Thursday, January 29, 2009


Obama is getting hammered by the press for failing to achieve 'bipartisanship' in his stimulus bill. But why should anyone be surprised? The Republicans in Congress have shrunk to numbers that haven't been seen in quite a while, and Democrats enjoy fairly comfortable majorities in both houses (though not a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate). Even without one Republican vote, the President will be able to pass his legislation.

It is a fact that the Republicans are now a fairly cohesive, ideologically unified group, with few liberals or dissenters in their midst. So why should they vote for 'the enemy?' Sure, they will try to get the President to compromise, but unless they get their way in total, they're not going to vote for Obama's legislation and give him that kind of victory. No way.

And that's fine. The President has made a considerable effort to listen to the Republicans and to alter the legislation in such a way as to eliminate some items that particularly stick in the Republican craw. And he should continue to do that in order to show that he is a breath of fresh air in that regard, compared to his non-listening, non-compromising predecessor. But he is not obligated to give up his proposals just to please them. Civility, yes. Capitulation, no.

As he said to them as one point, 'I won.' Yes, he did.

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