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Today's Akron Beacon Journal opinion page features David Broder's piece entitled, "Bipartisanship? Gotta have it". It's a typical Broder column where he mind-chases an invisible center in America.
The critics agree that the effort at bipartisanship should end.
I hope Obama isn't listening. It's the worst advice he has received.
....had Obama not negotiated successfully with Republican Sens. Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Arlen Specter and met most of their terms, his bill would have died. This was a success for bipartisanship, not a failure. Link
David Broder is very Serious and very Experienced inside the Beltway of Washington D.C.
He regards the crossover of three moderate Republican senators from states who voted overwhelmingly for Obama last November as "bipartisanship". The 3 GOP crossover votes came fully equipped with dilution, and thus a weakening, of the Democratic stimulus package, something which Broder sees as a good thing, because after all, bipartisanship to Broder, doesn't have anything to do with what's best for the country.
Of course, every one else outside the Beltway of D.C. understands that Arlen Specter is up for re-election in 2010 and risks losing if he doesn't follow Pennsylvania voters wishes. The two Maine senators, Collins and Snowe, are basically conservative Democrats from a Democratic state.
Those three, often called RINO's, Republican in name only, by the more ridgid Republicans, in voting for Obama's stimulus, weren't acting all bipartisan, like Broder insists. They were saving their own political asses.
Bipartisanship to Republicans, as I posted a couple weeks back, means that the minority gets it's way, if that minority is Republican. Simple as that. Republicans whined and moaned and bitched during the stimulus discussion period, the corporate media were there to copy down every whine, moan and bitch.....and then give unquestioning support to those whines, moans and bitches.
To this day, main media still claims victory for Republicans in remaining in lockstep against Obama's recovery bill. Part of some invisible and untenable Republican comeback. Talk about bias and wishful thinking colliding. And while teevee, print and radio media talks up this "win" for the GOP, they simultaneously call the passage of the stimulus as a loss for Obama, a black eye, a blow to Obama's bipartisanship hopes.
All major polling, naturally, demonstrates that Broder's media darlings are all completely full of sh*t....but they must marshal on....as Broder does in his "bipartisanship" nonsense.
The reason Al Franken's(D-MN) seating is being delayed, the reason Roland Burris(D-IL) is being savaged for what every politician does every minute of the day, is because the seating of Franken and the permanency of Burris gives Senate Democrats 59 seats. One short of being filibuster proof.
As Frank Rich said on the Rachel Maddow show last night......the only way for Obama to move his agenda forward in a time when David Broder style bipartisanship rules....minority gets what they want......is to get 60 or more Democratic Senators. Then, for all intents and purposes, the Republicans can no longer obstruct and defy the will of the American people through threat of filibuster.
What that means going forward is this: Obama will continue to do exactly as he has been doing, extending his hand and ear to Republicans, and pointing to failures to negotiate in good faith as being part of the failed politics of the past. Obama will go to the people when necessary, who, thus far, are resoundingly favorable to his presidency.
Republicans will continue to make noise, shake the dead bones of a dead political party, and obstruct everything they can. Main media will continue to be amazed at the resilience and toughness and potential rebirth of the hopelessly failed political party of Lincoln.
Then in the 2010 election, Republicans will be relegated to hat-rack status, richly earned, and Democrats, by gaining a few more seats in the Senate...Ohio, New Hampshire, Florida, perhaps....will end the threat of Republican obstructionism by filibuster. Obama will then take the country in a more progressive direction, be re-elected in 2012, and render the modern GOP totally insignificant on the national scene.
All of what I just described has nothing to do with bipartisanship. What Americans want is decisive action.....change. Americans don't care if both sides equally get what they want. It isn't all about the political parties, like David Broder so ignorantly suggests. It's about the nation.
Having lost big in two consecutive elections, Republicans are rushing hellbent over the cliff leading up to the 2010 elections. After that election, their irrelevance mission completed, the GOP can either reform itself or become a sad footnote in the history books.