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Obama Struggles Against Partisan GOP

Some “new analysis” from those opinion makers at the New York Times:

Republican Senator Arlen Specter (L) and Republican Senator Susan Collins leave a meeting in the offices of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the US Capitol in Washington, DC.

With Stimulus, Partisanship Proves a Worthy Foe

By JACKIE CALMES
Published: February 6, 2009

WASHINGTON — With the Senate on track to pass its version of the economic stimulus legislation, President Obama is widely expected to win final Congressional approval of the plan soon, and thus make good on an assortment of his campaign promises. But in the process, he is confronting the impediments to his most ambitious pledge: to end the capital’s partisan warfare.

Mr. Obama has been frustrated by an array of forces, from an often bitter and personal history of partisanship on Capitol Hill to the near-extinction of Republican moderates in the House to the deep ideological gulf between the parties on economic policy. And as his aspiration of putting aside petty politics has met the necessity of winning legislative votes — no more than two or three Senate Republicans are expected to support him, which is two or three more than did so in the House — he has gone through a public evolution that has left him showing sharper edges when it comes to the ways of Washington.

Frustrated that debate over the bill was being dominated by Republicans’ criticism, and that his overtures had yielded little in the way of support from across the aisle, the president who began the week hosting Republicans for a Super Bowl party had by Friday switched to publicly pressuring them, and rallying fellow Democrats, with a hard-line message about his unwillingness to compromise his priorities.

Mr. Obama seized on Friday’s worse-than-expected jobless numbers to criticize the Senate impasse as Republicans withheld the few votes he needs.

“It is inexcusable and irresponsible to get bogged down in distraction and delay while millions of Americans are being put out of work,” he said. Americans, he added, did not want lawmakers “to turn back to the same tried and failed approaches that were rejected in the last election.”

His comments came on Day 3 of Mr. Obama’s counteroffensive. As the Senate debated the package this week, he initially stayed above the fray, giving Republicans leeway to add tax breaks and hoping their support for the overall plan would follow. When it did not, he began speaking out on Wednesday, even as he privately kept reaching out to a few Republicans: including, unsuccessfully, Senator John McCain of Arizona.

White House aides say that Mr. Obama will continue reaching out, but that bipartisanship should not be measured simply by how many Republican votes the final product gets. The president is “not alarmed” by the dearth of Republican support so far, said Daniel H. Pfeiffer, the deputy White House communications director. “There’s a long process of building trust here.”

That process inevitably raised questions of whether Mr. Obama’s reaching out was more style than substance. He has hosted individual Republicans at the White House for cocktails and talks in the Oval Office, and last week made his first trip to the Capitol as president to meet with all House and Senate Republicans, overtures that won him points for style.

But the president made plain from the start that he would go only so far in altering an economic plan that embodies much of the agenda that helped get him elected. He told House Republicans, for example, that he would not back down from his proposal that a middle-class tax credit should also go to workers who earn too little to pay income taxes but who do pay payroll taxes. Most Republicans oppose that.

Mr. Obama has made some substantive concessions. He called for more tax cuts than many Democrats favored, and agreed to Republicans’ proposals for others: adjusting the alternative minimum tax, letting ailing companies deduct current losses against past years’ profits, giving a $15,000 tax credit to people who buy homes. He also pressed Congressional Democrats to delete some provisions after Republicans mocked them..

“His problem is not his administration. It is the institutional forces around here that have been built up over the years,” Senator Judd Gregg, Republican of New Hampshire, said before Mr. Obama chose him to be commerce secretary.

Those forces are several. First, while Mr. Obama is a relative novice to Washington, Democrats and Republicans in Congress have memories of partisan wars going back to Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Partisan habits in Congress are hard to break, and perhaps impossible in the House given its makeup.

Already, House Democrats are becoming increasingly grudging in their acquiescence toward Mr. Obama’s outreach, underscoring the balancing act the president faces. He must make concessions to Republicans without angering Democrats not only in Congress but also among bloggers and grass-roots groups that worked so hard for his election.

When not a single Republican voted for the House package last week, House Democrats basically told administration officials, “I told you so.” Both chambers have fewer of the centrist Republicans that typically cut deals, a consequence of Democrats’ election gains in 2006 and 2008. In the Senate, many Republicans are recent House graduates, more ideologically conservative than the Republicans they replaced and schooled in the House’s more confrontational ways.

After eight years under President George W. Bush, six of them with Republicans in control of Congress, Democrats have pent-up demands for domestic spending that they believe the election validated. Republicans, for their part, interpreted their defeats as a sign that they were not conservative enough in opposing spending and pushing tax cuts.

“In the end, the Republicans will decide based on politics alone, and he might not get very far,” Robert D. Reischauer, president of the Urban Institute, a Washington research group, said of Mr. Obama. “But I think he’s making a significant impression with the American public that he is following through on his promise to try and be as bipartisan as he can.”

This article is straight out of the Democrat Party playbook.

The DNC’s lickspittle slaveys at the New York Times and the rest of our one party media trot out the bogeyman of partisanship whenever things aren’t going exactly their way.

If Republicans do not vote whole-heartedly for any and all Democrat initiatives without question, then they are being recalcitrant, obstreperous – partisan.

Meanwhile, the selfsame Democrats who refuse to even consider any meaningful Republican amendments are never called partisan. After all, they are just trying to do good.

Similarly, it only takes one or two votes from those sainted “moderate” Republicans, such as the socialist Susan Collins or the addled Arlen Specter to give any Democrat poison pill the fig leaf of bi-partisan support.

Something which always comes in handy if there is any trouble with the consequences of said bill down the road.

But in the process, [Mr. Obama] is confronting the impediments to his most ambitious pledge: to end the capital’s partisan warfare.

Maybe Mr. Obama could overcome some of these impediments in himself. He could start by refraining from meeting every Republican question or suggestion with variations on his taunt: “I won.”

But the president made plain from the start that he would go only so far in altering an economic plan that embodies much of the agenda that helped get him elected.

Wasn’t one of the very few specifics in Mr. Obama’s purposefully vague campaign a tax cut for 95% of Americans?

Where is any sign of that in the $1 trillion dollar stimulus bill?

Funny how that central theme is now completely forgotten by him and his media minions.

Of course as we have previously noted, Mr. Obama has been one of the most partisan politicians to ever blight the political landscape.

During his brief stint in the US Senate his party line votes put him ahead of Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy and even Harry Reid.

Mr. Obama’s pretense of bi-partisanship is one of the biggest lies of his political career. And that is saying something.

What he wants is for everyone else to get beyond their foolish ideology – and accept his.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, February 7th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Obama Struggles Against Partisan GOP”

  1. wardmama4 says:

    How many Dem Senators are against this? Can/Does anyone know? Has anyone in the msm even reported on this, at all? There were 11 (yeah, I know not a windfall, but at least they had guts to go against The Party) in the House. So you see other than not being willing to stand with their peers – Collins & Specter may be needed simply to get the Generational Theft Act of 2009 passed!

    BTW, how come no one is calling The One ™ – or at least reminding him – of his pledge/promise/statement that there would be no earmarks in this bill?

    And to take our minds off this mindnumbing babble – how come no one in the msm is addressing this extremely important campaign promise that The One ™ has not fulfilled – to get his daughters a dog? As President-Elect (from his Special Office of the President-Elect, in front of his Special Seal of the Special Office of the President-Elect he promised to have the dog by the end of January. Where is the msm on this so important promise that has gone unfulfilled?

    Oh the horror of The One’s ™ awful and duplicitious administration – refusing to keep campaign promises. What shall we do?!?

  2. pdsand says:

    I do pray dear father is able to dissuade that blasted Brotherhood of their thoughtcrimes. Two minutes hate everyone!

  3. Reality Bytes says:

    Barbara Boxer standing on the floor today (she was standing wasn’t she?), – paraphrasing, “we have to do this.” RB note to Washington, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING – YOU’RE PASSING LAWS FORCING US & OUR CHILDREN TO FUND THE LARGEST GOVERNMENT EXPANSION IN WORLD HISTORY!!!

    I bet Bernie Madoff is marveling at how Congress & The President can get away with such a scheme – all the while with the press in tow.

  4. pdsand says:

    Ahh the age old liberal media formula:
    party line votes from the left? Patriotic dissent of the order that would bring a sudden flood of tears from a bronze statue of thomas jefferson.
    party line votes from the right? bitter partisanship and bickering.

  5. Reality Bytes says:

    Our National Symbol, The American Eagle has been replaced. As of today, it is the Capon…

  6. Confucius says:

    I think Obama is learning he needs to put a little skin in the game. And skin color isn’t enough.

  7. Confucius says:

    Dear Obama,

    How does it feel? Now you know a little of what Bush had to deal with.

    Can you imagine if both the House and Senate weren’t controlled by Democrats? Then you’d really know what Bush had to deal with.

    So, deal with it. Maybe even show a little class.


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