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Posted by on Feb 2, 2009 in Economy, Politics | 2 comments

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.

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Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice
  • JSpencer

    I think anyone who has followed politics with a fair level of interest over the past couple decades realizes (whether or not they choose to admit it) that democrats are generally more inclined toward a willingness to make nicey nicey than are republicans. I also believe it’s very easy (post Clinton witchhunting of the 90s and post Bush II) to view that greater disposition on the part of the dems as a weakness or liability. In this case, however, I think Obama’s interest in bipartisanship is based on the knowledge that it can be a powerful tool for his administration. If he struck me as a naive person, then I might worry more about republicans grabbing the bar and trying to move it (which of course they will try to do) but I don’t think there is anything about this reaching out that is soft or naive. If the republicans respond to a genuine willingness to include them in the process by trying to take advantage in some less than well intentioned way, then I wouldn’t be surprised to see them sitting on the outside again in short order. It sure would be great though to see both parties working TOGETHER in common cause for the COUNTRY AS A WHOLE though eh? What a crazy concept!!!

  • kritt11

    The Republicans know that they will offend their base if they are seen as working in a bipartisan way with Democrats.

    McCain was vilified by some of his own party for working with Feingold and Kennedy when he was seeking the Republican nomination. He is now viewed by some as a traitor for finding common ground with Obama on several issues.

    Obama is right about Americans’ confidence in a recovery, and he has actually taken solid steps towards bipartisanship— it is now up to Republicans to decide if they will spend the next 4 years obstructing er standing by their “principles”, LOL.

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