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Why Bipartisanship Fails

bsh1
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9/1/2015 6:27:16 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I read an interesting article today about Sen. Jeff Flake, AZ, who has become extremely unpopular due to his bipartisan stances [https://www.yahoo.com...]. Particularly, he has suffered in the polls for taking too long to come out against the Iran deal. So what? Taking time to come to a decision is no crime, esp. in weighty cases like this...and he is against it anyway. Yet, the GOP in his state seems to revile him.

Bipartisanship in the U.S. seems to be faltering more and more each day. Flake's unpopularity is a superb example of this. But why is it the case? Why do you think bipartisanship fails? And, can/should it be revived?
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TubOLard
Posts: 9
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9/1/2015 6:57:23 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Bipartisanship is a wimp catchword for "I have no balls to take a stand." The two main parties are two sides of the same coin. They both love big government in their own way.

Bipartisanship is the problem. We need to repeal laws, not make more of them.
Contra
Posts: 3,941
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9/1/2015 4:30:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Washington D.C.'s ineptitude I think is the biggest problem confronting the U.S. today. There are many other problems like health care, immigration etc. but if our government is gridlocked we can't make any progress whatsoever, we can only put band aids on the current system (e.g. the expansion of Pell Grants hasn't made postsecondary education "debt-free").

I think that bipartisanship has been failing because of the process. Namely the filibuster, congressional redistricting, and the primary system.

The filibuster has allowed a minority of senators to block all activity in the Senate unless a cloture is reached, which is a difficult hurdle to overcome. I don't know how we could fix this though. Congressional redistricting has been warped so that representatives choose their voters, not so much vice versa... and this has led to rapid political polarization (if your district is 80% Republican, you will oppose anything President Obama says, even if it is a good decision). And the primary system makes it so that a few states like Iowa have unfair influence in the presidential process. States like Iowa and South Carolina have heavy blocks of social conservative voters, which pulls the GOP towards the right (more so than America as a whole), which only aggravates the problem.

The media has made this worse in my opinion. People can filter their sources of information, and so people can read information that fulfills their political ideology. Media personalities have made a business demonizing people based on their beliefs, and it has turned into a dastardly game of cut-throat politics, based on a "horse race" instead of real policy.

So I think we should try and reform the process... congressional redistricting, the filibuster, the primary/ caucuses, etc. to try and make bipartisanship a possibility. The shortcomings have produced the outcomes we are witnessing now.
"The solution [for Republicans] is to admit that Bush was a bad president, stop this racist homophobic stuff, stop trying to give most of the tax cuts to the rich, propose a real alternative to Obamacare that actually works, and propose smart free market solutions to our economic problems." - Distraff

"Americans are better off in a dynamic, free-enterprise-based economy that fosters economic growth, opportunity and upward mobility." - Paul Ryan
imabench
Posts: 21,216
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9/1/2015 5:59:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/1/2015 6:27:16 AM, bsh1 wrote:
I read an interesting article today about Sen. Jeff Flake, AZ, who has become extremely unpopular due to his bipartisan stances [https://www.yahoo.com...]. Particularly, he has suffered in the polls for taking too long to come out against the Iran deal. So what? Taking time to come to a decision is no crime, esp. in weighty cases like this...and he is against it anyway. Yet, the GOP in his state seems to revile him.

Bipartisanship in the U.S. seems to be faltering more and more each day. Flake's unpopularity is a superb example of this. But why is it the case? Why do you think bipartisanship fails? And, can/should it be revived?

I think part of it has to do with the GOP having an identity crisis, where people have to showcase how conservative they are almost routinely otherwise their outright ideology is questioned. Democrats it seems are more then allowed to disagree with the liberal ideology on certain issues without being questioned as 'true' democrats, which is an issue that the GOP seems to be struggling with quite a lot. For example, some democrats came out agains the Iran deal even though it is a huge deal for Obama's presidency, and the same thing also happened over the free trade deal that Obama supported but a lot of democrats did not, but none of those democrats seem to be in danger of not being reelected just because they disagree with their own party on some issues.

GOP politicians on the other hand gets crucified by their voters every time they try to reach out to the other side. Eric Cantor for example was open to immigration reform and look what happened to him, he couldn't even get reelected in his own district because voters saw him as a RINO when he really wasn't. Mitch McConnell meanwhile recently caught a sh*tload of bad press for not wanting to shutdown the government over planned parenthood funding, causing a ton of GOP voters to call for his head even though he has long stood against Obama and the Democrats.

Republican voters as a whole behave in a way where if GOP politicians diverge with the common beliefs of the GOP on almost any issue, then their entire character is put on trial. I dont see it that Bipartisanship fails, I see it that the GOP base are trying to drag their politicians more towards an extreme and outdated set of beliefs, not knowing that their beliefs are outdated and are dying out quickly.
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ben2974
Posts: 767
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9/1/2015 6:01:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/1/2015 6:27:16 AM, bsh1 wrote:
I read an interesting article today about Sen. Jeff Flake, AZ, who has become extremely unpopular due to his bipartisan stances [https://www.yahoo.com...]. Particularly, he has suffered in the polls for taking too long to come out against the Iran deal. So what? Taking time to come to a decision is no crime, esp. in weighty cases like this...and he is against it anyway. Yet, the GOP in his state seems to revile him.

Bipartisanship in the U.S. seems to be faltering more and more each day. Flake's unpopularity is a superb example of this. But why is it the case? Why do you think bipartisanship fails? And, can/should it be revived?

It should definitely be revived. But I don't really have a problem with partisanship in terms of viewpoints. I have a problem with party politics, where it's become almost an obligation to side with your "natural inclination." Partisanship is good in making sure that both sides keep on their toes and in allowing both (or all) voices to be heard, so we can have the most ideas, provide scrutiny to all, and pick the best option. Partisanship is just a means to make one angle look more enticing. But it's up to political and personal integrity to make an honest choice when all the cards are drawn and displayed, instead of arrogantly and childishly holding on to what they want to be passed.
imabench
Posts: 21,216
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9/1/2015 6:02:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/1/2015 5:59:16 PM, imabench wrote:
At 9/1/2015 6:27:16 AM, bsh1 wrote:
I read an interesting article today about Sen. Jeff Flake, AZ, who has become extremely unpopular due to his bipartisan stances [https://www.yahoo.com...]. Particularly, he has suffered in the polls for taking too long to come out against the Iran deal. So what? Taking time to come to a decision is no crime, esp. in weighty cases like this...and he is against it anyway. Yet, the GOP in his state seems to revile him.

Bipartisanship in the U.S. seems to be faltering more and more each day. Flake's unpopularity is a superb example of this. But why is it the case? Why do you think bipartisanship fails? And, can/should it be revived?

I think part of it has to do with the GOP having an identity crisis, where people have to showcase how conservative they are almost routinely otherwise their outright ideology is questioned. Democrats it seems are more then allowed to disagree with the liberal ideology on certain issues without being questioned as 'true' democrats, which is an issue that the GOP seems to be struggling with quite a lot. For example, some democrats came out agains the Iran deal even though it is a huge deal for Obama's presidency, and the same thing also happened over the free trade deal that Obama supported but a lot of democrats did not, but none of those democrats seem to be in danger of not being reelected just because they disagree with their own party on some issues.

GOP politicians on the other hand gets crucified by their voters every time they try to reach out to the other side. Eric Cantor for example was open to immigration reform and look what happened to him, he couldn't even get reelected in his own district because voters saw him as a RINO when he really wasn't. Mitch McConnell meanwhile recently caught a sh*tload of bad press for not wanting to shutdown the government over planned parenthood funding, causing a ton of GOP voters to call for his head even though he has long stood against Obama and the Democrats.

Republican voters as a whole behave in a way where if GOP politicians diverge with the common beliefs of the GOP on almost any issue, then their entire character is put on trial. I dont see it that Bipartisanship fails, I see it that the GOP base are trying to drag their politicians more towards an extreme and outdated set of beliefs, not knowing that their beliefs are outdated and are dying out quickly.

TL;DR version: GOP voters are stupid
Kevin24018 : "He's just so mean it makes me want to ball up my fists and stamp on the ground"

7/14/16 = The Presidency Dies

DDO: THE MOVIE = http://www.debate.org...
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imabench
Posts: 21,216
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9/1/2015 6:08:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/1/2015 6:02:57 PM, imabench wrote:
At 9/1/2015 5:59:16 PM, imabench wrote:
At 9/1/2015 6:27:16 AM, bsh1 wrote:
I read an interesting article today about Sen. Jeff Flake, AZ, who has become extremely unpopular due to his bipartisan stances [https://www.yahoo.com...]. Particularly, he has suffered in the polls for taking too long to come out against the Iran deal. So what? Taking time to come to a decision is no crime, esp. in weighty cases like this...and he is against it anyway. Yet, the GOP in his state seems to revile him.

Bipartisanship in the U.S. seems to be faltering more and more each day. Flake's unpopularity is a superb example of this. But why is it the case? Why do you think bipartisanship fails? And, can/should it be revived?

I think part of it has to do with the GOP having an identity crisis, where people have to showcase how conservative they are almost routinely otherwise their outright ideology is questioned. Democrats it seems are more then allowed to disagree with the liberal ideology on certain issues without being questioned as 'true' democrats, which is an issue that the GOP seems to be struggling with quite a lot. For example, some democrats came out agains the Iran deal even though it is a huge deal for Obama's presidency, and the same thing also happened over the free trade deal that Obama supported but a lot of democrats did not, but none of those democrats seem to be in danger of not being reelected just because they disagree with their own party on some issues.

GOP politicians on the other hand gets crucified by their voters every time they try to reach out to the other side. Eric Cantor for example was open to immigration reform and look what happened to him, he couldn't even get reelected in his own district because voters saw him as a RINO when he really wasn't. Mitch McConnell meanwhile recently caught a sh*tload of bad press for not wanting to shutdown the government over planned parenthood funding, causing a ton of GOP voters to call for his head even though he has long stood against Obama and the Democrats.

Republican voters as a whole behave in a way where if GOP politicians diverge with the common beliefs of the GOP on almost any issue, then their entire character is put on trial. I dont see it that Bipartisanship fails, I see it that the GOP base are trying to drag their politicians more towards an extreme and outdated set of beliefs, not knowing that their beliefs are outdated and are dying out quickly.

TL;DR version: GOP voters are stupid

https://www.yahoo.com...
Kevin24018 : "He's just so mean it makes me want to ball up my fists and stamp on the ground"

7/14/16 = The Presidency Dies

DDO: THE MOVIE = http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...

VP of DDO from Dec 14th 2014 to Jan 1st 2015
kasmic
Posts: 1,302
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9/1/2015 6:12:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/1/2015 6:27:16 AM, bsh1 wrote:

As a teenager I participated in a science fair. My project was a demonstration of probability, I rolled a couple of dice 1,000 times and plotted the results on a graph. What I learned is that when there is a limited amount of outcomes, you can speculate about the probable outcomes. For example, when you flip a coin, there are two options. Heads or tails. Unfortunately this idea of limited outcomes has been applied to U.S. Politics. During elections, how often are we asked, Republican or Democrat? Left or right? liberal or conservative? Heads or tails?

Is politics as simple as heads or tails? Certainly not. It would be near impossible to find an issue where there are only two options, though we present these issues that way. Consider, pro life or pro choice. Really it is more complex than that. Within the pro life camp are those who believe that there are some circumstances that would make abortion a viable option and many who do not. Likewise within the pro choice camp are those who believe there should be limits to when an abortion should be available and there are those who do not. It is more complex then pro life or pro choice. This is true about every issue in politics. There are many more options then heads or tails.

Even more bemusing is when a person expresses that they agree or disagree with both sides. Often when a person does this, they are treated as if there is a contradiction in there positions. Political positions do not come in a package deal. Is it not possible to be pro gun rights, and pro choice? Is it not possible to be pro life and against the death penalty?

Another problem with heads or tails in the political sphere is that there do exist several political parties not just Republican and Democrat. There is the Libertarian party, the Green party, the Constitution party, and many others. There is even a Marijuana party! Aside from there being several political parties, it is very likely that there are many people who do not fit into any current political party.

How is this "heads or tails" mentality effecting our representation? In theory of course you are represented, however, just take a moment to look at current approval ratings for Congress. It is currently around 12%-16% and has been for a while.(1) Ironically the rate at which Congressmen/women get re-elected is typically over 80%.(2) This is ludicrous.

Have you ever gone to lunch and had a hard time deciding between burgers, sandwiches, or tacos? If so, I hope your political opinions are at least as complex as deciding where to go to lunch. I sincerely hope that all of us can start to take an interest in how we are governed. Politics is not a heads or tails coin toss. It is much more than that. Next time you exercise your right to vote, do not flip a coin.

(1) http://www.realclearpolitics.com...
(2) https://www.opensecrets.org...
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Contra
Posts: 3,941
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9/2/2015 2:21:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/1/2015 5:59:16 PM, imabench wrote:

Republican voters as a whole behave in a way where if GOP politicians diverge with the common beliefs of the GOP on almost any issue, then their entire character is put on trial. I dont see it that Bipartisanship fails, I see it that the GOP base are trying to drag their politicians more towards an extreme and outdated set of beliefs, not knowing that their beliefs are outdated and are dying out quickly.

I'd have to agree. I think that political analyst Ian Bremmer said it best, "Liberals too often appear to believe that every American problem has a government-driven solution. Conservatives too often advance arguments based mainly on tribal loyalty,"
"The solution [for Republicans] is to admit that Bush was a bad president, stop this racist homophobic stuff, stop trying to give most of the tax cuts to the rich, propose a real alternative to Obamacare that actually works, and propose smart free market solutions to our economic problems." - Distraff

"Americans are better off in a dynamic, free-enterprise-based economy that fosters economic growth, opportunity and upward mobility." - Paul Ryan
Praesentya
Posts: 195
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9/2/2015 5:19:56 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/1/2015 6:27:16 AM, bsh1 wrote:
I read an interesting article today about Sen. Jeff Flake, AZ, who has become extremely unpopular due to his bipartisan stances [https://www.yahoo.com...]. Particularly, he has suffered in the polls for taking too long to come out against the Iran deal. So what? Taking time to come to a decision is no crime, esp. in weighty cases like this...and he is against it anyway. Yet, the GOP in his state seems to revile him.

Bipartisanship in the U.S. seems to be faltering more and more each day. Flake's unpopularity is a superb example of this. But why is it the case? Why do you think bipartisanship fails? And, can/should it be revived?

1. In 2010, the Democrats controlled Congress, and thus redistricting after the census was reported. The Democratic Party tried to create congressional districts composed of roughly 40% registered Democrats, 30% registered Republicans, and 30% undecided, so that Democratic candidates could 'sweep' the nation year after year. In order to do that, they had to absolutely pack some districts full of Republicans and some districts full of Democrats, so the math would work out. Those districts became heavily partisan, yielding uncompromising politicians on party policy. As a Democrat, the congressional Dems in 2010 really screwed up.

I think districting should be constructed by an independent, nonpartisan agency whose intent is to make districts as balanced as possible.

2. I'm not sure if you're familiar with the primary system in California. Essentially, instead of having two primaries - one Democrat and one Republican - you have one, incorporating both parties. You also get to vote for two candidates in the primary (I think, maybe this is three, or maybe they were just discussing allowing three votes)... Anyway, the three vote system unfolds so that the very liberal and very conservative politicians don't do very well - the moderate ones do. Democrats may vote for two Democrats and one moderate Republican, while Republicans may vote for two Republicans and one moderate Democrat.

Traditionally, the primaries weed out the moderate politicians - who are more willing to compromise. In California, their primary system has the opposite effect. I think restructuring the primary voting system in this country would go a long way.

To be fair, this system is fairly new and is still under evaluation, but this is how it has played out so far.

3. Part of the problem is campaign finance. Candidates are given funding and little wiggle room when it comes to these issues.

4. As always, some politicians just want to get on TV. You don't get there by being bipartisan, you get there by calling gays 'animals' or something like that.

I think other people on this page have touched on the issues crippling bipartisanship, I just think the first two reasons I mentioned are the crux of the problem.
LawnDart
Posts: 9
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9/2/2015 7:56:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I don't understand the desire for bipartisanship. The more politicians disagree with one another, the more we win. The last thing we need is more laws. The federal government already has over 80,000 pages of them.
Praesentya
Posts: 195
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9/2/2015 8:05:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/2/2015 7:56:53 PM, LawnDart wrote:
I don't understand the desire for bipartisanship. The more politicians disagree with one another, the more we win. The last thing we need is more laws. The federal government already has over 80,000 pages of them.

The '80,000 pages' statement isn't a strong argument against future legislation, given that a good portion of any legislation is legal jargon and congressional formality.

What if new laws solve problems, or repeal bad laws, are you still opposed?

The more politicians disagree, and ultimately refuse to compromise, the more WE lose. We need the federal government to stay abreast of myriad rapidly changing issues, and respond in a preventative manner.

I do not understand how you can be universally opposed to 'laws,' good or bad. To me that constitutes an extremely limited understanding of government.
Mr_Anderson
Posts: 116
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9/2/2015 10:05:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/1/2015 6:27:16 AM, bsh1 wrote:
I read an interesting article today about Sen. Jeff Flake, AZ, who has become extremely unpopular due to his bipartisan stances [https://www.yahoo.com...]. Particularly, he has suffered in the polls for taking too long to come out against the Iran deal. So what? Taking time to come to a decision is no crime, esp. in weighty cases like this...and he is against it anyway. Yet, the GOP in his state seems to revile him.

Bipartisanship in the U.S. seems to be faltering more and more each day. Flake's unpopularity is a superb example of this. But why is it the case? Why do you think bipartisanship fails? And, can/should it be revived?

Same as what Tubolard said.

Bipartisanship puts you at odds with both parties.
Daltonian
Posts: 4,797
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9/6/2015 2:49:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/1/2015 6:27:16 AM, bsh1 wrote:
I read an interesting article today about Sen. Jeff Flake, AZ, who has become extremely unpopular due to his bipartisan stances [https://www.yahoo.com...]. Particularly, he has suffered in the polls for taking too long to come out against the Iran deal. So what? Taking time to come to a decision is no crime, esp. in weighty cases like this...and he is against it anyway. Yet, the GOP in his state seems to revile him.

Bipartisanship in the U.S. seems to be faltering more and more each day. Flake's unpopularity is a superb example of this. But why is it the case? Why do you think bipartisanship fails? And, can/should it be revived?
Bipartisanship in elected officials can only work if the majority of the electorate isn't overly partisan. Arizona isn't exactly known for being a battleground state, in that sense.

Contrast Arizona with, say, Maine, though. Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Angus King, etc. All extremely bipartisan candidates, despite the first two being Republicans (though many many people would probably call them RINOs)

Take Ohio, even, and John Kasich - contrasted with other Republican contenders, he is a moderate. Or New Jersey, and Chris Christie. That doesn't necessarily mean bipartisan, but the trend holds, and applies for other states, too. Crazy, stupid, partisan politicians come from states that have partisan voters -- states where politicians aren't forced to be reasonable or moderate to appease their electorate; where, rather, they almost need to mimic the unreasonable partisanship of the majority of the voting base.
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Daltonian
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9/6/2015 2:56:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
But yes, I'm of the strong opinion that bipartisanship is a key, fundamental tenet in governing successfully. It forces political parties to have to compromise to get anything done, whereas, in a two party system, the opposite tends to happen (an absolute, polar opposite difference in ideology creates strong senses of partisanship and destroys any hope of creating an atmosphere for cooperation). It looks wore for a partisan politician if there's more opportunity to compromise with another third party, but he/she still decides to sit firmly on their "ideals" and do nothing productive to help reach compromise within government.

Of course, there's also always the issue of vote splitting (like in Canada, where I don't think the governing Conservative Party has had over 50% approval for years), but eliminating FPTP voting and replacing it with an Instant Runoff voting system would remedy that problem.
F _ C K
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bsh1
Posts: 27,503
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9/6/2015 5:17:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/6/2015 2:49:12 PM, Daltonian wrote:
At 9/1/2015 6:27:16 AM, bsh1 wrote:
I read an interesting article today about Sen. Jeff Flake, AZ, who has become extremely unpopular due to his bipartisan stances [https://www.yahoo.com...]. Particularly, he has suffered in the polls for taking too long to come out against the Iran deal. So what? Taking time to come to a decision is no crime, esp. in weighty cases like this...and he is against it anyway. Yet, the GOP in his state seems to revile him.

Bipartisanship in the U.S. seems to be faltering more and more each day. Flake's unpopularity is a superb example of this. But why is it the case? Why do you think bipartisanship fails? And, can/should it be revived?
Bipartisanship in elected officials can only work if the majority of the electorate isn't overly partisan. Arizona isn't exactly known for being a battleground state, in that sense.

Contrast Arizona with, say, Maine, though. Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Angus King, etc. All extremely bipartisan candidates, despite the first two being Republicans (though many many people would probably call them RINOs)

Take Ohio, even, and John Kasich - contrasted with other Republican contenders, he is a moderate. Or New Jersey, and Chris Christie. That doesn't necessarily mean bipartisan, but the trend holds, and applies for other states, too. Crazy, stupid, partisan politicians come from states that have partisan voters -- states where politicians aren't forced to be reasonable or moderate to appease their electorate; where, rather, they almost need to mimic the unreasonable partisanship of the majority of the voting base.

In many ways, you're right. But, I don't think it is so simple as to say that the level of partisanship in the electorate determines the level of partisanship in the elected officials. There are always outliers, like Flake. But--more importantly--the relationship also goes in the reverse. The level of partisanship in the officials impacts the level of partisanship in the electorate. Candidates can, through their rhetoric, posturing, and their campaigning, bias electorates. And so we cannot say that the prevalence of partisan candidates is due to the level of partisan sentiment in voters, because the reason voters are so partisan is due in part to the candidates themselves. Other factors like media and human geography also contribute, not to give them short shrift, but I just think it's important to note the two-way relationship going on there.
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