The Bipartisan Tango
The Washington air is filled with fake piety as Republican survivors of 2008 try to feign amity with a popular president and vote against him by making villains out of Congressional Democrats.
In the House, they lined up unanimously against the stimulus bill, despite more schmoozing with Barack Obama than any recent president, while blaming Nancy Pelosi for their disaffection.
Pointing out Obama’s belief that “economic recovery is about psychology as well as money and that Americans will have more confidence in the future if they see the nation’s politicians cooperating to resolve the crisis,” E. J. Dionne Jr. notes in the Washington Post:
“If achieving bipartisanship takes priority over the actual content of policy, Republicans are handed a powerful weapon. In theory, they can keep moving the bipartisan bar indefinitely. And each concession to their sensibilities threatens the solidarity in the president’s own camp.”
The test will come this week in the Senate, where the bipartisan tango will be less robotic as real bargaining begins.