Professor Andrew Busch has been discussing President Bush or Obama and whether or not Republicans can get along with Democrats.
Professor Andrew Busch
There's nothing wrong with partisan politics, said Andrew Busch, professor of government at Claremont McKenna College.
To a point.
"There should be some considerable vigor on both sides," he said. "But it's gotten pretty extreme."
When in the majority, Republicans often wielded power like a hammer, leaving angry Democrats firmly entrenched against them.
When Democrats regained the majority in 2007, they did little to relieve the extreme bipartisan atmosphere that sent public-approval levels plummeting.
Now Democrats have expanded their majorities in the House and Senate, but there is much healing to be done, and much uncertainty that either side will ease its sharply bipartisan ways.
"It has the potential to diminish somewhat," Busch said.
He says President-elect Obama will do what he can to bring Democrats and Republicans closer.
"I think Obama will appoint a few Republicans to his Cabinet," he said. "One or two. Bush did (have Democrats) too - Norman Mineta and George Tenet.
"Bush didn't buy much good will with it, but I think Obama will try it. So if that's the case, the parties' partisanship will remain."
While the issues the country and the world face are huge, the disputes that have created the "us against them" gridlock in Washington are unlikely to fade quickly.
Busch said the Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate have been at each other's throats since President Clinton's first term.
"There is a lot of rancor dividing government," he said.