Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Obama’s False Bipartisanship

Bipartisanship (n.) -- Word used by failing politicians to shift blame to the other side.

Obama is in trouble. His agenda is dead, killed by his own arrogance and stupidity, and the excesses of leftist Democrats. Now he needs to change the terms of the debate. His strategy, as I first noted the other day, is to shift blame to the Republicans by accusing them of a lack of bipartisanship. Let’s look at his faux “bipartisanship.”

Obama: Can’t We All Just Get Along
When Obama came to town, he told Republicans simply: “I won.” He then ignored every one of their concerns as he and his supermajority of Democrats set about creating a massive left wing legacy. But something went wrong on the way to the Politburo, the voters rose and up and the Democrats got shaky knees. Before it was over, Obama achieved nothing but falling poll numbers. . . numbers which hit a new low again this week.

By the time of the State of the Union, a speech which was supposed to be a victory lap for health care, Obama had gone from “I won” to calling for bipartisanship, begging that Democrats and Republicans forge “a sense of purpose that transcends petty politics.” But was he serious or was this just a political ploy to shift blame to the Republicans?
Obama: Nah Nah Nah, I’m Not Listening
On Tuesday, Obama summoned Democrats and Republicans to talk up his plans for bipartisanship. He began the meeting by whining that his administration isn’t getting enough credit for what it’s done to improve the economy. This, of course, begs the question: is he talking about the eight million lost jobs or the nearly two trillion dollar deficit that is so large it’s become a national security threat?

He then accused the Republicans of “want[ing] to kill” his agenda.

After that highly partisan start by Obama, Sen. Mitch McConnell said that they could work with Obama in various areas, including trade, offshore drilling and expanding nuclear production and clean coal technology -- all things Obama mentioned in his State of the Union. Obama wasn’t interested.

Rep. John Boehner then pledged that Republicans would support Obama if he used his authority to rescind spending measures, to help reduce the deficit. Obama wasn’t interested. Instead, he attacked McConnell for not supporting Obama’s attempt to create a “bipartisan debt-reduction commission.” Ignoring their concerns that creating such a panel will push off any debt reduction measures until after the election, Obama demanded that they appoint member to a debt commission he plans to create by executive order (without first providing them with any details about the commission), or he would appoint the members himself.

The Republicans also said they could work with Obama on a bipartisan jobs bill, so long as it didn’t become too costly and it didn’t just become another stimulus bill. Said McConnell, “We know that wasn’t a job generator.” But Pelosi immediately put out word that she would not support the only job generating portion of the bill, a $5,000 tax credit for businesses to hire new workers. . . though she would support more green spending (perhaps, spending that helps the price of her CLNE stock stock?). Several Democrats also stated their opposition to any agreement on trade.
Obama Attacks
Immediately following this one-way bipartisan meeting, Obama held an impromptu press conference -- his first in months. Obama appeared right after Robert Gibbs mocked Sarah Palin for using crib notes by writing “eggs, milk, bread, hope and change” on his palm. Obama (Mr. Can’t-Speak-Without-A-Teleprompter) took the podium and declared “I want a substantive discussion. . . The people who sent us here expect a seriousness of purpose that transcends petty politics.” I guess Gibbs didn’t get the memo?

The new bipartisan Obama then blasted the Republicans. He said that he’s seen few signs the Republicans are willing to support any of his policy initiatives:
“Bipartisanship cannot mean simply that Democrats give up everything they believe in, find the handful of things that Republicans have been advocating for and we do those things, and then we have bipartisanship. That’s not how it works in any realm of life.”
He then singled out Mitch McConnell and accused him of only paying lip service to bipartisanship:
“Mitch McConnell said something very nice in the meeting about how he supports our goals on nuclear energy and clean coal technology and offshore drilling to increase oil production. Well, of course he likes that — that’s part of the Republican agenda for energy.”
So apparently, bipartisanship as Obama defines it is Republicans giving up everything they believe in? Also, if Obama supports those goals too, as he claims, why not pass them . . . other than spite? Obama then blasted the Republicans for failing to act on his nominees (keep in mind that the Democrats control the Senate calendar). He then threatened to fill these appointments by recess appointments if they aren’t confirmed (something the left called unconstitutional when Bush did it).
Other Partisan Attacks Are Made
As Obama blasted the Republicans and Gibbs mocked Sarah Palin, White House counterterrorism aide John Brennan made a series of vile attacks against the Republicans on the issue of terror. You might recall Brennan as the idiot who can’t answer why Islamic terrorists want to kill us. In an op-ed published on the same day as Obama's (bi)partisan soirée, Brennan accused Republicans of “misrepresenting the facts to score political points” about panty-bomber Umar Abdulmutallab. He added that this “politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering only serve the goals of Al Qaeda.” As if he knew what those goals were.

But Brennan isn’t the only demonizer on staff. Obama has done it himself since his calls for bipartisanship. Last week, two “moderate” Democrats in danger of losing their seats told Obama that he needs to reassess his agenda. Sen. Blanche Lincoln told Obama that he needs to “push back on our own party and look for that common ground that we need to work with Republicans.” Sen. Evan Bayh told Obama that the Democratic Party needs to show that it can be trusted to bring down the deficit and control spending. Obama’s response? He attacked the Republicans, accusing them of causing the 2008 financial break down “to make sure that we continue the tax breaks for wealthiest Americans.”
The Republicans Aren’t Fooled
Fortunately, the Republicans are getting it. Noted Minority Leader John Boehner: “It’s not hard to figure out that there’s some kind of shell game going on here. I know bipartisanship when I see it, and it’s not saying one thing and doing another.”

They also expressed concerns about his health care conference because of his unwillingness to start from scratch, rather than continuing with his existing bill. Said House Republican Whip Eric Cantor, “We’re not interested in a dog and pony show to trumpet failed bills that, in fact, the Democrats can’t even pass right now.” And Republicans appear to be sticking to their guns in demanding a fresh start on this.

They also pointed out that Obama’s talk is not consistent with his actions. For example, while he talked about moving forward on nuclear power, two days later he cut all funding for Yucca Mountain, a necessary storage site if nuclear power is to be extended, and he pushed back any alternative decision by creating a blue-ribbon panel to study nuclear energy and waste storage. . . effectively delaying any decision by at least two years. Said Sen. Jim DeMint: “It’s hard to take him seriously -- let’s push nuclear energy at the same time he makes it impossible to deal with the waste. What we’re losing now is just the ability to trust what he said.”

Finally, they noted that despite his claim in his State of the Union that he would “make tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development,” Obama’s budget tells a different story; it indicates that Obama has no intention of expanding oil production.

Obama’s demand for bipartisanship is proving to be exactly what it appeared to be during the State of the Union, just another disingenuous tactic meant to shift the blame to the Republicans. Since blaming Bush wasn’t working, he’s apparently decided that he need a new fall guy. . . one still holding political office. Fortunately, these Republicans aren’t playing his game.


MegaTroll said...

Good points. I think it's clear Obama isn't being bipartisan. He just wants to blame the Republicans.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Mega. Obviously, I have the same thought. Someone who wants to be bipartisan isn't going to go out and blast the other side. They also aren't going to ignore areas of agreement. Those are what you use to start the negotiations. Clearly, Obama isn't interested in working anything out -- he just wants a scapegoat.

Writer X said...

President Obama's idea of bipartisanship means that the opposing side must agree with everything he proposes. Did he learn that technique at Harvard?

I can honestly say that I've been more impressed with the Republican party these last few days more so than I have been the last few years. John Boehner, in particular, has been particularly effective and impressive. I hope it continues.

Great post, Andrew!

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Writer X! I agree completely. I think the Republicans are finally finding a backbone and they're making it work. Plus, the fact that they are offering areas where they are willing to work with Obama will make it harder for the media to claim that they just blew off his offer. This gives me a lot of hope for the future!

As for Obama, I don't think he learned anything at Harvard except that he doesn't like people telling him no. He doesn't seem to have any idea how to deal with people -- this is no way to get people on your side!

Tam said...

I think the "backbone" the republicans have finally found is us, as in We the People. You can only ignore the Backbone of the country/constitution for so long. I am looking forward to November, and I enjoy all the battles leading up to election day! Fight on, I say!

patti said...

i don't think many are fooled anymore, quite frankly. even some of his ardent supporters are calling foul on his empty promises.

the only way to save his sinking numbers is to become something he isn't: honest and ethics-filled. ain't gonna happen.

BevfromNYC said...

Hey patti! How're the eyes?

Finally the Repubs are showing they "get it" and they're listening. And it's obvious that Obama doesn't "get it" and I just don't know why. I just do not understand how he and his advisors are so bad at politicking. Politics is compromise.

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, Great point! The people finally woke up and the Republicans are listening. . . the Democrats aren't. This is going to be an interesting election cycle. I'm very hopeful for November!

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, He's gotten himself into a serious trap -- to make the public happy, he needs to abandon his supporters. . . can't satisfy both!

Like you, I doubt he can change. Clinton did it, but Obama's far too rigid to pull off the kind of change Clinton made.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I think the problem is threefold: (1) they exist in a vaccum chamber, with everyone they know telling them that everything is fine, (2) they honestly believe that if they can just force their agenda on us, we will calm down and accept it, and (3) his base absolutely will not let him give an inch. Bad combination.

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: The blogs and Fox have done an admirable job of pointing out the vast difference between Obama's words and his deeds. The country is catching on, and is starting to pay attention to his lies, inconsistencies, and obfuscations and comparing them to what he really does. The moderate frosting is sliding off the socialist cake.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I agree and I think that without the alternative media, he would be having a much easier time getting away with it all. In this instance, I'm really amazed how obvious he is being that he doesn't want to reach any sort of deal.

Primer said...

Obama and Bipartisanship go together like Illinois and an honest Governor. It just doesn't work.
I not really sure why most Obama voter's are suprised by his lack of willingness to work with the other side. All the facts where right there for everyone to see. All they had to do was look at his Illinois voting record, his Senate voting record and his own personal life.....Bwahahaha......Who am I kiddin'! An Obama voter that researched there canidate. That's a laugh.
Democrats had there chance to run the big show and they blew it in a little over a year. That's gotta be some kind of record...
Now let's hear the Obama cheer..I inherited it, I inherited it, Bush Bush Bush...

StanH said...

Great overview Andrew! Barry’s a rigid ideologue, he only knows what he’s read in a book, or what his mentors have told him, Wright, Ayers, etc. The Republicans need to rename him Typhoid Barry, and keep away, let him twist in the wind. If you reach out to this guy, (bipartisanship) …you will become his whipping boy.

The wise man once said: “If your opponent is committing suicide, get out of the way!”

AndrewPrice said...

Primer, So true, always look to where a man came from to get a sense of where he's going!

Some kind of record! LOL! Very true. They had one of the most overpowering majorities of all time and they began falling apart almost from day one -- talk about incompetent!

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, A very wise man indeed, I think it was Rush wasn't it?

I agree, they should never play Obama's game -- they need to make him play their game. And if they can get him to sign off on some good things, fine, but there is no reason to agree to anything the public doesn't want just for the sake of bipartisanship.

patti said...

bev: the eyes are complicated, but i can see today! thanks for askin'...

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, glad to hear you're better!

wahsatchmo said...

Neo-neocon had a great analysis of Obama’s inner circle that gives superb insight into this kind of behavior by Obama. Basically, her point was that Emmanuel, Gibbs, Jarrett, and Axelrod are all facets of Obama himself, and he listens to them to the exclusion of all others. All the “smart” and “fresh” voices appointed by the Obama administration are ignored in favor of these four, and these four have no clue how to deal with politics on a national level, nor run a country for that matter.

Personally, I think Obama lacks the intellectual experience to develop any perspective on his own without it being fed to him from a trusted source. Which is why criticisms of his policies fall upon deaf ears - they’re not really his policies in the first place. He has to wait for one of these four to tell him how to defend against any criticisms because he really doesn’t understand (nor care to understand) the implications of any of these policies he claims to espouse as his own.

All of the intellectual credentials bestowed upon him during the campaign were those more properly credited to Bill Ayers, who told him what to write and how to write it in his “auto”biographies.

His trusted advisors are part of the Chicago machine, who cut their teeth in a single party environment where corruption is king. Thankfully, this is not quite the federal government, yet. But it does mean that they are wholly unequipped to take ultimate responsibility for their policies, nor do they appreciate that there is no other state or federal government to steal from, now that they’re outside of city government.

AndrewPrice said...

wahsatchmo, Excellent observation! I agree entirely. First, I don't think Obama is a particularly bright or interested man. His political skills seem to be largely repeating what he's been told to repeat. If I had to answer what I felt he personally believed, I'm not sure I could answer that. . . or that he could either.

I think it's clear that Obama has little ability to influence others or to change his own course, and he has no desire to listen. And that will likely doom him and his party at the next election, as those are the three most important skills needed in politics.

And in terms of policy makers, I agree that it seems that his entire team consists of only a handful of people who really don't know what they're doing. Again, as you note, coming from a one-party, corrupt place like Illinois means that they haven't had to deal with true multi-party democracy in the past, nor have they had to worry about a watchful public, since everything was done in backrooms.

That's clearly handicapped them once they hit the national stage. It's also, I would argue, left them with too few "thinkers" to deal with much at once. That's why they seems to be just tossing out big ideas and they letting the Congress run with them -- which is a recipe for disaster.

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