I have long held a few different definitions to the term “bi-partisan.” Sometimes I have thought of bi-partisanship as people from both parties working together to get something done. Even though the bill was a total piece of garbage I would use the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation as a possible example. Heck, it even got tagged as the “Bi-Partisan Campaign Reform Act.” Again though, the Act itself was a total piece of junk.
Another definition of “bi-partisan” that I would apply involves someone being a bit of a maverick in the sense that you are willing to cross your own party occasionally when it is based on principle and you think it is the right thing to do.
It appears that Rick Warren must share the latter definition with me. On Saturday night he asked each candidate for President to cite and example of where he had crossed party lines or party loyalty for the good of America.
It was clear to me though that Barak Obama does not share the latter definition. Watch this video:
Now think about that answer.
When asked to cite where he had voted against party loyalty he cited voting with John McCain on campaign and ethics reform. The other example was choosing to oppose the war in Iraq.
Throw the merits of each of these votes out the window for a second and try to stay focused on the question and his answer.
Obama, who was elected to the Senate in 2002 and took office in 2003 makes it sound like he helped McCain pass the McCain-Feingold Bi-Partisan Campaign Reform Act which was passed in 2002 and took effect before Obama was even sworn into office. But, if you excuse his use of smoke and mirrors”¦ I believe he was actually referring to the minor ethics reform that took place more recently which we know has really done little to stop people like Chris Dodd or Ted Stevens.
I digress though.
The vote that Obama was citing on campaign and ethics reform took a lot of intestinal fortitude. And he really stood up to his party.
The final Senate vote? The proposal passed 96-2 . In fact, Obama did not stand up against party loyalty or a single member of his own party when it was all said and done.
Of course, this battle of sharply worded letters also paints a bit different story than what Obama gave to Pastor Warren.
Did Obama never learn that you don’t lie in church?
The other example that Obama cites of him standing up against party loyalty?
The invasion of Iraq.
On that vote, you could hardly say Obama stood up against party loyalty. He was one of 21 Democrats to vote against the War Resolution. In fact, Obama’s stand was so bi-partisan that he found himself standing with one Republican”¦ ONE!
Let’s face it. If Warren had asked Obama what food dish he think he most resembles the only honest answer would have been a bowl full of Jello.