FORGET BIPARTISANSHIP; LET THE FIGHT BEGIN

Somehow, the US must survive all the nonsense plaguing the nation's capital about bipartisanship. Nature hates bipartisanship.

Sure, George W. Bush won the presidency by the thinnest of margins. And, yes, Congress is almost evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats.

That doesn't mean government leaders need to surrender their beliefs. It doesn't mean politics has to turn into ideological mush.

Bipartisanship is an ideal upheld by losers groping for political leverage. Republicans would be cooing about it if they were where the Democrats find themselves now.

But the job falls to Democrats this time around, and Republicans shouldn't fall for it.

Under the banner of bipartisanship, Democrats have greeted every Bush Cabinet nominee not certifiably "moderate" with glowering suspicion. After all, nomination of someone more conservative than that conflicts with bipartisanship.

So Democrats are ready to ravage former Sen. John Ashcroft of Missouri for opposing abortion and for having once resisted a federal court nomination of an Afro-American Missouri judge with whom he disagreed on criminal issues.

Ashcroft is not moderate; therefore, in the logic of bipartisanship, he must be sexist and racist. The only thing that might save Ashcroft from total and altogether unfair vilification during his confirmation hearings is that he once served in the Senate.

Similar stereotyping threatens the nomination of former Colorado Atty.-Gen. Gale Norton as Secretary of the Interior. She once worked at the Mountain States Legal Foundation with James Watt, the controversial Reagan administration Interior Secretary drummed from office for being too aggressive about leasing federal land and too fiery in manner. By association with Watt, Norton must not be moderate. There's no telling what she might do if confirmed.

Well, phooey.

Politicians who disagree with Ashcroft about abortion or with Norton about federal leasing should argue the issues, not scorn them for being insufficiently moderate or, worse, downright conservative.

No one screamed about moderation when outgoing Pres. Bill Clinton selected for his Cabinet liberal fire-breathers such as Carol Browner at the Environmental Protection Agency or Bruce Babbitt at Interior. And, aside from damage they have done to national energy interests, there's nothing wrong with that. Clinton needed to appease his supporters on the environmentalist fringe. Browner and Babbitt served the need very nicely.

And their lapses as public servants had nothing to do with their being self-righteous, overregulating ideologues. Well, maybe a little. But people shouldn't be faulted for being what they are. Browner and Babbitt may be crazed liberals, but they are sincere about it.

What they should be faulted for is having been wholly wrong on nearly every issue that came their way involving oil and gas.

See the difference? The problem was not that Browner and Babbitt were not moderate, which they were anything but. The problem was that the positions on which they based their regulatory behavior concerning oil and gas were consistently and fundamentally flawed.

If Congress allows this bipartisanship thing to get out of hand, discourse will come to focus too little on ideas and too much on personal traits. It will therefore become ugly and dishonest. Traits and observations about them are too easy to fake.

But this silly infatuation with bipartisanship won't last. Very soon, someone in Congress will have the gall to call some stupid idea from the other party stupid, and the fight will be on.

Good. That's how the system is supposed to work.

Related Articles

EPA delays proposal to regulate methane emissions until 2015

12/19/2014 The US Environmental Protection Agency is delaying plans to issue proposals to regulate methane emissions from oil and gas operations until 2015, O...

BLM starts process to consider new Nevada lease nominations

12/19/2014 The US Bureau of Land Management’s Battle Mountain, Nev., field office is seeking public comment on 197 parcels of public land, totaling 415,921 ac...

California Bay Area advances plan for enhanced refinery regulations

12/19/2014 California’s Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the public agency responsible for regulating stationary sources of air pollution in...

IEA finds US energy policy improved in latest in-depth review

12/19/2014 US energy policies have come into sharper focus in the last six years, the International Energy Agency said in its latest periodic review. It speci...

Mexico uses PSCs in first Round One step

12/19/2014 Mexico is offering production-sharing contracts to companies incorporated in the country for exploration of 14 shallow-water areas in Round One bid...

Jewell names Maryland energy administrator BOEM’s new director

12/18/2014 US Interior Sec. Sally Jewell appointed Abigail Ross Hopper, who currently directs the Maryland Energy Administration, as the new director of the U...

Russia’s Turkey pipeline deal possibly may keep door to Europe ajar

12/18/2014 Russia’s memorandum of understanding to build a natural gas pipeline to Turkey after canceling its South Stream project could help keep the door op...

Moody’s: Mid-term elections dim federal fracing regulation prospects

12/18/2014 Results of 2014’s congressional elections have reduced the prospect of the federal government enacting its own hydraulic fracturing regulations, Mo...

Apache awarded Western Australia offshore permit

12/18/2014 A day after reporting its planned divestment of Western Australian and Canadian assets to Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Apache Corp. has been awarded a ...

White Papers

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Plant Design for Lean Construction - at your fingertips

One area which can provide improvements to the adoption of Lean principles is the application of mobil...
Sponsored by

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts


On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.

register:WEBCAST


US HYDROCARBON EXPORTS Part 3 — LNG

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected