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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

No surrender, no retreat (II)

Barack Obama lunched on the obligatory piece of humble pie yesterday, talking about the "shellacking" Democrats took in 49 states Tuesday and promising to work closely with Republican House leaders, who offer the same sweet words.

He ought to get that pledge in writing.

While voters were in a surly mood this fall, it's an open question whether rank-and-file Republicans are going to follow the path laid out yesterday by Speaker-to-be John Boehner. We've all heard the talk about repealing health care, shutting down government and launching investigations -- the MO the last time the GOP held power in one or both branches.

The New York Times' Matt Bai looks at the split within the GOP on the question of cooperation and leaves us pondering just how far that olive branch should be extended.

After all, the GOP refused to cooperate on just about anything over the last two years, despite the fact Obama was elected with one of the most solid majorities among presidents in recent years. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has yet to retract his pledge that the No. 1 Senate goal will be Obama's defeat in 2012.

The Wednesday offer was an obligation that presidents must make when their parties take it on the chin in midterms. But Obama needs to recall recent history -- and what he got for his previous efforts at bipartisanship.

Democrats still control the White House and one branch of Congress. The GOP is the new kid in town and needs to put their cards on the table first. Two years of outright opposition won an election but it didn't solve our problems.

It's time for them to put up or shut up. And Obama needs to make sure he is carrying a pair of brass knuckles inside those velvet gloves.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Barack was elected he had a mandate, but not for his healthcare etc it was for changing the way things were done in Washington. The earmarks, the special interests, no transparency for the process. If the Republicans mistake this mandate as a repudiation of Obama, they're wrong and will be out on their butts in two years. We want the government to WORK not kowtow to the special interests and make all the backroom deals. The Tea Baggers elected hopefully will expose the process whenever possible if it's not about honesty in government.

November 04, 2010 6:35 AM  
Blogger Readwriteblue said...

It should be the Republicans whom are suspicious of bipartisanship. Former President Bush was very bipartisan and it cost him and his party dearly. It also left our nation tottering on the brink of economic collapse. But that is a topic deserving a much longer post than I would place here.

It is refreshing to see our President acting the part and mouthing something other than slurs against the other party. We all could step back from some of the more corrosive heated rhetoric that we have endured for all too long. I always hope for decency and civility. But I am frequently disappointed.

In regards to the election here in the Commonwealth I am disappointed. But even this cloud has a silver lining. More people voted and more importantly new people got involved. It is these new people who will build the future governments of this Commonwealth.

November 04, 2010 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Joel Patterson said...

"Former President Bush was very bipartisan and it cost him and his party dearly. It also left our nation tottering on the brink of economic collapse."
Did you mean to write that? Is the "bi" a typo?

November 04, 2010 4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush was never bipartisan. His idea of bipartisanship was "This is what I intend to do, either do it my way, or I'll go it alone. In any case it's going to be done my way, all the way".

November 04, 2010 11:24 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

I simply can't let the notion of Bush being bipartisan stand.

Bush's concept of "bipartisan" was to take a narrow, highly controversial and emotional victory in 2000 and lurch hard right, mowing over Democrats who, admittedly, cowered in fear.

Obama, having won a clear majority of the popular vote, moved toward the center and extended bipartisanship only to be rebuffed by the right -- at great cost to support from his base.

November 05, 2010 5:23 PM  
Anonymous Joel Patterson said...

Time to cut spending:
No more subsidies for oil companies.
No more subsidies for tobacco companies.

Let's see if Boehner really believes in a free market when it comes to his biggest donors.

November 07, 2010 7:16 PM  

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