First the GOP insists that school children be kept away from the President (on tv) like he's some kind of damn sex offender. Now this. Complete and total disrespect for the office of the presidency when it is held by a Democrat. Why am I even surprised?
It's fine to make Rush Limbaugh the de facto head of the Republican Party via surrogates, but his name should NEVER AGAIN cross President Obama's lips, in my opinion. If Obama simply continues to focus on improving the lives of middle-class Americans--and Limbaugh is forced to stake his ground on the extreme fringe of the right-wing--everything will take care of itself.
Gov. Jindal's line about how health care decisions should be made by patients and doctors--and not government bureaucrats--definitely made me think of this:
In the absence of a living will, DeLay argued, Schiavo's spouse couldn't legally vouch for her wishes, as DeLay's mother had done--on less apparent basis--for DeLay's father. When a reporter noted that "Terri Schiavo's husband has said that she expressed a verbal desire that she not continue in this sort of state," DeLay replied, "The sanctity of life overshadows the sanctity of marriage. I don't know what transpired between Terri and her husband. All I know is Terri is alive. ... And unless she had specifically written instructions in her hand and with her signature, I don't care what her husband says."
A day later, DeLay told reporters that Congress had to intervene rather than "take it from just a few people that have decided whether she lives or dies. For one person in one state court to make this decision is too heavy. That's why it does take all of us to think this through, think about the Constitution and its protection of life."
Republicans have absolutely no moral authority to be lecturing Americans on this issue. None.
As at the national level, we're seeing here in California that, contrary to the post-partisan boosterism of Arnold, Obama and the Villagers, that the marginalization of the obstructionist minority is the only path to progress.
Unfortunately, this still doesn't change the fact that Pres. Obama will still need at least one, probably two, Republicans from the Senate to get any legislation passed at all. So he's gonna have to play nice a little bit.
If Obama accepts this slightly compromised Stimulus Bill the media will still depict it as a big victory for Obama, despite the fact that he didn't get everything he wanted. Chuck Todd is already doing that. This wave of good press will give Obama the fuel he needs for the next battle, whatever it may be.
And the best part of all would be this: Since the public will mostly credit or blame the Stimulus Bill for whatever happens in the economy from here on out the Democrats will be the political party rooting for success and the Republicans will be rooting for failure. Wouldn't it be great to paint the Republicans into that corner?
I don't think Paul Krugman fully understands that the GOP doesn't care if the Stimulus Bill fails and the economy gets much much worse because they know that they will be the beneficiaries of such an outcome--since the voters will blame Obama and the Democrats. Never mind the fact that it was GOP obstructionism that exacerbated an already bad situation. I think Obama should probably take what he can get here and move on to the next battle.
The Republicans have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain by opposing Obama, no matter what his plans may be.
I think the lesson for Obama and the Democrats going forward is to make sure that their bills are absolutely bullet-proof. What I mean by this is that there should never be anything included that can be mocked and ridiculed by Republicans on tv.
The Obama Administration should hire someone with really good instincts, like Josh Marshall, and tell him to find the things that can be easily mocked on tv, and are not reasonably defensible, and take them out.
Looks like these so-called "centrists" in the Senate are going to be calling the shots for a while. We need to get Al Franken into the Senate ASAFP, and pray for Ted Kennedy to start feeling better soon.
Can someone please explain to me: Realistically, what would happen if Harry Reid called the Republicans' bluff and actually forced them to go through with a real "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" filibuster? Would it be easy to pull off? Would they spend the whole time talking about contraceptives? Would the public see them as obstructionist? And when was the last time an actual, real filibuster happened?
I'm trying to understand, what is Harry Reid afraid of exactly? There must be some reason why he thinks forcing Republicans to actually filibuster will backfire.
The only silver lining I can find here is that whoever replaces Judd Gregg for the next two years is likely to be a much weaker candidate than Gregg was, with much less name recognition obviously, and is likely to lose to a strong Democratic opponent.
Who knows? Maybe Obama's taking the really long view here.