"With the looming prospect of lay offs and raise reductions for county employees I plan to not support, at this juncture, any initiatives that are not core functions of county government.Without question, Bill is giving Dean a partisan shot. But it's really just a little one. Leiner and Browning like to tease each other about their ideological differences, but find a way to work together. They get together for breakfast and lunch from time to time, and Dean sometimes joins in Leiner's Coplay crime watch programs. One night a few weeks ago, Dean and Bill trapped a slew of feral cats, but they turned out to be Northampton County Council. They were all released unharmed, but not before Angle was accidentally neutered.
"Next year or later after the second federal Stim kicks in and we experience economic recovery from the failed economic policies of the Bush Administration, rest assured, I will be with you shoulder to shoulder to follow through with this initiative."
This is where things get a little cRaZy. LC Commissioner, who is included in this email exchange, fails to see that Leiner's comment, made to a staunch Republican, is obviously tongue in cheek. Eckhart, himself up for reelection, responds with partisanship.
"Commissioner Leiner [sic] true side comes out. If this is not a wake up call to the Lehigh County votes [sic] I don't know what is. Commissioner Leiner wants to be Chairman of the Board of the Lehigh County Board of Commissioner and the Democrats only need to steel [sic] one seat and he will be Chairman. Please support your district Republican Candidates financially, volunteer, and be there on election day."Dawn Berrigan, a born-again princess or something in the Lehigh County GOP, is one of the first to join the Leiner lynch mob, adding a shot at LC Exec Don Cunningham for good measure. You see, Don's a Democrat, too.
"Leiner is a real back stabber. Take it from someone who has dealt with him on many occasions. Ask Jim Anthony, ask Al Nelthropp, ask Dave Malony, believe me, he has tried to burn them all, along with myself [sic]. Anyone who goes into Coplay for elections is treated to the slimy tactics of Leiner. He will never co-operate with Dean, or any other Republican on any measure that would make anyone from our party look good. Failed policies of Bush, stimulus kick in? Give me a break. As you see he always has something ridiculous and partisan to say. Don't ever trust him. Or Cunningham, they are cut from the same cloth."Self-proclaimed political strategist Joe Hilliard quickly grabs a rope to join the Leiner lynch mob, imparting these pearls of wisdom. "Trust no Democrats. They are purely partisan while Republicans painfully, and ineffectively, try to be bi-partisan and compromise." Someone who trusts no Democrats claims to be bi-paritsan. I see.
And so it goes as one partisan email after another piously condemns Leiner for his partisanship.
Of course, this whole episode is silly. Partisanship in Congress is why our government is broken. Instead of listening to each other, everything becomes a power play. That's why major legislation is enacted with no opportunity for the minority, Republican or Democratic, to read or digest what's happening. That's why an Allentown mayor can keep the public (and Council) is the dark about a budget deficit. That's why Northampton County Dems will oppose a Democratic County Executive who dares hire a Republican, no matter how useful that person might be. While partisanship certainly has its place in an elction cycle, its value diminshes once the task of governing begins. Ending this needless partisanship is something Obama the candidate stressed, but Obama the President has learned that partisanship remains alive and well in Washington. He's actually having more success reaching out in the Middle East.
Dean Browning, who is so conservative he has little elephants on his underwear, has an interesting take.
"From an overall standpoint, I don’t think partisanship is necessarily a bad thing. It is the process where we bring out opposing points of view and work to translate those views in to policy. The problem comes about when that process also includes attacks on the motives or characteristics of the opposing groups. Such as “Trust no Democrats” or “Republicans Don’t Care About the Middle Class” or whatever else each side says about the other. As you know from your blog, there is plenty of animosity on both sides. I’m not interested in engaging in that as I think it is counterproductive."For his part, Leiner extends "an open Invitation to all critics to sit down over a cup of coffee to exchange ideas." Don't listen to him. Last time I went to Coplay, I ended up being trapped as a feral cat.