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The End of Bipartisanship as We Know It

January 28, 2009

Now we know what M Obama means when he says “bipartisanship“. It means that Republicans vote for whatever bill the Democrats want, even if it is contrary to everything the GOP believes in and stands (or should stand) for:

In his first visit to the Capitol since his swearing-in, Mr. Obama evoked Ronald Reagan in asking Republicans to put aside partisan goals and vote for the economic stimulus bill.

That’s a shrewd way of attacking Republicans for resisting a bill that is little more than a record-setting pork monster to finance the Democrats’ agenda. By telling the GOP that they indulge in partisanship if they don’t vote for this so-called stimulus bill, Obama has conveniently redefined “bipartisanship” in a way that allows him to ignore the Republicans while claiming that he has extended his hand to them in a truly bipartisan manner but that they rejected his generous gesture.

The GOP was hardly involved in forming the so-called stimulus bill. Democrats argued that their colleagues from the other side of the aisle had opportunities to make suggestions and that the tax cuts which are part of the package were included as a bow to the GOP’s wishes. But it is obvious that, no matter how much Republicans were able to propose amendments to the bill, the entire thing wouldn’t look any different if the Democrats were the only existing party. (Even Pelosi’s contraceptives might have gotten postponed for the next pork fest without the help of the Republicans.)

Republicans have many good reasons to oppose Obama’s economic plan, non of which betrays the mandate they have as elected officials. Yet M Obama suggests the contrary, even though he doesn’t even need the GOP to get his bill through Congress. Is this because his ego suffers when his ideas don’t get praise from everybody or because he thinks he can fool voters by saying that he tried a “bipartisan” approach but that Republicans refused to play along? This could serve him as an excuse to openly marginalise Republicans in the future.

As the President has pointed out clearly himself a few days ago, “[he] won”, so if he wants to do business while elbowing pesky Republicans, let him do it. But presenting a bill in front of the GOP that is a product exlusively of his own party and then to call Republicans partisan for opposing it speaks of a base character.

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