I get so tired of the overused word "bipartisan" when people talk about what is happening in the government. True bipartisanship really does not happen very often. Given the fact that the two sides are so far apart on so much ideologically bipartisanship very seldom happens.
The question that should be asked is what exactly defines the word bipartisan or being bipartisan? When using the word in a sentence such as "President Obama was looking for bipartisan support for his stimulus package" it probably means that he gets support from both sides of the political isle when the aforementioned bill gets voted on in the house. So if one republican had voted for the bill, would this have constituted what one would call bipartisan? To be intellectually honest one would have to get at least a group of senators or congressmen in order for it to be true bipartisanship.
What is silly here is that while Obama and even some members of House gave lip service to the idea of bipartisanship, very little was done to build a coalition among House Republicans and Democrats. In fact, when the President met with the Republican leadership, his response to some very good ideas to include in the stimulus packgage included some real tax cuts (not the ones that give money back to people who don't pay any in the first place) was "I won." He was polite about it, but basically he was saying that he and the Dems won the election and therefore really don't have to listen to the Republicans on much of anything. That is not what I would call bipartisan.
This is obvious when one considers that not one House Republican voted for the Stimulus bill. 0, zip, nada. Why did this happen? I think the answer is more simple than one might realize. While I would like to believe that every Republican finally found their conservative principles, and grew a pair, I think there were some who just did not vote to yes, because they were not included in negotations when the bill was in committee. Surely some feel released from the shackles of a moderate President (Bush) and are learning what it means to be the "loyal opposition." But this is essentially the same group that voted for TARP, which was umpopular and did little to help the banking industry. I am happy nonetheless that this did happen, because this so called stimulus package will do nothing to stimulate the economy, but is a pork laden, socialistic piece of garbage.
Since the Democrats did not even listen to a single thing that the Republicans had to say when fashioning this bill, it is obvious that to a Democrat bipartisanship is when the Republicans abandoned their principles, and just capitulate and vote for whatever the Democrats want.
Which brings up the question. Why does Obama want or need Republican support? He as enough votes in the House and only needs a couple moderate senators to switch to get cloture on a bill, and put the bill up for a vote which would then be passed since the Dems have a majority in the Senate as well. If he is so sure that his so-called stimulus bill will work, then he should see this as an opportunity to score some huge political points and further entrench the Democrats power in Congress. Republicans opposing such a measure during such a horrible economic time that turns out to work is tanemount to political sucide. So again, why does he then need Republican support. The answer seems simple. He wants political cover if this doesn't work. If Republicans vote for this package and it fails and the economy worsens, he can spread the blame on the GOP and deflect the blame away from the Democrats. Essentialy Obama is gambling huge and he is trying to get GOP support to hedge his bet.
Back to the word bipartisan, the only thing that was bipartisan about this bill was that 11 Democrats voted against this bill. So one could argue that there was no bipartisan support for the bill and a little bipartisan opposition to the bill.
Here's hoping that the Senate stands strong and forces the pork out of this bill, or better yet stops it all together. If the Republican Senators stay unified they can. Moderates in the Senate need to know that they cannot give cover to the Obama as he takes our country down the road of Socialism. The conservative talk-show hosts are right. Put this on the dems. Let them ride this to their doom.
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