Now that predictably the Republican Right has publicly chumped Obama, his administration, and most importantly the American people (i.e. the rest of us) in the most lewd, crude, and contemptuous manner possible maybe now Barack will finally grow some political cojones and move far away from genuflecting before the maniacal rightwing PIMPMOBILE in the highly compromised name of "cooperation." It's way past time now for all of us to finally face down these greedy rightwing criminals, hustlers, and thieves masquerading as a legitimate political party and openly fight for social, economic, and political justice (and the real power to determine the course of our own lives on every single level of civil society from the electoral system to the streets). This means "taking no shorts" when it comes to our own political clarity, committment, and independence as citizens. This also means of course relentlessly holding Obama, his administration, and the Democratic Party fully accountable and responsible for everything they do as well as completely rejecting the coercive ideological and political straitjacket of the Republican Party and all of their many public surrogates and flunkies...
"Dare to Struggle, Dare To Win"
February 14, 2009
Bipartisanship Isn’t So Easy, Obama Sees
By PETER BAKER
WASHINGTON — On the day before the big vote, President Obama took a freshman Republican member of Congress aboard Air Force One to visit Illinois. Before an audience in Representative Aaron Schock’s district, Mr. Obama praised him as “a very talented young man” and expressed “great confidence in him to do the right thing for the people of Peoria.”
But when Mr. Schock stood up on the House floor on Friday, less than 24 hours later, his view of the right thing for the people of Peoria was to vote against the most important initiative of Mr. Obama’s young presidency.
“They know that this bill is not stimulus,” Mr. Schock, 27, said of his constituents. “They know that this bill will not do anything to create long-term, sustained economic growth.”
Whatever it will do for the economy, the legislation that passed Friday will clearly not do anything to create long-term, sustained bipartisan reconciliation. Not one Republican voted for Mr. Obama’s plan in the House and just three voted for it in the Senate as it headed to final passage on Friday night. The party-line schism, coupled with the withdrawal on Thursday of a Republican senator, Judd Gregg, as a nominee to Mr. Obama’s cabinet, made clear the futility so far of the president’s effort to move Washington toward post-partisanship.
Their unrequited overtures to Republicans over the past several weeks taught Mr. Obama and his aides some hard lessons. Advisers concluded that they allowed the measure of bipartisanship to be defined as winning Republican votes rather than bringing civility to the debate, distracting attention from what have otherwise been major legislative victories. Although Mr. Obama vowed to keep reaching out to Republicans, advisers now believe the environment will probably not change in coming months.
Rather than forging broad consensus with Republicans, the Obama advisers said they would have to narrow their ambitions and look for discrete areas where they might build temporary coalitions based on regional interests rather than party, as on energy legislation. They said they would also turn to Republican governors for support — a tactic that showed promise during the debate over the economic package — even if they found few Republican allies in Washington.
And they laid out plans to get Mr. Obama out of Washington more so he could preserve his image as a reformer and use his popularity to rally public pressure on lawmakers to go along with his program. After spending his first three weeks as president in Washington, Mr. Obama hit the road this week with stops in Indiana, Florida and Illinois. Next week he will travel to Colorado and Arizona.
“He’s committed to getting out of town at least once a week,” said David Axelrod, the White House senior adviser. “It’s easy to get cloistered and get carried away by the tat-tat-tat of insider palaver. That’s not what’s important. What’s important is what’s going on in people’s lives.”
The polarized vote on Capitol Hill, Mr. Axelrod added, should not obscure the “enormous achievement” of passing a $787 billion economic program, the largest of its kind in generations.
“Yes, we’ve learned some lessons from this,” Mr. Axelrod said. “But primarily we’re happy with the way it turned out.”
More experienced Washington hands said the White House had been unrealistic to expect to win much Republican support.
“I’m not sure I would describe it as naïve, but wishful thinking,” said John D. Podesta, a former White House chief of staff who ran Mr. Obama’s transition and still informally advises his team.
The White House will be able to “pick off” individual Republicans on individual issues, Mr. Podesta predicted, but will not be able to change the calculation made by the opposition party to be in opposition.
“What would make it change?” Mr. Podesta asked, referring to the Republican determination to challenge Mr. Obama. “If you’re going to do this at the moment of greatest need, at the height of his popularity, what sort of thing would get you to change?”
The lesson, Democrats said, is that it is not so important to win bipartisan support as long as Mr. Obama is seen by the public as trying.
Each side will try to impose a price on the other. Democrats have begun a radio advertising campaign in the districts of 28 House Republicans, calling them “out of step.” Republicans are responding next week with radio advertisements in the districts of 30 Democrats, accusing them of “wasteful Washington spending.”
Mr. Obama is the third president in a row to arrive in Washington promising to work across the aisle, only to trip over it instead. Bill Clinton’s economic plan in 1993 passed without a single Republican vote, setting the tone for years of partisan warfare. George W. Bush vowed to change the tone, but his disputed election in 2000 engendered deep bitterness, and though he won some Democratic support on some of his early initiatives, he quickly found himself facing intense opposition.
Mr. Obama tried to overcome that history, going to Capitol Hill to meet with the Republican caucuses, calling Republican lawmakers and inviting three Republicans into his cabinet. But Republicans dismissed that as more talk than action, complaining that he did not address their substantive complaints about the economic plan. The withdrawal of Mr. Gregg punctuated the sense that Mr. Obama had found the limits of bipartisanship.
The personal wooing would only go so far. When Mr. Schock was invited to fly to Peoria with Mr. Obama, he said in an interview that he made clear that he thought the economic measure was filled with spending that would not boost the economy.
“If you’re telling me that the only way I can get on Air Force One is to vote for the bill,” Mr. Schock recalled saying, “the answer is no.”
Mr. Schock was invited to ride anyway. And on Friday afternoon, he voted no.
Jeff Zeleny contributed reporting.
Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company
I just read the following letter below on "The Fabulous Williams Sisters" messageboard by a brother from Toledo, Ohio whose board name is "Makare." The message is wonderfully self explanatory. Please check it out if you're so inclined...Words of wisdom indeed...
'PEARLS BEFORE SWINE': Open Letter from a brother who knows and cares
I was driving with my son through the Poconos on my way to Connecticut to see my relatives
when two motorcycles pulled in front of us. It was raining, the road was slippery, and one of the cycles flipped over and the driver hit the pavement hard. We pulled over and rushed to help the guy.
I could see he was knocked out and I wanted to administer some kind of respiratory relief
but his leather jacket was so tightly on him I couldn't get it loose.
It appeared to be restricting his airflow and choking him. I asked his partner to help me loosen his clothes because I thought he was dying.
The guy (White guy) just glared at me and stood there frozen. He would not lift a finger.
I, finally, got his jacket loose and as I did a great rush of breathe came from him
and he woke up and said, "thank you". His partner still just stood there glaring at me.
I walked away and got in my car and left them there since I realized that the fallen rider was okay.
What I learned or rather what I already knew and it was reinforced by the experience is the nature of racism in America. A White man would rather die or let his best friend die than accept help from a Black man, especially if by accepting that help he must relenquish his hatred and belief in the inferiority of a Black man.
This is what Obama is experiencing from the Republicans.
They are terrified at what this man is able to do.
They cannot accept it or acknowledge it in their consciousness.
Logic has no place in their mentallity.
To embrace the possibility that Obama can improve their lives with the actions of his Presidency
is not a concept that they can ever accept.
They would rather destroy their own party and let the country go into The Great Depression ll
than support his efforts.
The only position they can envision is the Rush Limbaugh mantra, "I hope he fails".
Yes, that means "I hope America fails if it means a Black man must save us".
If Barack Obama fed the multitudes with a loaf of bread and a fish;
walked on water;
raised the dead;
healed the sick;
made the blind to see again;
and parted the Red Sea by raising his blackberry
it would not be enough to convince myopic Republicans that their salvation was at hand.
It would be well that Barack Obama heeds the words of one, Jesus of Nazareth, when he said:
"Give not that which is holy unto dogs,
neither cast ye your pearls before swine,
lest they trample them under their feet,
and turn again and rend you."
Good words to live by, Barack.
THE STIMULUS VOTE JUST PASSED:
60 TO 38
GET OVER IT, REPUBLICANS!!!!