Thursday, February 12, 2009

I have questions

Not defending Judd Gregg, just asking: Is there anything Daily Kos diarists don't think "reveals the futility of bipartisanship"?

... Also, can someone please explain to me what a Commerce Secretary even is?


Katie said...

I think something is going on there...Judd came to Obama. Now he's pulling out saying there's an ideological rift (um, duh?) AND he even says he's not going to run again in 2010. And his body language during the press conference today--very defensive. This dude has something to hide. But what could it be...

Rob said...

And somebody pointed out that Gregg seemed to time his announcement to undercut Obama's Peoria appearance today. Reads like a guy who got fired, no?

I think it's the census! The census is secretly very exciting and controversial no one realizes it!

g33kgrrl said...

Except Rachel Maddow said that they also announced that they were taking the Census away from the Commerce Secretary! So there might be something else. I was thinking it was just the stimulus bill.

That being said, re: bipartisanship - I often feel like saying "I do not think that word means what you think it means." Because people mainly seem to use it to mean "meeting in the middle on an issue, regardless of what would actually work best." For example, the tax cuts in the stimulus bill, which... won't really help stimulate the economy. If "bipartisanship" instead was used to mean "people from both sides of the spectrum coming together to find a solution that really works," I think you'd find a lot less irritation about it.

Rob said...

Well amen to that, that definition of bipartisanship is both completely stupid and bizarrely widespread.

I guess I'm referring more to the liberal view that Obama is wasting his time with all this kumbaya "reaching out" nonsense and ought to just get down to the business of steamrolling Republicans. I have no a priori objection to steamrolling opponents -- I don't believe in bipartisanship as an end in itself. But politically I still think this is terrible advice to the president. Those three Republican votes were necessary or there would have been no stimulus at all. It's going to be the same with health care and any number of other parts of Obama's agenda.

Will that mean we'll see more of this High Broderism, split-the-baby compromising, and self-important Senate grandstanding? You betcha. But I just don't see any other way.

The other thing is, for good or ill, "bipartisanship" in the abstract is very popular with the American people. Maybe they don't know what they're talking about, but that is what the public says it wants. So I think there's an additional benefit to Obama/Dems to be perceived as reaching out if Republicans are perceived as obstructionist.