Bipartisanship in the new Congress? A UW political scientist expects that can only go so far. Professor John Coleman expects the new Democratic majorities and GOP minorities in the House and Senate will have "some easy things" that they can accomplish together, but the parties remain far apart on more contentious issues like entitlement reform, tax cuts and Iraq. "The solutions are going to be hard to come by," says Coleman.
In other words, don't expect much bipartisan cooperation on policy making. And, Coleman says now that the Democrats have gained power in both houses, they may feel emboldened to send bills to President Bush which they know he won't support; "I think the ingredients are there, that we'll see him use the veto pen more frequently."
Coleman says the Democrats have little room to maneuver on Iraq; they're unlikely to cut funding for the war while U.S. troops are still committed. The most they can try to do, he says, "is cajole and persuade, and get the president to try to consider alternative strategies."