Oh Those Republican Pals of Ours
Given that the current Administration is easily rated one of the worst of all time it’s a little surprising to see them ramming the right thing down the throats of their Republican brethren in the Senate this morning: if Republican Senators won’t cough up the automotive bailout dough the White House will get them the money anyway with Treasury TARP funds. Usually disasters inflicted upon the Republic are orchestrated with Cheneyish brilliance and determination from the White House to do precisely the wrong thing, but perhaps even Bush comprehends that being officially stamped by history as The Depression Maker is a fate to avoid.
Note carefully that the rejection by Republicans was a breach of good faith, meaning everyone got together beforehand to agree on passing the vote, but when it actually came time to do it Republicans acted like lying petulant children and stabbed Harry Reid in the back, precisely the same trick House Republicans pulled on Pelosi when first rejecting the bailout. These are the calm, responsible, mature stewards of Democracy that us liberal Democrats must work with in glorious bipartisan harmony as we move forward with President Obama.
Of course Democrats in the Senate had already significantly compromised before the good faith agreement, but naturally Republicans didn’t give a damn, they’re ruthless partisans who stop at nothing to achieve their ends. Far as I know, there has not been one good faith agreement ever breached by Democrats in Bush’s term, Democrats don’t go around inflaming races with charges of treason or un-patriotic behavior, they don’t blatantly lie at every turn to justify a ruinous war, all they do is compromise with Republicans, yet they’ll still knife the Republic and us for their own twisted ends.
My utter disgust and disdain for bipartisan politics lies not in the aversion to confrontation with Republicans, it’s the grossly naïve and manifestly immature delusion that in fact Republicans want to or are even capable of bipartisan behavior. How nice it would be if we could all get along and stop all this horrible bickering, what will the children think, but it’s a fool’s fantasy that refuses to acknowledge an incredibly stark, clear record of 50 years of vicious Republican partisan behavior and tactics.
Obama and bipartisan advocates will counter that change can only occur when the dynamic of Democratic behavior changes, if we say Change is Here and act like great mature legislators of peerless fairness, why, just watch the Republicans see the light and change themselves.
Bullshit. Democrats already have acted in mature good faith for the last eight years and have absolutely nothing to show for it, the idea that somehow DC has been a big fight all this time is patently absurd, the Republicans have run amok while the Democrats allowed themselves to be nauseatingly pushed around. Hello? Remember Howard Dean, representing “the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party?”
Making the galactic assumption that Democrats are bad-ass partisan fighters (oh dear), the Republicans have shown zero empirical evidence of being capable of change. Even in these times of great uproar, the White House urging them on, twice in six weeks both the House and Senate Republican leadership whined, lied, viciously demanded concessions, and then blew everything up anyway. These charlatans of Democracy are somehow going to change over the Christmas break?
Compromising with Republicans is no sin, the issue is that it never delivers anyway. Obama made the deliberate decision not to go after the Republican brand in the election in his vision of unity, just as he will not prosecute the hundreds of horrendous Bush administration crimes when he takes office. What did that get us? Underperformance in House races by 20 seats in the last election (I’m so sorry, Darcy Burner), Karl Rove spreading filth and poison in the Wall Street Journal every week, and Senate Republicans acting like lunatic children as they threaten to plunge the country into a depression.
All the while the US journalism corps thrilled to prop them up, already the fangs are out over Blagojevich, no matter how absurd or reactionary the charge US journalism will gloss over and legitimize rank Republican obstructionism.
As a rational observer I’m supposed to take on good faith Republican behavior in 2009? My God. My faith is with empirical reality and Realism, I refuse to waste my time behaving in a world as I wish it to be, not as it is. President-elect Obama can mistakenly keep faith in Republicans and experience precisely the same failure and betrayal Senate Republicans handed the country last night, or realistically understand the Republicans for who they really are and make much better progress for the Party and country.