Skip to comments.Obama’s first year yields few results in drive for bipartisanship (Ridiculous article)
Posted on 12/30/2009 2:34:50 PM PST by jazusamo
President Barack Obama campaigned as the candidate who would work across the aisle and bring Republicans into the debate. But in his first year in office, hes discovered its tough to change Washington.
Obama has reached out to GOPers on a number of issues, inviting Republican lawmakers to the White House to discuss the stimulus package, the war in Afghanistan and healthcare.
Those efforts, however, have yielded almost no results in the voting columns as partisan tension remains high and Republicans have dug in to oppose the president's policies on climate change, healthcare and the economy.
During the campaign, Obama said that Vice President Joe Biden would be able to help me turn the page on ugly partisanship in Washington. Obama described himself as a big believer in working with the other side of the aisle.
Even if we've got a majority of Democrats, I think its very important to listen to Republicans, to respect them, Obama said in the spring of 2008.
But almost immediately, Obamas effort to pass a $787 billion stimulus package met with solid opposition from Republicans, who have continued to criticize spending they say has not produced enough jobs.
Obamas offer of $300 billion in tax cuts in the stimulus as a way of attracting GOP support failed to win over recalcitrant lawmakers, even though the level of tax cuts came as a surprise at the time.
The divide only worsened as the healthcare debate wore on through the year and Tea Partiers and aspiring 2012 GOP candidates ratcheted up the rhetoric, accusing the president of everything from socialism to death panels for the elderly.
Republicans say they have tried valiantly to work with Obama by providing the president with ideas to improve the economy that arent focused on spending.
You might remember that Senate Republicans began the year hopeful that the president would actually make good on his campaign promises to reach across the aisle and build consensus, said one GOP aide, who argued the divide began with the stimulus.
People were skeptical of Obamas rhetoric, but nobody could have predicted the surge in partisanship that his administration would wage over the first year. And their fierce partisan approach has become a major reason why independent voters are sprinting away from Democrats.
Republicans did approach the administration with ideas for ways to stimulate the economy, the aide said, ideas like fixing housing, reducing taxes on job creators and limiting spending to projects that would create jobs quickly.
Democrats didnt take any of our ideas, and the stimulus has been a huge disappointment to unemployed Americans who were told it would help them get a job, the aide said. So when the health care debate began late in the spring, Republicans were naturally skeptical that the administration would earnestly seek input.
But administration officials said that Obama has sought to include Republicans at every turn, even as the minority party has made clear that it has no interest in helping Obama get anything done.
The president has repeatedly gone to great lengths to give Republicans in Congress a seat at the table as hes confronted some of the difficult issues that Washington has ignored for too long," one senior administration official said. Unfortunately, time and again, Republicans have put their political and partisan interests ahead of the nations and refused the presidents invitation to find common ground.
Administration officials have repeatedly pointed to a February incident when Obama, heading to Capitol Hill to talk with both parties about the stimulus. Before the president even made it to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue for the meeting, the GOP issued a press statement rebuking Obama and criticizing his plans for the stimulus.
There have been some examples of bipartisanship in the first year of Obamas White House, an administration official noted.
The vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was bipartisan, contracting reform enjoys the support of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and many Republicans have applauded the president's new strategy for Afghanistan.
Republican strategist Kevin Madden said that Obama's talk of bipartisan outreach has been all pageantry but no practice.
They gave up at the first sign of opposition, Madden said.
But Ross Baker, an expert on the presidency and a professor at Rutgers University, said that Obama's effort was a sincere one.
It's sort of like a missionary who goes to a primitive tribe and tries to convert them from cannibalism and ends up eating human beings, Baker said.
Heading into the midterm election year of 2010, voices from all sides agree that there is little hope that Obama and Republicans will be able to find common ground in the new year.
It will get worse until the first Tuesday after the first Monday of next November, when voters will have a chance to express their outrage with the Democratic supermajority, the Senate GOP aide said.
But the White House said Obama isn't giving up.
The president will continue to look for ways to work with Republicans in Congress not because its easy it hasnt been -- but because he believes its in the best interests of the country, a senior administration official said.
maybe it’s cause he’s such a caustic dick that he makes everyone hate him.
There was no such attempt at bi-partisanship.
I don’t compromise with conceited ill-educated Muslim idiots.
It appears that those Republicans wishing to stay in office don’t either.
Yeah, the Democrats are really extenders of the olive branch. Unbelievable.
Another word for “so stupid, not one Republican wants to vote for it.”
Obama = the most divisive President EVER!
Exactly...Youngman must have close ties to Zer0 and his thugs.
That’s it exactly! Arlen Specter said on “Fox News Sunday” last weekend that the Republicans had a caucus right after the Inauguration, and decided to never compromise or work with Obama on anything. They knew that only if they defeated him every chance they got that they would not be able to win the White House in 2012. Jim DeMint was on the show at thw time and confirmed it.
So even if Obama DID try to compromise, it was useless. The Republicans - in the Senate at least - are going to refuse to work with Obama on every and anything. They want him GONE.
I dont believe anything the traitor Arlen Spector says, and I doubt any such meeting wes held.
However i want Obama Gone too.
Was a bunch of baloney.
The Libs just want the GOP to share in their failures and since that’s not happening they want to blame the GOP for not being “bipartisan”.
Agree...If healthcare and cap and trade do pass the Rats know they’re going to get all the blame. They also know it will kill many of them in 2010 and 2012, the Repubs know it too and are holding fast.
Oh, yes. I remember Obama’s greatest attempt at bi-partisanship...the day he invited Republican lawmakers to the White House and rejected any compromise with them by announcing “I won.”
"I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them just to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess."
Now that's some sweet, sweet bipartisanship!
"I won," President Obama said, indicating why the Republicans were not going to have any significant input into the bill. President Barack Obama was echoing sentiments by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who had explained by the House Democratic leadership version Barack Obama to Republicans "I Won" of the stimulus bill was going to pass with or without Republicans.
The reaction that comes to mind is, "It's like that, huh?"
Previously President Barack Obama had indicated that he wanted as much bipartisan buy in for the stimulus package as possible. In the normal course of things, that would mean incorporating some Republican ideas for using tax cuts rather than spending programs into the stimulus bill in the spirit of bipartisan compromise in order to get large bipartisan majorities for passage of the same.
Spector is a liar and this Sam guy thinks we have no memory or google.
They can get away with articles like this because there’s so many sheople in this country who live with their heads buried in the sand and will drink any flavored koolaid they are given by the libs. My brother-in-law is a case in point. He keeps wanting to blame Bush for all that this man has done wrong.
Great post, right on!
Specter was still in the GOP caucus at the time. I believed him when he said it, because he said it Sunday trying to dish dirt on the GOP.
Most tellingly, DeMint confirmed it, didn’t deny it.
I betcha it happened. Why doubt it? Do you really think the Senate Republicans want to work with Obama? They haven’t cast a single vote in favor of anything he’s done. They’re consistently united in this.
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