Great listen!!

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This was a great episode. Tammy Baldwin is so likable and politically savvy. This was a real pleasure.

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Let's talk "bipartisanship."

Hopefully, you won't mind a little critical observation from a northern cousin, but if you do, I hereby (stereotypically) apologize.

The very fact that this word exists in your political lexicon is problematic. The concept of "bipartisanship" reflects and promotes the systematic bifurcation of your society in yhe basis of "team" membership. In a polity organized along such dichotomously partisan lines, issues become currency (or weapons) to be opportunistically adopted or discarded. In such a polity, there's ultimately no need for political leaders to legislate (much less govern) based on their consistent adherence to (and application of) values and/or principles.

When politicians habitually fail to adhere to an ideological agenda, their constituents are likely to fall out of the habit of voting on a meaningfully rational basis. Instead, many will just vote for the politician wearing the same coloured shirt as them.

In such a world, the very idea of ideological decision-making attracts a derogatory connotation. Eventually, "ideology" evolves into an epithet used to attack one's opponent (e.g when folks label Trump as ideological, notwithstanding his evident disdain for principled decision-making).

... Which brings me to your seeming praise for Senator Baldwin's "bipartisanship." Sure, in a place where governance is dictated by shirt colour, it's technically correct to label as bipartisan any agreement between opposing sides. But is there really anything laudable about it? All that seems to be happening in the case of Senators Vance and Baldwin (for example) is a manifestation of their shared dedication to dirigiste, economic populism.

Show me cases in which political leaders have been willing to actually compromise ideologically. In my mind, that's the kind of bipartisanship that deserves commendation.

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Yes, it would be great if Sarah does a swing voter focus group and then turns it into an episode for her podcast

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Thank you for the weekend edition TNL. Always a treat!

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