report card (monthly) on each member's work and progress.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  180. Conor in Chicago

    Jack,

    I am 30 years old and I can tell you that in my lifetime I have come to see US politics as a game of Domination. The national good is not in these peoples interest. In fact, it is in a political parties interest who is the minority to do what it can to sabotage the majorities tenure, blame the lack of progress on the majority party, and hope to gain electoral power from the populous who hardly pays attention to the machinations of government and hardly have a concept of this game that is played with their tax dollars. As an example: Don't be surprised if you see the Republicans do what they can to derail Democratic efforts to save the economy because their true goal IS TO MAKE THINGS WORSE, point the finger at the Democrats for not doing enough, bring up social wedge issues for some sprinkles on top, and hope to Dominate once again. The Democrats would likely do the same thing if the table were turned. Third Party!!!!!!!

    January 16, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  181. Mike

    It seems that Dems can't get along with themselves – Panel chairmen fighting mad over snubs by Pelosi

    http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/panel-chairmen-fighting-mad-over-snubs-by-pelosi-2009-01-15.html

    January 16, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  182. Dave in Saint Louis,MO

    It's simple Jack! Why would a Donkey and an Elephant want to work together?

    January 16, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  183. Stephen Turk

    It's because America's a two party system if there were maybe a three preferably four party system it would be better. There would be more a need to go across party lines to get things done.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  184. Zack from AZ

    They cannot work together because they see politics as a zero sum game. Also, Harry Reid is an ignoramus.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  185. Dave A.

    Because every issue is framed as either a "Won" or "Loss" for either side. I.e. "Republicans lost a major vote today when Democrats were able to pass legislation increasing the minimum wage for unwed mothers giving birth in Missouri on third tuesday of each month" Both the media outlets as well as politicians themselves position issues the majority of times down party lines as opposed to on the issues themselves

    January 16, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  186. Shane Conley, Newport News, VA

    Cooperative bipartisan politics – That's the biggest joke I've heard this year (quite literally). Sure, democrats and republicans could work together, but that would be no fun, at least not for them. Let's just give the Democrats one more senate seat, so it won't really matter what the Republicans want to dispute. At least then they'll get some stuff done.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  187. Paul Mont.

    Why can't the GOP and Dems get along? Better yet, why can't Israel and Palestine get along?

    Figure those two questions out, you've got yourself a Nobel.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  188. Dan

    GOP Payback to Dems for years of unwillingness to consider any republicaion proposal not matter how good.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  189. Dan from New Jersey

    Its as simple as this Jack, jealousy. Republicans will do everything possible against the Democrats wishes because their the underdogs with the Democrats having Barack as president and the Democrats holding a majority in the senate.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  190. Ronald Holst

    Jack Isn't that like asking why The Palestine and Israel's can not get along .I guess you could say to much greed on both sides of the isle. not for money but power.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  191. Carl

    It's you Jack. It's all you.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  192. Barlow

    The Dems want Big Government to have all our money and the GOP wants Big Business to have all our money. Since they BOTH can't have all our money, the fight. Simple.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  193. Ken

    There are too many differences between the parties on how they view the world and how it works. To top it off, each parties views are one sided and very narrow. So neither party really understands reality and the world around them. As a result they cannot work together, and, anything that does happen to pass will inevitably turn out to be flawed, and it will never accomplish what was desired.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  194. Barbara - NC

    The DO work together very nicely -- every year when it comes time to vote themselves big fat pay raises.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  195. Christopher

    Wy can't Dems work together? There's already party infighting over Obama's cabinet picks and economic stimulus package.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  196. dmk

    There will be no urge to work together as long as they get their pension, salary and medical bills paid for without any incentive to balancing the budget. Until they are compensated on the quality of the work they do, why should they change?
    Business as usual.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  197. Anj in CA

    Jack, it's all about perceived power. The Republicans did a lot of damage to their favorite targets, the Democrats and the government, by following the hyperpartisanship mandated by Tom Delay. So now a compromise or agreement with anyone on the either side by either party is perceived as weakness. And that's why our government is dysfunctional.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  198. Dan

    They don't want to work together. In order to maintain their control over the masses, they must perpetuate the concept of " Devide and Conquer". If they worked together they would end wars, if they worked together they would end corruption etc.etc. If they worked together to end all the things that they are against we would'nt have all the things that they created.
    Dan from Pennsylvania

    January 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  199. Shah

    The problem with the division within our government stems from the differences in ideology among our populace.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  200. Bill in Indiana

    Jack,
    When you elect a group of millionaires whose only recent job was either being a legislator or working as a lobbyist you get people who don't get it. When they don't get their way they finger point like a couple of 3 year olds and refuse to play with the other side. Good Luck Obama and the Democrats-

    January 16, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  201. Eyes, Illinois

    Republicans tend to have a mind set of superiority and exclusivity. This unfortunately leads to such narrow minded mentality that they think they are "above" the democrats. As such, they are reluctant to be seen let alone "part of" the picture. They want to stand back and they want to see Obama fail.

    He won't.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  202. Jeff in Maple Grove, MN

    The reason that Republicans and Democrats cannot work together is because, in order for that to happen, both sides would have to compromise, and Republicans refuse to give an inch for the benefit of the nation. They want to impose their myopic ideas without any input from Democrats with a long-term outlook. This sounds very partisan but it is the truth.

    Republicans practice staunch partisanship while accusing Democrats of being inflexible. The fact is, Obama allowed some elements into his financial rescue package that he did not particularly want there so it could pass in Congress. But it wasn't exactly what short-sighted conservatives wanted so they are now rejecting it. They accuse Democrats of spending too much after they spent trillions on the Iraq war, tax cuts for the wealthy, and huge bailout bonuses for the heads of failing financial institutions. One has to ask why Democrats would be motivated to even consider working with such fools.

    We need a fillibuster-proof Democratic majority in the Senate to get anything done. Until then, Republicans will do all they can to block any progress in the United States.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  203. John

    Jack,
    the obvious answer is that the Republicans after eight years of total control of all three branches of government have allowed and encouraged the destruction of this country Now after being finally recognized for who they really are and what thier ideology has done to our country they are terrified that the Democrats may succeed in restoring our country to it's former greatness and in turn lock conservatism and the Republican party out of any control again for decades.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  204. June-NY

    Good question. Every President comes in with the belief, hope and desire that he can work with Congress. They have, for the most part, failed, Which tells me that Congress consists of a bunch of idiots who are more concerned with "me" than "us," posturing for the camera's and the folks back home than doing what is right for the country. We need to throw the bums out and start fresh. Can you say "term limits?"

    January 16, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  205. ashley

    Jack, why couldnt you be respectful and nice during the Primaries when Hillary was running? How hypocritical you are.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  206. Michael H. Oil City, PA

    The GOP weren't squaking when they held all the power when Bush was in office, hell King George didn't veto anything until the Dems won in 06. Now the shoe is on the other foot, the GOP Congress will do all it's power to become obstructionist. They want Obama to fail, it's that simple.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  207. bigdoglv in Vegas

    Some of these comments are right on. Our government is completely disfunctional. We are having the problems we have today because there is so much hate they can not do their job. Some of the comments blame the Dems, some blame the Rupugs. You are both right. Both "sides" are to blame. If they would remember who they work for, they would get something done.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  208. Terry

    Jack, The Republicans put us here in this mess so they are afraid that if Obama and the Democrats pull us out of it they the Republicans will look even worse than they look now.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  209. Shane, Greenville SC

    Jack, with all due respect, "why can't they work together" isn't a very deep question.

    Were you bemoaning Democrat stubborness when they refused to work with President Bush? When they declared his budgets DOA? When they blocked his nominees for federal courts from even getting out of committee or getting an up or down vote? Or is it only now, when the Democrats run everything, that suddenly it's a problem? Or should I say, that you have to act like it's a problem.

    When an obstructive Democrat minority opposed Bush and the Republicans, that was fine, right? Now that it's an obstructive Republican minority, suddenly it's terrible that both sides can't work together.

    Because we all know that bipartisanship means cooperating with the Democrat agenda, right? Right.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  210. pete at the beach

    When the republicans are in charge they must stick up for republicanism–when they lose an election then they want bipartisianship until they lose on an issue–remember a few years ago when the repubies had the white house, congress and senate they wanted to end filibusters now they want to save me by filibustering every little thing they dont like–sometimes its like to be a repubie anymore you cant have matured past 15.

    My mother after being a republican all her life told me the problem with the modern republican party is that they are more republican than American–Amen, Mom!!!!!

    January 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  211. Jackie in Dallas

    I don't know why, Jack, but I think that they'd better get the message pretty darn quick that they better learn how, or they'll find themselves out on the streets! The people of the country want something both humane and feasible done, and soon. If Congress continues to act like spoiled brats, they'll soon find out that their "parents", us, are not happy with them and will send them back to their rooms - in their home states!

    January 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  212. Karen - Missouri

    EGO

    January 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  213. Bob, DeWitt Michigan

    I think part of the blame is the electoral process. First, only the extremes in both parties participate in the selection of candidates that are placed on the ballot that "We the people" get to use when we vote in the general election. Second, the press and the process push candidates to develop detailed plans for their proposals and this further drives the candidates apart. It also causes them to be less flexible and open to compromise when they are elected. They come to Congress with their plans and they darn well want them passed into law as is–that's why they got elected. Thirdly, single member districts lead to two party systems; third parties are shut out and can't gain seats in Congress. They aren't there to bring fresh ideas and to provide an impetus for compromise to get enough votes to pass messures. To blame one single person (i.e., Bush) or one party is over simplification. We can't keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  214. Tim Maxwell, Memphis Tn.

    I believe they are afraid that if they got together and fixed all the problems we would lay them off do to lack of work.

    January 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  215. Thom Richer

    I believe it is because of their forgetting the purpose they were elected to. That being the people. Not just from their state, but all the people of these "United" States. That along with ego, greed, self-importance, corporate interests and the strange and curious allowance of lobbyists. Put these together with power fantacies and delusions of grandeur and there you have it. Plain olde looking out for oneself.

    Thom
    Negaunee, MI

    January 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |