Hooray for bipartisanship!
So BO spends time and energy wooing Republicans in congress in order to get them on board for the economic stimulus bill. He even waters down the bill so that it includes some tax cuts, which, as we've already seen over the past 8 years, have done nothing to "stimulate" the economy. He doesn't need to do this. Democrats are in the majority and they win a party-line vote no matter what. But BO wants to walk the walk. This is admirable and refreshing after our recent history.
So the unnecessarily watered-down-to-please-the-minority bill comes up for a vote and it passes. Hooray! And how many of those nice Republicans voted for it? [pause for dramatic effect] NONE!
Holy fucking crap. Not one of those creeps voted for it. Not one! 178 Republicans voted against it. 0 Republicans voted for it.
The math is not complicated here. If they're not going to vote for the bill no matter what, then why the hell is there anything in it that is just for them? It is utter foolishness to pass a bad, or merely inadequate, bill that was cheapened for votes that didn't materialize and weren't needed in the first place.
I'm all for compromise when it's appropriate and I applaud BO for trying to make it happen. But they've shown that they're clearly not interested. The first big FU has officially been dropped. Should they be rewarded for this? Come on. Take the bill back. Fix it. Make it the Republicans' worst liberal nightmare. Remove all of the tax cuts and add a lot more infrastructure spending. And even more family planning spending.
If this is how they're going to be, screw them. Do the country's work and let them worry about it.
"Bipartisanship" has two meanings, it seems. 1: When the Republicans are in the majority, Democrats should bend over, lube up and take it in the spirit of unity. 2: When the Democrats are in the majority, the Democrats should bend over, lube up and take it in the spirit of unity. This has to stop. Now.
The difference between "obstructionist" and "principled" depends entirely on which party we're talking about. Democrats were "obstructionist" when a few of them piped up and said maybe we shouldn't let lawbreakers off the hook or give lots more money to people who don't need it. Republicans, of course, are never anything less than brave fighters standing on principle.
I'm not looking forward to another congressional session of partisan shitstorms, but I'm sick and tired of the Democrats just getting rooked by these people. You guys run the show, Dems. Toss them a bone every now and then but don't get suckered into letting those who had their chance and failed miserably continue the same bullshit. Let 'em cry all they want. We voted for change. Now give it to us. No lube necessary.
AN UPDATE: Glenn Greenwald says pretty much the same thing here, only better. Not that this was some kind of original thought of mine or anything. Be sure to read the link in Greenwald's second update for a good laugh.