Michael Dobie Michael Dobie is a member of the Newsday

Michael Dobie is a member of the Newsday editorial board.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. In Washington, you only win when the other side loses.

That’s how last week started. Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate agreed on a budget deal that had something for everyone. Both sides got, both sides gave. It was greeted, correctly, as a bipartisan deal.

That lasted precisely as long as it takes for an elected official to find a TV camera.

Instead of reveling in their cooperation, each party claimed victory — for what the other didn’t get.

Democrats gloated about blocking President Donald Trump’s agenda, Republicans crowed about busting the unwritten rule that every new dollar for defense must be matched by a new dollar of nonmilitary spending, and Trump became so agitated at the Democrats’ victory lap that he yearned on Twitter for a government shutdown when the next budget is negotiated in September.

And the gossamer of collaboration was vaporized.

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This is not new. But Washington’s partisanship has worsened over time. Demanding that the other side lose is part of obstructionism, a time-honored strategy ratcheted up in the Bill Clinton years, and elevated to art by both parties during the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Now it’s the Democrats’ turn. And I get that it feels good. I get that it’s cathartic. I get that after Merrick Garland and dozens of repeal Obamacare votes and an endless string of no-no-no and the ascension of Trump, it’s the left that’s now frothing, emotions raw.

But somebody has to be the bigger person at some point.

Because the alternative is that you obstruct and retake control, they obstruct and retake control, and then what?

No problems ever really get addressed. No warts ever are fixed. No infrastructure plan is launched. No fair tax reform occurs. No improved health care plan gets passed.

Ah, health care, the end of last week — when the House delivered a travesty of a bill that violates the Hippocratic oath by inflicting harm far and wide, especially to Trump’s own base.

Now the expectation on both sides is that the Senate will fix it. Oops. Republicans in the supposedly more deliberative chamber are talking about using a process that will require only 50 votes for passage rather than the usual 60, meaning they will need no Democrats. And Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says Democrats are determined to block any repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Are we destined for a repeat of the House debacle?

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Make sure the other side loses, then campaign on that. It’s become the Washington way. And it stinks.

We regular folks aren’t much better, arguing about who really represents and really loves America, and who doesn’t. We all do, and we’re always at our best when we minimize our differences and work together. And we’re at our worst when we magnify those differences and separate ourselves.

That’s true in Washington, in our state capitals, in our town halls and in our own communities.

The truth is that there are good and bad ideas on both sides. Dialogue has a way of elevating the former and rejecting the latter.

Remember the classic Warner Bros. cartoon “Duck Dodgers in the 24 1⁄2th Century”? Daffy Duck and his rival Marvin the Martian both claim Planet X, the universe’s only remaining source of a rare element. The enemies ramp up their words and actions until each employs his ultimate weapon simultaneously, blowing the planet to smithereens, each left trying to stand on the shard that remains.

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“As I was saying, buster, this planet ain’t big enough for the two of us,” Daffy tells Marvin.

Sometimes you win and lose.

Michael Dobie is a member of Newsday’s editorial board.