Opinion

Productive lame-duck period proves bipartisanship possible

Following the November 2010 midterm elections, Congress entered what is known as the lame-duck period.  Historically, members of Congress work frantically to pass several last-minute bills, often miniscule in importance, before the next session of Congress takes over and each bill has to start from scratch again.

This time, however, Congress played the game a little differently. By the end of December, Americans had witnessed the passage of health care benefits for 9/11 responders, an arms-reduction treaty with Russia, a stimulus bill with extended unemployment benefits and tax cuts, and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

It was one of the most productive lame-duck periods since the 60s. The best part is that many Republicans supported several of these bills.  At a time when many Americans thought bipartisanship impossible, we were surprised once again. Reason  won out over partisanship.

Even though the Tea Party seemed to have overwhelmed the midterm elections, moderates have an important role to play in Congress. Democrats may have a weaker grip on the federal government now than they did a few months ago, but by making some compromises, on both sides, liberals and conservatives have been able to find that elusive common ground.

To the chagrin of some liberals, reaching out to Republicans will not be the end of the world. Our Democratic leaders may budge on some policies, but they can still remain true to their progressive ideals. A little success is more important than none.

Our party remains optimistic about 2012, and compromise will not only help pass very helpful legislation but will also improve the chances of reelection for President Obama and other Democrats. Change has come more slowly than perhaps we would have liked, but it will still keep coming. Expect the Democrats to turn their setbacks into important gains that will help the rest of America. 2012, here we come.

Gaurav Dhiman is a junior majoring in political science and biology. He may be contacted at gdhiman@themiamihurricane.com.


February 2, 2011

Reporters

Gaurav Dhiman


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Thursday: • Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has an interesting theor ...

Juwan Dowels vividly remembers his first winter on the Syracuse University campus. Like the other 11 ...

The University of Miami football team has another player with a season-ending injury — and this one ...

University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga received a grand jury subpoena for his phon ...

Get ready for an avalanche of University of Miami defensive backs and linemen descending on the Hard ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

The Miami soccer team registered a 3-0 victory over Pittsburgh Thursday night at Cobb Stadium behind ...

Five members of the Miami women's tennis team will open play Friday at the ITA Southeast Region ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

Here are three matchups to watch Saturday as the Hurricanes take on the Syracuse Orange at Hard Rock ...

The University of Miami men's basketball team will begin the season as No. 12 in the USA TODAY ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.