What happens when you make concessions to the Republicans so you can have “bipartisan” support for the stimulus bill? This:
The stimulus package just passed the House, with the billions in corporate tax cuts, without the money to re-sod the National Mall, without the money for family planning for poor people, and without one Republican vote. Without one. Final vote was 244-188 as 11 “Democrats” crossed over.
It’s the exact same result Obama (and Pelosi) could have gotten by pushing a better bill through without any concessions at all.
As the Rude Pundit put it:
We don’t know what Barack Obama actually said to Republican members of Congress in his closed-door meetings with them yesterday regarding his stimulus plan. But we do know one thing for sure: it accomplished nothing. This is the way it’s gonna go, and if you’ve paid attention at all, you know the steps: Obama will concede shit and Republicans will ask for more (even though they already got more tax cuts than anyone fucking needs), Obama will concede more shit and Republicans will ask for more (even though they’re gonna get the family planning funding taken out), Obama will concede more shit and Republicans will ask for more, and then when the vote comes, Republicans will vote against it, saying that no one listened to them and fuck that Obama for lying about bipartisanship. Yet the legislation will have passed in a watered down form from the deep infrastructure and other spending so desperately needed to, you know, create jobs, which will, you know, create taxable income, which will, you know, help actually pay for shit some day.
Obama has done good work so far when he’s been able to do things directly, like starting the process of closing Guantanamo, lifting the gag rule, and reviewing the idea of letting states set emissions standards that are tougher than the federal governmen’s. Apparently though, everything he learned about how to play things in Congress he learned from the same Democrats who failed to get much done for the past two years. Here’s hoping this episode teaches Obama that the Republicans have no interest in compromising, no matter how much the new President wants this to magically be a post-partisan world. He should do what’s right, rather than responding to Republican hissy fits with concessions.