Is the bi-partisan experiment finally over?
Now I appreciate as much as anyone else, the desire to see a bi-partisan comradery going on in Washington. Lions laying down with the lambs and all of that. Heaven comes to the Beltway.
But it is a fantasy, and I was afraid Obama might have been expecting way too much too soon. After all, in order for there to be a ‘bi-partisanship’ going on, the other side has to want to be part of it. Republicans have no intention of cooperating with anything this Administration or the current leadership in Congress has going on. Even if it means that the country will suffer for the short term, they would rather see it suffer than to make it appear that Obama and his counterparts in Congress were succeeding.
For Republicans, it isn’t Country First, as the quaint McCain campaign slogan suggesteed, it is all about who is in power. Never mind that the past twenty-eight years of Reagan’s social and economic experiments have failed miserably and have put this nation in probably one of the worst disasters in its history. Never mind that the past eight years of complete Republican malfeasance has done more damage to our economy than ten WTC-size attacks any terrorist could do. (maybe THAT is why Al Qaeda hasn’t bothered to attack us since the first attack — Bush and his merry band of Republicans were doing far more damage than any terrorist attack could possibly do.)
We have clownshoes like Mitch McChinnless who compains that the Democratic Stimulus bill is NOT a stimulus at all, but a spending bill.
President Obama had this to say:
“What do you think a stimulus bill is? That’s the point.“
Instead, Republicans want to continue pushing their tax-cut agenda as the way to ‘stimulate’ the economy. The thing is, they don’t want to give a tax break to those who could really use the money, they only want to hand it out to those making the top one percent of the income in this country.
I heard a Conservative complaining the other day that people who don’t pay taxes would see money back in the Democratic version of the stimulus.
It made me want to reach across cyberspace and bitch-slap him. Just because someone doesn’t pay taxes on April 15th, doesn’t mean that they don’t get money taken out of their paycheck for the government to hold. That is a TAX, and it is money that the government is using — interest free — when the poor schlub who earned that money has to wait a year for the government to give it back to him. How ’bout the government not take it from him at all?
Obama gave a pep talk to Democrats last night and here is part of what he said. He needs to say it over and over again:
“Don’t come to the table with the same tired arguments and worn ideas that helped to create this crisis.
“We’re not going to get relief by turning back to the very same policies that, for the last eight years, doubled the national debt and threw our economy into a tailspin. We can’t embrace the losing formula that says only tax cuts will work for every problem we face, that ignores critical challenges like our addiction to foreign oil, or the soaring cost of health care, or failing schools and crumbling bridges and roads and levees.”
“I don’t care whether you’re driving a hybrid or an SUV — if you’re headed for a cliff, you’ve got to change direction.”
“We’re not moving quickly because we’re trying to jam something down people’s throats. We’re moving quickly because if we don’t, the economy’s going to keep getting worse.”
Obama rejected calls for more tax cuts and significant slashing of the bill’s more than $800 billion price tag, and said complaints the package was a spending bill rather than a stimulus bill were off base.
“What do you think a stimulus bill is? That’s the point.”
To critics who argue that the government shouldn’t be spending billions with a large and growing deficit:
“I found this national debt doubled, wrapped in a big bow waiting for me as I stepped into the Oval Office.”
“The American people called for change in November, and that’s what we’re going to deliver.”
“They did not send us here to get bogged down with the same old delay, the same old distractions, the same talking points, the same cable chatter. They did not vote for the false theories of the past, and they didn’t vote for phony arguments and petty politics, and they did not vote for the status quo.”
Here is my suggestion (and I have said it several times before):
Freeze the bill as-is right now and submit it for an up or down vote. If the Republicans choose to filibuster, then MAKE THEM FILIBUSTER, UNTIL THEY GET TIRED. I mean, up until now the Democrats have been predictable: the Republicans only have to make a noise indicating that they might filibuster and the Dems back down, tail betwixt their legs. So far the Republicans don’t really have to do anything and they make the Dems look ineffective and weak.
WE WON THE ELECTION BY A LARGE MARGIN ACROSS THE BOARD!
That usually means that WE get to drive the car, and if the passengers don’t like where we are going, they can either shut up or get out of the car. It is exactly how the Republicans did it when they were in power.
If there is a filibuster, I want to see them going on with it. No breaks, no time outs. I want to see exhaustion, maybe a collapse or two. Most of all I want the public to see who it is that is standing in the way between them and a possible economic recovery.