Genuine bipartisanship assumes an honest process of give-and-take, and that the quality of the compromise is measured by how well it serves some agreed-upon goal, whether better schools or lower deficits. This in turn assumes that the majority will be constrained — by an exacting press corps and ultimately an informed electorate — to negotiate in good faith.
If these conditions do not hold — if nobody outside Washington is really paying attention to the substance of the bill, if the true costs . . . are buried in phony accounting and understated by a trillion dollars or so — the majority party can begin every negotiation by asking for 100% of what it wants, go on to concede 10%, and then accuse any member of the minority party who fails to support this 'compromise' of being 'obstructionist.'
No, it's not some bitter Republican congressman after being left out in the cold, unable to actually provide any meaningful input to the "stimulus".
That quote belongs to President Obama. Ironic, no?
Of course the ordeal we've just witness involved so many pages of legislation passed in such a short time, there was no chance we could have really had "an exacting press corps" or "an informed electorate." And it will be no surprise when we realize the "true costs [were] buried in phony accounting and understated by a trillion dollars."
(h/t Mark Hemingway @ NRO's The Corner).