Will Republicans Accept The Obama Agenda?

TChris pointed to the fact that John Boehner wants no part of the Post-Partisan Unity Schtick. In some ways, I sympathize with Boehner - he does not agree with the Obama Agenda. Should he go along just for the sake of it even though his constituency voted for his vision of America? There is something nefarious and anti-democratic about the insistence of the High Broderists for bipartisan compromise. In essence, they are demanding that politicians abandon their beliefs and the beliefs they presented to the electorate. But if we are going to do that, it seems to me that the lecturing and hectoring should be directed at the Republicans. After all, they are the party whose ideas have been rejected by the American People. The High Priest of the Beltway and the founder of the Church of High Broderism, the Dean hisself seems incapable of hectoring the Republicans:

[John Kerry] said that the difficulty of the challenges facing Washington is such that the aim should not be to pound out narrow partisan victories but to negotiate for "85-vote majorities," endorsed by all but the most extreme liberal or conservative senators. . . . But it will be up to Obama to signal that this will be his way of doing business, as well.

(Emphasis supplied.) First of all, the partisan victories will not exactly be narrow. Party line votes in the House and Senate would reflect nearly 60% of each body. Add a few Republicans and you can get over 60% almost every time. Beyond that, the merits of a particular piece of legislation cannot be determined on whether it is bipartisan or not - look at the Iraq Debacle. The merits of legislation will be based on its a -- merits. Does it work. I would much rather have a narrow partisan victory for a good bill (see Clinton's tax package in 1993) than bipartisan consensus for a bad bill (the Iraq War Resolution.) But in the upside down world that is Broderville, the actual merits of legislation matter not at all. The only thing that matters is whether it is "bipartisan." That is wrong for the country. If Obama follows that path, he will be a one term President. And rightly so.

By Big Tent Democrat,speaking for me only

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    It seems that the party always comes first (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Saul on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 07:44:04 AM EST
    This division just keep getting stronger especially  when one party controls.  The republicans want the power, both houses and the white house back.  They will always look at helping the Dem pass their agenda as not helping themselves in reach their goal.  It not a government of the people and for the people, its a government of the party and for the party.

    As for the merits of the bill (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Fabian on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 07:46:23 AM EST
    I think we can look at the FISA bill as an example of what we should not do.  I do not know why the bill was brought to the floor at all.  

    We don't have time to waste on garbage.  Only bring bills to the floor that are useful, constructive and necessary.  

    Could John Kerry (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by lilburro on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 07:47:03 AM EST
    be more ridiculous?  Way to make it seem like we haven't won...oh, except that we did.

    If Obama follows his advice, the only thing he is going to accomplish is naming a few post offices.

    Yup. (none / 0) (#17)
    by Landulph on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 11:13:42 AM EST
    Forget Carter--it's a perfect game plan for going down in history as the Millard Fillmore of the 21st Century.

    majority rule (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by teachermom on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 10:15:20 AM EST
    Has it been forgotten that the first Clinton budget, which was so great for the economy, passed by one vote?

    Not to mention that was (none / 0) (#19)
    by oldpro on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 11:43:05 AM EST
    the one and only thing the Democratic congress did in support of their Democratic president.

    Then they were thrown out on their asses with Gingrich's contract on America, leaving Bill Clinton all alone to stand between what we had then and what we had in the 8 Bush years.

    Lessons learned?  Not by Pelosi and the House Dems is my guess.

    Harry and the Senate Dems?  Maybe.  They did a good job of decorating the Rescue the Banks package with major legislation they'd already passed but the House was fighting because it wasn't all pay-go...and dared them not to pass it.  Damn good move.

    The Senate leader, tho, will be up for reelection next cycle...


    Of course they will.... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 10:51:26 AM EST
    they'll put up some token resistance for the cameras on the social issues stuff of course, but on the big stuff they're all on the same page.

    Big govt., big military, occupations, crowded prisons, drug war, big spending, big borrowing...no worries:)

    Over/Under (none / 0) (#4)
    by jarober on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 08:35:24 AM EST
    I should start an over/under pool for how long it will take for much of the left to forget the last 8 years, and decide that the filibuster is a very bad thing (tm).  I'm sure it will happen as soon as one "signature" piece of legislation gets held up by a successful filibuster.

    Hmm (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Steve M on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 08:41:48 AM EST
    Are you under the impression that this hasn't already happened dozens of times during the last two years?  The outgoing Republican Senate not only set an all-time record for most filibusters in a two-year period, they blew the old record away.

    I know.... (none / 0) (#6)
    by jarober on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 08:50:06 AM EST
    What I'm saying is, I expect lots and lots more whining about it, as Democrats forget how they used the filibuster to stop various things they didn't like earlier on in the Bush Presidency.  Just as Republicans started making silly talk about "nuclear options", I expect Democrats to walk themselves to the same place.

    I don't get it (none / 0) (#12)
    by Steve M on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 10:15:27 AM EST
    This is like arguing that the Democrats will complain about GOP "no" votes, notwithstanding that Democrats have themselves voted "no" in the past.  It's not a hypocrisy argument, it's a truism.  Presumably the Republicans believe they vote "yes" on good things and "no" on bad things, and likewise for the Democrats.

    The "nuclear option" battle was entirely about whether it's permissible to filibuster judges.  Neither party has taken the position that filibustering legislation is illegitimate, just that it amounts to obstructionism in individual cases.


    No need to wonder about me (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 09:20:58 AM EST
    If you have read my posts.

    Speak softly (none / 0) (#7)
    by robrecht on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 09:10:43 AM EST
    and carry a big unity schtick.  As far as I'm concerned the only advantage of the unity schtick is Obama's stated desire to avoid the petty and immature partisan rhetoric that distorts positions on both sides.  I think he's a sincere University professor on this point and many Americans will appreciate this.  But when such a collegial and dialogical approach surely fails with Rovian partisan idiots like Hannity, Limbaugh, or Boehner, just hit 'em over the head hard with with your unity schtick from your bully pulpit and claim your mandate from the American people.  Sort of like roasting 'em alive during the fireside chats.

    Boehner may be out as leader (none / 0) (#9)
    by sallywally on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 09:45:51 AM EST
    with a top guess for his replacement being Eric Kantor (sp?), who led the GOP revolt on the bailout, according to the nyt.

    Wonder if it has anything to do with his complete failure to overturn the Ohio election....

    At any rate, this does not sound like it would be an improvement.

    Maybe Emanuel can bring these folks to heel!

    Boehner and McConnell are both (none / 0) (#15)
    by imhotep on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 10:56:33 AM EST
    very tough obstructionists.  The Repugs will keep them to force another do-nothing Congress especially in the Senate.

    Obstruction (none / 0) (#20)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 12:20:32 PM EST
    is about all the Republicans have to offer. President Obama will have a full time job achieving unity and reaching out within the diverse constituencies of the Democratic party.

    A note on language (none / 0) (#10)
    by Faust on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 09:50:20 AM EST
    I was noticing while watching the punditry push this line on election night that when they refered to bipartisan compromise that they almost invariably talked about "conservative" democrats working with "moderate" republicans. So "good" politicians (as defined by high Broderism) are either conservative dems or moderate repubs.

    That simple language distiniction tells you a great deal about the underlying thrust of this meme set and the interests it ultimately serves.

    Well if this is the new majority (none / 0) (#13)
    by iceblinkjm on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 10:17:06 AM EST
    color me scared. Prop 8 passing on Obama's watch was a HUGE wake up call for some of us California gay democrats. We are none to pleased with Mr.Obama and his African American supporters.

    James Madison said... (none / 0) (#16)
    by AdamSmithsHand on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 11:00:26 AM EST
    "Ambition must be made to counter ambition."

    Bipartisanship is written into the design of our system.  We are supposed to have to compromise with each other.  The idea being that the reward of not getting your movement enacted is that your opposition can't get theirs acomplished.

    Yes, legislation should be created and passed on its merits.  But it should also be created and passed based on whether a consensus can be built for it.  We can take the poisiton that we intend to ram progressive change down the collective throats of the GOP, but if we do so we'll be out on our asses in two years.

    We have a  majority in congress already and Obama has relationships with several Republican senators who have been willing to work with him in good faith on a range of issues.  Consensus should be acheivable for many things.  Why ar eyou spoiling for a fight?

    We do need unity (none / 0) (#18)
    by Manuel on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 11:17:17 AM EST
    but not on all issues.  We need unity on the economy.  The Republicans refuse to participate at their peril (and the nation's).  Let's not forget it was the House Republicans that sank the first rescue plan (hurting McCain in the process).

    In a word...no. (none / 0) (#21)
    by oldpro on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 12:42:05 PM EST
    And if Obama continues to send Kerry out to be a spokesperson it's going to be a long and dreary 4 years to the next election.

    Let's all keep in mind that it was Kerry who wanted McCain to be his runningmate.  Oh yeah, he SAYS it was 'the old John McCain, not the new one' that he wanted but PUHLEEZE...PEOPLE...

    And, of course, McCain really REALLY wanted Lieberman (and not Sarah)...the choice of 'the old Al Gore, not the new Al Gore.'

    Wonder what 'the new Obama' will look like in a few years?

    It's an open question, wouldn't you say?

    BTW, I always pronounce Boehner's name as ... (none / 0) (#22)
    by robrecht on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 05:22:30 PM EST