Boehner Rejects Bipartisanship

Pushing the new talking point that "America remains a center-right country" (despite electing a candidate branded by Republicans as a socialist), John Boehner, in a desperate attempt to seem relevant, wrote to his House GOP colleagues urging them to reject Barack Obama's invitation to bipartisan cooperation.

Democrats should not make the mistake of viewing Tuesday's results as a repudiation of conservatism or a validation of big government. Neither should we. Instead of throwing in the towel, as our opponents demand, we must redouble our efforts to develop forward-looking solutions to the challenges Americans face - solutions rooted in the enduring principles of reform that define us as a party.

Those would be the "enduring principles of reform" that were on display when the GOP controlled the House, Senate, and presidency under Bush? Principles like corruption, cronyism, profligate spending, preemptive war against oil-rich nations, torture, illegal wiretapping, and outing CIA agents as an instrument of vengeance? Yep, we wouldn't want to make the mistake of thinking that voters repudiated any of that by telling so many Republican politicians to find new work.

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    This is exactly why I don't want too much (5.00 / 6) (#1)
    by Teresa on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:21:41 PM EST
    reaching out to them. It never works both ways. Never.

    But Madam Speaker (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:25:28 PM EST
    doesn't agree w/you. Shouldn't she be on a beach vacation for a couple of weeks; you know, resting up after the rigors of the campaign?

    What's the harm in reaching (5.00 / 0) (#5)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:36:21 PM EST
    when they decline they look small and you just keep doing what you were going to do anyway, wrapping up progressive legislation in a "center" package.

    Exactly... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Thanin on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:42:19 PM EST
    the more they whine and cry, trying to block important bills with stupid tactics, and with Obama practically tripping over himself to publicly make it known hes going to be reaching across the aisle, this could go way way bad for the republicans if they look like the spoilers.

    Kind of makes me wonder if this is an Obama tactic to set republicans up.  The Obama campaign seems to have always been about playing the long game.


    It's one thing to reach across the aisle (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by nycstray on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:56:55 PM EST
    it's another to give it up before you reach. He gives up bargaining points before he even starts. By the time he's done reaching, the Republicans will be quite happy. And they know it. Which is why I wouldn't be surprised to hear more "we're gonna fight the liberals" talk. Obama's not a strong self identified Democrat, so he'll prob play along just fine. In fact, he's pretty much told us that on more than one occasion.

    It is what it is.


    I dont think so... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Thanin on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:20:42 PM EST
    I see it as bait, you see it as giving up chips.  As coigue says, we'll see.

    But ultimately wouldnt you rather I be right on this one?


    Sure. I'm going to wait and hope (none / 0) (#32)
    by nycstray on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:34:20 PM EST
    he proves me wrong. Not going to hold my breath, but we shall see.

    He's done enough things that I have huge problems with and a few others aren't even on his radar, as they should be, so I'm not expecting much.


    Fair enough (none / 0) (#35)
    by Thanin on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:43:19 PM EST
    Did your happy pill wear off already? (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:58:29 PM EST
    They were giving out happy pills?!?! Dang! (none / 0) (#16)
    by nycstray on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:59:55 PM EST
    By the way, when do we get the ponies?

    we're getting a national puppy (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:03:31 PM EST
    you want a pony too?

    Acck! Don't bring up the puppy around me! (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by nycstray on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:17:38 PM EST
    Could be a whole 'nother can of worms, lol!~

    And yes, I want a pony, or I should say my Dalmatian does  ;)


    I want a dolphin (none / 0) (#42)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:03:11 PM EST
    o live in my pool

    we shall see..... (none / 0) (#14)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:59:08 PM EST
    we shall see pretty soon if you are right or wrong.

    This is an Obama strategy (none / 0) (#11)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:57:54 PM EST
    He ran is (general election) campaign that way, and it worked beautifully.

    WORM? nt (none / 0) (#21)
    by sallywally on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:05:24 PM EST

    Eh... (none / 0) (#28)
    by Thanin on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:17:45 PM EST
    its a tactics analysis not a policy defense.

    As long as it's just wrapping and I like (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Teresa on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:51:55 PM EST
    the present inside, I'm fine with it. I just don't want to compromise anything away when it is something we really need, like health care.

    I just don't see the Republicans going along with this game. I hope I'm wrong.


    they either play (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:55:07 PM EST
    OR they look like they are clinging to the old partisan-style politics, and aren't we past that now? ;-}

    No, we are not past it (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by nycstray on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:58:27 PM EST
    nor should we be. Unless you just want to give into the Republicans.

    Hellooooooo! (none / 0) (#17)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:02:42 PM EST
    It's superficial.

    What we are past is getting wrapped up in the petty bickering. We aren't past using Democratic solutions to problems that we all face. Bickering takes too much energy away for the goals.

    The era of individualism is over. We are now on to the era of society.


    Pat Buchanan wrote a column today in (none / 0) (#38)
    by hairspray on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 09:08:50 PM EST
    which he castigated the GOP for being in denial about their beliefs, most notably foreign policy.  He stated that they simply believed the war in Iraq was badly executed, but a good policy nevertheless. They also believed that the financial mess was really everyone's fault rather than part of the wrong headed ideology.  As long as they are in that place, it doesn't sound like they have confronted the problems of their ideology yet, and not able to move to bipartisanship!

    Pat is more of a social conservative (5.00 / 0) (#43)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:10:46 PM EST
    as is his sister Bay. He pretty much bashed McCain until Palin came along....then he was in love!

    Good gawd (none / 0) (#47)
    by cal1942 on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:42:56 PM EST
    where have you been these past few decades?

    Republicans whine, deceive, disrupt.  It's in their DNA because they represent a particular economic interest that, if the public realized, is not in their interest.

    There may be some real contentious stuff if the right policy and legislation is offered. It's going to get rough.  The policy of the White House and the Democrats in Congress should be take no prisoners.

    Never bargain when you're in a position of strength. Never, never, never. Ram through what you can ram through.


    In theory... (none / 0) (#48)
    by Thanin on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:58:19 PM EST
    I agree, but thats what the repubs have been doing for the past 8 years and look whats happened to them.

    Yeah, but they were ramming through (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by ruffian on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 05:17:11 AM EST
    atrocious policies. I think we are starting from the assumption that the public will like the Dem policies if they have a chance to be implemented.

    Dont get me wrong... (none / 0) (#52)
    by Thanin on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 07:24:02 AM EST
    I would Love to see the entire "far" Liberal agenda implemented, but for that to happen with any real chance of long term success, I think it cant be rammed through.  I think its something thats going to take a measured pace, introduced slowly so the chicken littles of the other side cant blow the crazed Liberal horn, branding us as "going to far".  

    Now I know they'll do that anyway, but if the public doesnt see that happening in a haphazard, too fast way, then I think they'll just blow off the right wing noise.  Also I think it needs to be backed up with quality governance with this financial crisis.  A proven successful administration goes a long way to building real political capital.


    What? (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by cal1942 on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 10:44:45 AM EST
    Thanin, the New Deal was, essentially, rammed through.

    Long term success is in the legislation itself.  There is no other criteria.  Policy and legislation have real impact. This is not a game.

    The New Deal and like acts established a center that held sway for most of fifty years, the most prosperous era in our nation's history.


    The New Deal was great... (none / 0) (#59)
    by Thanin on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 12:10:06 PM EST
    but there was no right wing noise machine at the time, and unfortunately the "legitimate" press still gets weak kneed when the noise gets too loud.

    Now let me say that I hope youre right and that a slamdunk here is what would work best, not just for the short and long term.  I'd love for most of America to stanchly embrace Liberalism, but after the past 8 years Im weary of that truly happening.  So for now I personally think the best way to turn America is a slow and subtle approach, where one day people wake up realizing theyre Liberal and that everything is OK.


    Most people (none / 0) (#62)
    by cal1942 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 06:00:42 PM EST
    don't label policy as liberal or conservative.  

    When asked if government should step in to solve big problems the answer was affirmative.That was the answer in exit polling in this election.

    I'd wager that most people who answered that question didn't see their answer as liberal or conservative. They voted the incumbent party out of office because they recognize misfeasance and want ACTION. If you're out of work or fear being out of work, subtle doesn't cut it.


    BTD... (none / 0) (#63)
    by Thanin on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 12:01:49 PM EST
    has convinced me the aggressive Dem agenda is the right way to go... but Im still worried.

    It's Important (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by cal1942 on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 10:38:32 AM EST
    to understand what today's Republican party is all about.

    A party completely captured by the Conservative Movement that attempted to implement a rigid ideology.

    That's why atrocious legislation was proposed and in too many cases enacted.

    What happened to Republicans was that implementation of that ideology produced negative impact on the nation, etc.

    I think you're confusing political impressions with actual impact.

    Ramming through legislation that is beneficial to the nation, that has real positive impact on people's lives will beget re-election and that's demonstrated by history.

    Don't buy into the whiole bi-partisan thing as an end in itself.  That's a catastrophe for the nation and the Democratic Party.


    Again... (none / 0) (#60)
    by Thanin on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 12:12:13 PM EST
    I prefer this argument, but after the past 8-30 years Im a little gun shy.

    you aren't rlly getting my point. (none / 0) (#61)
    by coigue on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 12:47:38 PM EST
    probably my fault.

    In other words (none / 0) (#19)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:05:12 PM EST
    Obama can separate politics from policy,

    like FISA? (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by sallywally on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:06:37 PM EST
    he wasn't the leader then (5.00 / 0) (#23)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:08:31 PM EST
    was he???

    He was the nominee, the nominal leader.... (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by sallywally on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:14:16 PM EST
    there was a discussion about that here.

    Even if he were not considered the party leader at the time, he was the official candidate. Didn't his vote for FISA count as "what he really meant?"

    It feels like we're back in "explaining Obama's intentions/strategies with no real basis" territory.


    Yes. We are. (5.00 / 0) (#26)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:15:00 PM EST
    And I am feeling hopeful in a WE WILL SEE sort of way.

    Is that allowed here?


    I'm not the judge of what's allowed. (none / 0) (#33)
    by sallywally on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:34:33 PM EST
    here, and I hope you're right.

    It would just seem nice to know what he actually stands for. I voted for him and support him, but I feel uncertain when we're talking about what we think is in his mind or intent, but we don't actually know what's his intent, either as a strategy or a policy.


    understood. (none / 0) (#34)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:39:23 PM EST
    I think I get his strategy, but I may be fooling myself.

    Why (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by cal1942 on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:26:17 PM EST
    wrap it in anything but what "it" is, legislation that the American people want.

    If the GOP decides to make strident attempts to block or water down legislation that the American people want then call them on it.

    Make no mistake.  They very well may try to pull stunts, but don't water down anything.  Cave in to these SOBs and there won't be any end. The result would be a failed administration.

    The point is to move the center.

    Polls indicate that the American people want government solutions. It would be wise to give them just that and in so doing get the center back where it belongs.


    I cringe whenever I hear (none / 0) (#40)
    by lucky leftie on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 09:43:36 PM EST
    Obama talk about bipartisanship.  If he's serious, he's an innocent babe in the woods.  The GOP will not work with him.  More than that, they will try to destroy him, just as they tried (indeed, are still trying)to do to Bill Clinton.  Just as they will try to do to any successful democrat.  Obama is crazy if he believes otherwise.  

    he isn't serious, I think (none / 0) (#44)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:15:12 PM EST
    he is positioning himself for a fight, one to which he intends to bring the voice of the people. Listening to him, when he says he needs people to remain engaged. I expect him to address the nation often, tell us what he is doing, and ask for our assistance in the form of pressure.

    All this post partisan stuff is meant to help people see him as one who isn't a petty squabbler.

    Just my opinion.


    The dems need new talking points (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Exeter on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:31:57 PM EST
    What is bipartisan, anyway? How about post-partisan problem solving?  

    How about just junking (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by cal1942 on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 10:51:44 AM EST
    the whole bi-partisan, post-partisan nonsense.

    The Democrats don't need new talking points.  They need to pass beneficial legislation as fast as possible. Providing solutions carries the day and are their own talking points.  Talking points are to cover up an agenda that only benefits a very small portion of the population at the expense of the rest of the population.

    That's what the Republicans have been doing for three decades.


    In a better world (5.00 / 5) (#6)
    by Steve M on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:37:08 PM EST
    the Dems would be doing their darndest to highlight this as evidence of bad faith.  Take full advantage of the Obama honeymoon to get the public good and angry that the Republicans don't intend to cooperate.

    Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by JSN on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:05:18 PM EST
    like to talk about bipartisan foreign policy (and worked to bring it about) but there was no such thing as a bipartisan domestic policy. They used to keep the knife hidden but they gave up on that when Newt was in charge of the House.

    Keep in mind the 2010 election campaign started yesterday.

    Interesting (none / 0) (#57)
    by cal1942 on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 11:03:52 AM EST
    how that unity in foreign policy led to so many poor decisions.

    Vandenberg had been an isolationist but then embraced "internationalism," as it was called before the war.

    He embraced the idea of Soviet containment as put forward by the "wise men" and stood in opposition to his party's right-wing (the ancestors of today's Conservative Movement) that wanted to "roll back" or liberate Eastern Europe.

    That was the right thing to do but over time the "our differences end at the shoreline" concensus discouraged critical thought, eliminated the self-examination necessary to make wise decisions. Not deliberately, but that's what happened.


    I am really disturbed by the (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Aqua Blue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:13:03 PM EST
    rumor of Colin Powell as Sec. of Defense.

    The guy who lied for the Republicans at the UN and helped bring on the war....should be Sec. of Defense for the Democratic administration???

    What the h@ll is that all about!

    I want progressives to get coveted appointments.
    Bipartisanship is crap.  It does not work and it certainly does not get respect from the Republicans or anyone else.  

    Besides (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by TChris on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 09:04:36 PM EST
    I thought the rumor was Powell as Sec of Education.  Probably best not to be disturbed by rumors about appointments until we see if they're true.

    The Powell rumor (none / 0) (#41)
    by KeysDan on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 09:53:49 PM EST
    sounds like a trial ballon. Not too soon to voice concern about Powell serving in the Obama administration. It sure does not make sense to have Powell around when the linchpin of the Obama campaign was good judgment such as recognizing and avoiding a "dumb war"; Secretary of Education does not fit, either, if the goal is to secure officials with expertise in the respective field, unless we are to count Powell's educational presentation on Iraqi WMD at the UN.

    Not To Worry (none / 0) (#30)
    by squeaky on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:30:44 PM EST
    Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said he wasn't interested in serving in a new administration under President-elect Barack Obama, saying he wanted a new generation of leaders to step up.
    "I am not interested in a position in government, nor have I been approached," said Gen. Powell, who was traveling in Hong Kong. The former Army general and secretary of state under President George W. Bush said the election marked a generational shift in the U.S, and that he would always be available to offer advice. "I'm not expecting to go to government," he said.



    Dear Congressman Boehner (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by rdandrea on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:34:01 PM EST
    You just got your a$$ handed to you.

    Not a strong bargaining position.

    When you have something, please let us know.

    You might want to CC (none / 0) (#58)
    by sj on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 11:51:45 AM EST
    the Dem leadership.

    again, (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by cpinva on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 09:07:18 PM EST
    most of you make the fatal mistake of assuming the republicans are capable of shame, they aren't. they absolutely do.not.care. how they look to the general public. if they did, bush would have never been president, and stevens wouldn't have continued his campaign, after being convicted.

    the democrats shouldn't waste valuable time, time they'll never recover "reaching out to the other side", unless it's with a taser in each hand. the obama administration, and the dem majorities in congress, should just do what needs to be done. if some republicans want to join in, that's great. if not, that's great too, just roll on over them.

    i guarantee, if the shoe was on the other foot, that's exactly the approach the republicans would, and have, taken. let 'em whine, who cares?

    That's the approach they did take (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by cal1942 on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:34:00 PM EST
    when they had the White House and Congress.

    They cried in front of the cameras whenever the Democrats showed the slightest sign of having some stones.


    You are absolutely right! (none / 0) (#53)
    by easilydistracted on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 07:53:54 AM EST
    I remarked yesterday that repubs dominated the elections here in Texas, but for a few statehouse slots.  Its business as usual for the repubs in this state.

    In fact, the governor is already on record saying that the repub leadership needs to look to Texas repubs for the right values to salvage the party.  Now let's think about that for a second -- a prom king and notable repub from Texas sort of got them into this mess already. Anyway,the general mood pervasive around here is no mandate and who gives a crap about a so-called landslide.  There will be no bipartisanship from the Texas cont. The only public perception they are concerned about is the perception of their constituents.  And, obstructing a democratic agenda will only work to ensure their reelection.      


    This is called (none / 0) (#4)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:34:56 PM EST
    whistling past the graveyard.

    Bring out the tissues. (none / 0) (#15)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:59:37 PM EST
    He's going to be crying up a storm.

    The key to success for an Obama administration (none / 0) (#49)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:35:42 PM EST
    is to create clear policy based on the needs and mandates of the middle and lower class citizens, with consideration for those who are better off.  Reaching across the aisle should be primarily used to engage the leadership of the part of the electorate that usually opposes our platform and solutions.  When policies are created, proposed and implemented, those Repubs who participated will have to support the policies and their results.  Repubs who do not cooperate in solutions to the grave problems we face will be seen as blocking programs that help the average American.  New programs should be continually compared to the failed policies of the Bush administration.  Elected officials and political pundits twist, distort and outright lie to the electorate, and in the case of Republicans, they utilize the tribe mentality to get their constituents to overlook the inconvenient truth of how they fail them and the rest of us.  Bush is a guy you could have a beer with, and their guys will keep the

    The key to success will be to ensure buy-in and support by the electorate, to repeatedly clarify and contrast their policies with ours, and to not do anything that could be considered immoral, dishonest or corrupt.

    I have faith that our guy can pull it off, if we can get it together to be the Change We Need behind him.

    I see the GOP (none / 0) (#50)
    by Amiss on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 02:28:21 AM EST
    we must redouble our efforts to develop forward-looking solutions to the challenges Americans face - solutions rooted in the enduring principles of reform that define us as a party.

    Is still pushing party first not Americans first.