Let's hold hands and sing
Anyone who believes Senator Obama has the best policy ideas ought to vote for him. Anyone who believes his sunny disposition and lofty rhetoric are going to magically transform the Washington political landscape may as well believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Anyone who has been paying attention to the neocons and theocons and corporate kleptocrats who have been busily destroying the world knows that these people play for keeps, that they are not nice, and that they don't care about platitudes or poetry. Many of them literally kill people for a living.
It's early. Senator Obama is enjoying a popular groundswell and media fawning. His charm offensive is working. Nobody should be deluded into believing it will last. The only way the sinister interests who control our country will be satisfied with a President Obama will be if he adequately serves their interests. That goes for any Democrat, indeed, any public official.
The Washington Post, on Sunday, had a little article, with some Republican reactions to Senator Obama's sudden emergence. They have some fear of his popular appeal, but are clearly uninterested in bargaining.
"He believes he's a game-changer, but I don't believe the game has changed," said Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, dismissing Obama's transformational pledges as naive. "It's captivating. It's intoxicating, but it's not going to last."
"It's clear he is a phenomenon," said Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), a conservative scrapper who revels in Washington's partisan warfare. "He will use style and grace to achieve liberal goals, which is absolutely politically brilliant but intellectually dishonest."
"Any new president is going to have a honeymoon period, and with his communication skills and the foundation that he appears to be wanting to lay -- 'Look, I'm above partisanship; I want to be everybody's president' -- I'm concerned he could push through some policy things that I fundamentally disagree with," said Rep. Jim McCrery (La.), the ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee.
Americans are tired of the bickering and want progress, (Trent) Lott said. But he said Republicans are not about to concede to Obama's vision of progress, a vision they see as classically liberal: federally run health care, government-mandated energy changes and a rapid pullout from Iraq.
"Barack is tapping into a feeling that he has heard out on the trail, and it's very real," Lott said. "But if he's talking about bipartisan, sweeping big government, I don't think that's what people are talking about."
Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said bipartisanship tends to produce the worst that Washington has to offer -- transactional politics where lawmakers scratch one other's backs without regard to the bigger picture. Pork-barrel spending goes unchallenged because members of both political parties know that by objecting to one project, they jeopardize their own, Flake said.
"Partisanship is underrated. There is a time and place for it, and more time and place than we realize," he said.
If you like Senator Obama's actual policies, vote for him. If you haven't taken a look at them, maybe it's time to do so. But if you think he's going to get Republicans to be civil, you need to start actually thinking. Republicans aren't going to play nice with any Democrat. The question is not who will best work with the Republicans, but who will best defeat them.