Posted by: Randy Allgaier | February 20, 2009

Bipartisanship! Note to GOP: By definition- Obama can’t do it alone

In the aftermath of one of the worst routs ever, which followed shortly after one of the worst regulatory failures ever, which was followed by what is looking more and more like a massive recession, Obama took the country’s reins and invited the Republicans in. From calling upon Pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration to visiting the opposition party on Capitol Hill to a bipartisan SuperBowl party, Washington D.C. hasn’t seen a cooperative, inclusive approach to the Chief Executive’s Office such as this since before I was born.

Instead of welcoming such inclusion, the GOP has stuck to tired old political games and attacks designed to ensure that anything accomplished by Obama or the Democratic Party ends in abject failure, no matter what the cost to the country and no matter what the cost to working Americans. These Republican jokers have no clue how to govern or cooperate an iota unless they’re running the show. They have no taste and even less grace.

Even Andy Card can’t find anything better to do than criticize Obama for taking his suit coat off in the oval office. Talk about a generation gap. While the rest of us worry if we will see our next paycheck and wonder whether our kids will be able to go to college, Card is obsessed with the “symbolism” of dressing down at work.

Not all that long ago, when they were in the majority, these GOP whined and moaned like four-year-olds that they weren’t getting “up or down” votes on judges. Now, however, that they are in the minority, Republicans can’t release their white-knuckled grasp on the filibuster, abandoning bipartisanship at every turn to prevent any progress on anything. Their current hope is to kill any stimulus plan by holding Dems to one or two votes shy of 60, while complaining that there isn’t enough focus on home values and foreclosures. Yes, the same home values and foreclosures that Republicans weren’t interested in including in any of the bills they wanted passed just a few short months ago.

From Rush Limbaugh’s “I hope he fails” gaffe to the re-working of a bill on children’s health benefits while Republicans were on a junket to California, these jackasses just don’t get it. The country handed the Republican Party its hat, and asked it not to let the door hit it in the ass on the way out. It’s time to put up or shut up. If the Republican Party can’t effectively advocate for its ever diminishing power base by cooperating, then Democrats ought to rise up and shut them out of the process just like Republicans did to Democrats not all that long ago.

It’s sad and pathetic that these old dogs can’t be taught new tricks, but then again, it’s sad and pathetic to hear a bunch of grown men whining and complaining that they have to face the consequences of their failed policies, divisive partisan politics, and actually be accountable for their own lack of results, all the while lamenting the fact that Obama isn’t wearing a tie.

When it comes to legislating, Democrats and independents make up the majority. It’s time for Republicans to either step up and make a positive contribution or step aside and let others govern. In fact, I think it’s time that Obama consider taking a step back from the stimulus bill and placing it in Republicans’ laps. If they don’t want to sign on to what Democratic, Republican and independent economists think we should do, then perhaps we ought to do nothing, see what happens, and then let these Republican obstructionists explain to everyone why it is they filibustered the bill that was passed the House and would had majority support in the Senate.

Criticism isn’t going to get the job done, and we all know it. Cooperation is. Sending Card to tell Obama to wear his suit jacket at this point in our nation’s history is embarrassing. Limbaugh telling his listeners he wants Obama to fail is a disgrace.

It look less than one month into Democrat Barack Obama’s presidency for the defeated Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, and fellow members of his political party in Washington to become consumed with bitterness. Over the weekend they were insisting that Obama had backed off his campaign promise to forge bipartisan compromises.
Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Obama administration bent over backward to meet with Republican congressional leaders and to elicit their input on the massive economic stimulus package.

The bill signed on Tuesday by the president is expected to save or create millions of jobs, shore up state budgets, fix roads and bridges and provide much-needed funding for education. There is also a generous array of tax cuts for businesses as well as for middle-class workers, something that should please all Republicans.

That only three Republicans in the Senate and none in the House voted for the stimulus bill was not Obama’s fault. Their intransigence shows they are neither ready nor willing to admit that Republican policies during the past decade were wrong. Indeed, it was Republicans, led by President George W. Bush and their antipathy toward government regulation, who got us into the economic jam we find ourselves in today.

Yet McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., whined in separate televised interviews that Obama turned his back on bipartisanship. McCain told CNN: “It was a bad beginning because it wasn’t what we promised the American people … President Obama promised the American people that we would sit down together.”

Graham said on ABC’s “This Week”: “I know bipartisanship when I see it … There’s nothing about this process that’s been bipartisan.”

Bipartisanship involves working together in an effort to forge common ground but it should not automatically give Republicans, as the minority party, power equal to that of the majority Democrats.
Two of the moderate Republicans who voted for the stimulus package, Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, were smart enough to realize that. As The Washington Post reported Monday, their clout as potential swing voters is going to make their sparsely populated state “a force to be reckoned with on the national stage.”

If the GOP keeps it up, they will progress toward permanent minority status and a regional party of Appalachia. Isn’t it the height of irony that the party of Lincoln has turned into the party of the Confederacy?


  1. […] Bipartisanship! Note to GOP: By definition- Obama can’t do it b…/b […]

  2. I always love to hear from Liberals and Democrats that the GOP is not acting in a bipartisan way. While completely absolving their parties for acting in the same way. We hear “but but they are just standing up for what they believe in” well what do you think the GOP is doing? When the stimulus bill passed not one member of the house or senate read the bill. Effective leadership – I don’t think so!

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