For us, we know no different. He could just as well be rolling logs, eating pancakes, or log jamming ... we do not know how the world of politics spins about, after all, He was supposed to be DIFFERENT, bring CHANGE, a different attitude, a different world to what was full of bile and loathing ... yet the same efforts continue, and I promise anyone who wishes to watch - the SAME (or more) influence pedaling, same offering of funds for your district, the same ... NOT CHANGE.
What Obama can do is say: I want to work with Republicans, I stretch out my hand, I have included one of them in my cabinet (and he paid his taxes) ... but they, the mean Republicans refuse to be bipartisan.
Isn't it brilliant what politics can do for you. He doesn't need to REALLY extend his hand, half-hearted, while he grins and says 'Get Over It, I Won' - that is enough. Then he goes on the radio and says he tried. he worked with the Republicans and they refused. Bad Retardicans. Bad Americans. They refuse to get on board.
Gotta love it. All that change.
Is Obama's post-partisan politics dead on arrival?
Feb 1, 2009
After Barack Obama's first big win, the White House finds itself in the odd position of denying the new president has absorbed a power-sapping defeat.
In the first test of Obama's vow to drain the bile from Washington politics and govern without the bitterness of the last two decades, the president appealed to Republicans to get behind his massive economic stimulus package.
The Democratic president plied Republican leaders with cocktails, sent out invites to a White House Super Bowl party and even made a rare presidential foray to Congress to woo the other side.
But when the 819-billion-dollar package came up in the House of Representatives last week, not a single Republican voted yes.
This week, the Senate gets its chance, and undaunted, Obama is again on the hunt for Republican votes.
"I will continue working with both parties so that the strongest possible bill gets to my desk," he told Americans in his weekly radio and video address on Saturday.
"With the stakes so high we simply cannot afford the same old gridlock and partisan posturing in Washington. It's time to move in a new direction."
But does Obama have any grounds to hope that Republican senators will look more kindly on the bill than their House counterparts, and could a failed bipartisan approach drain presidential prestige and political capital?
Professor Steven Smith, a congressional expert at Washington University in St. Louis, said that even without winning Republican support, Obama may please American voters tired with the partisan games in Washington.
"He probably wins credit with the public for his strategy of reaching out to the Republicans -- the fact that they didn't respond with some votes did not detract from that effort," Smith said.
Republicans in the House had sound political reasons to obey their leadership and vote against the stimulus package.
They complain that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats did not get Obama's memo about bipartisanship and claim they were shut out of framing a bill they say features unnecessary spending and insufficient tax cuts.
Also, if Obama's stimulus works and revives the reeling economy, they would be unlikely to get any credit even if they voted for it -- by opposing the measure they can at least expect some political gain if it fails.
Senators tend to be less radical than House members, as their six-year terms can shield them from immediate voter backlash, so Obama can expect a more favorable reception for his plan.
He may also win favor from Republicans from states which he won in last November's elections.
Those lawmakers, with one eye of voters back home, may be loath to go against the popular new president.
One of those Senators, Judd Gregg from New Hampshire said Friday he is in fact in the running to become Obama's commerce secretary -- a tempting offer that would spare him a tough reelection fight in 2010.
But beyond a handful of wavering senators, there now seems little hope that the Obama plan will capture the 80 or so votes in the 100-seat Senate that some supporters had once targeted.
The president, while welcoming the House passage of the stimulus plan, said he was willing to "improve" the package -- code for amendments that could draw some Republicans when the final merged bill returns to the House.
But Smith said, Obama's hopes for an new era of bipartisan government may be thwarted by simple political realities in Washington.
"The plain fact is that there are very few Republicans that are located in the political space to the left of any Democrats," he said.
"If you look at the US Senate, there are very few Democrats who are to the right of any Republicans."
Obama will likely continue to try to forge bipartisan compromises, partly to lessen his dependence on radical members of his own Democratic Party in the House -- and may peel away Republican voter on some key agenda items.
But while his attitude may improve the atmosphere in Washington, any hopes of large numbers of Republicans deserting their party banner seem unlikely to be fulfilled.