Any hopes for bipartisan cooperation that President Obama once harbored crashed on Capitol Hill just three weeks into his presidency as Senate leaders strained Thursday to pass his $900 billion economic stimulus bill with the minimum necessary number of Republican votes.Yawn. Saying it over and over doesn't change the meaning of the word. Then we get a reminder of just how bipartisan the spirit in Washington really is:
After threatening to go through the night and warning that the financial markets could crash in the morning, Senate majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada said a bipartisan group of 16 senators would look for more spending cuts in the bill todayCan you say "Politics of Fear" anyone?
But wait a minute. Maybe there is some bipartisanship happening there after all...
Even getting all the Democratic votes is touch-and-go. Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who is working on an alternative plan with a dozen colleagues on both sides, said "I told them I'd have a tough time voting for it." Asked if he had threatened a no vote, he said, "As a governor, I never said I'd veto. I just vetoed."So we have Democrats thinking about voting "nay" right there alongside Republicans. Hmm. Folks from TWO parties... someone lookup "bipartisan" again?
Any Democrat voting against Obama on his first big initiative to battle what he called a "catastrophic" problem would deal a body blow to his presidency before it gets fully under way.
And, just in case you were wondering what "partisan" could be, by contrast:
Senate Republicans have followed their House colleagues into full partisan warfare against the stimulus program. Attacking narrow pieces of the bill - from payments to Filipino war veterans to aid for honeybees - as wasteful spending and proposing wholesale substitutes that would slash taxes instead, a largely unified GOP has battered public perceptions of Obama's first major legislative initiative.Imagine. Those loons thinking that sending money to foreigners overseas won't create jobs here in America. The insanity!
Skipping ahead, there's an interesting point about the real reason Team O is anxious:
GOP critics, and some Democrats, insist that the bill contains enormous new spending and that much of it will come too late to do any good. But that is by design.Dare to dream.
For Obama, the stimulus is a giant opportunity not just to address the immediate economic downturn but to begin building the new economic architecture he envisions. He might never again get a chance to spend so much money, certainly not in one fell swoop.
Read the rest. Once you get past the whiny "'Everyone' asked for this in November" nonsense, it's actually entertaining, recapping how Hope and Change have yielded to Scorn and Squabble.