That’s More Like It

Headline at WaPo: “Obama Scores Early Victory of Historic Proportions.” Story by Michael D. Shear and Alec MacGillis. Lede:

Twenty-four days into his presidency, Barack Obama recorded last night a legislative achievement of the sort that few of his predecessors achieved at any point in their tenure.

In size and scope, there is almost nothing in history to rival the economic stimulus legislation that Obama shepherded through Congress in just over three weeks. And the result — produced largely without Republican participation — was remarkably similar to the terms Obama’s team outlined even before he was inaugurated: a package of tax cuts and spending totaling about $775 billion.

Well, yes, that is what happened. Amazing that anyone at WaPo noticed. I still expect some editorials tsk-tsking Obama for not getting more Republican support, but whatever. Oh, wait, here it is in paragraph 3:

As Obama urged passage of the plan, he and his still-incomplete team demonstrated a single-mindedness that was familiar from the campaign trail. That intensity may have contributed to missteps in other areas, as the president’s White House stumbled repeatedly in the vetting of his Cabinet and staff nominees. And high-minded promises of bipartisanship evaporated as Republicans accused the president and his Democratic allies in Congress of the same heavy-handed tactics that Obama, in his campaign, had often demanded be changed.

Yes, after Obama and his team politely solicited GOP input, and the GOP bit his hand. And when he realized they were trying to block him, he went around them, and they’re mad about it. On what universe does this make the partisanship Obama’s fault? Oh, wait …

At Balloon Juice, DougJ posts an example of early bipartisanship under George W. Bush, from the same article. I’m going to post a longer quote:

President George W. Bush was similarly without a major achievement by the week of Feb. 8, 2001, three weeks after his inauguration.

Bush had begun selling his $1.6 trillion plan to cut taxes, and he had announced a plan for a big investment in new weaponry for the military. He was preparing for his first international trip, to Mexico, and gave a speech to military units warning against “overdeployment.”

Unlike Obama, by this point Bush had not yet held a prime-time news conference. Like Obama, Bush made an early gesture to encourage bipartisanship: inviting members of the Kennedy family to the White House to see the movie “Thirteen Days.”

Bush’s efforts at bipartisanship largely failed, but not until after he had launched a war in Iraq and pursued controversial efforts to expand the power of the executive branch.

Sort of a mine field of howlers, don’t you think?

Other stuff: It’s so hard to pick one Howler out of all the Howlers, even though Bob Somerby has been doing it since 1998. But I think I’ll nominate this Hot Air post. Just read it. You will howl.

16 thoughts on “That’s More Like It

  1. Bi-part-is-an-shit

    By reaching out to rabid dogs
    I had my hand bitten off.

    In tryng to organize fire ant’s
    I had my ball’s gnawed off.

    When asking for suggestions
    I was shouted down.

    After asking questions
    My tongue was sliced in half.

    I must not be bipartisan enough.
    I must try harder.

    I must offer my better half.
    I must offer my childern.

    I must offer myself on a platter
    Only then will they understand.

    They understood at the first cut.
    The first cut is the deepest…

  2. Bush made an early gesture to encourage bipartisanship: inviting members of the Kennedy family to the White House to see the movie “Thirteen Days.”

    This was howler enough for me.

  3. Bush thought we should invest in advanced cluster bombs. Just what we and the Israeli’s need!

    It’s a good feeling to know that our current President at least wants to put money and effort toward positive and constructive goals. It’s like a spiritual quest for growth. It can’t be quantified, analyzed or dissected, it can only be understood as returning a beneficial outcome. I see good things for America on the horizon. We’re slowly lifting the yoke of spiritual oppression that the conservatives placed so firmly around America’s neck.

  4. Pardon my French, but fuck the Republicans. Why bother with them at all? As long as Obama has enough votes, that is all that should matter anyway. As the 2008 elections demonstrated, the Republicans are irrelevant.

  5. It’s shocking that our new administration was so intensely focused on taking action to help the people that they stumbled and forgot to ask new job applicants if they paid their taxes.

    I’m really enjoying the absurd hissy-fits emanating from the Village nowadays. Ooh, that Chris Dodd is so evil.

  6. Balloon Juice lost me when they said that cutting bank president pay would reduce needed tax revenues. First off, a rightie supporting taxation of the rich? Dichotomy Alert! Then there’s the bizarre implication that a bank president would pay a tax rate exceeding 100% of his pay; so far as I can tell, that’s the only way that pouring public money into the bank would result in a positive tax revenue flow to the government.

  7. “Headline at WaPo: ‘Obama Scores Early Victory of Historic Proportions.’

    Shhhh. Don’t repeat this too often. The longer the Republican Party continues to believe they are winning through the use of their childish stunts, the better off we’ll be.

  8. Hermerically Sealed – ‘fuck the Republicans’ sounds great. But this would not have passed except for 3 Republicans who risk the wrath of their party by voting FOR it. If Obama & the Democratic leadership adopt the attitude Bush had, we will make it impossible for moderate Republicans to break ranks and join progressive legislation. In 2010, the Limbaugh crowd will try to crush Republican dissent by putting up a candidate in the primary election to defeat Specter in 2010.

    Republicans on the Sunday talk shows are very interested in stabilizing banking & housing. I was astounded to hear ‘nationalizing the banks’ from Lindsey Graham, though I am not sure how he would implement it. But the door is open for other Republicans to break ranks on occasion and sign on to legislation which the GOP opposes. But we don’t have the magic 60, and even if we did, Democrats rarely vote as a united group.

    I am not suggesting we have to meet the GOP halfway, or have them draft bad bills. But if Lindsy Graham is open to radical ideas on banking reform, hell, let him join in. We have cracked the borg-like servitude of the GOP to the Limbaugh crowd; let’s continue to welcome defectors to the free world.

  9. Doug, Go to and create an account,then upload your image.. you’re in business.. a very simple process.

  10. The blog is looking bee-oo-tiful, Maha!

    As for the legislative landmark, I’m with Hermetically Sealed, whose French is music to the ears.

  11. From Hot Air, “Wall Street high fliers pay taxes, too,” the implication being that by limiting their pay we’re being deprived of tax monies. Got to love Republican ‘logic’ as a party that goes into violent spasms at the very word ‘taxes’ and in the next breath tells us that a government deprived of them will be in trouble.

    And of course Republicans fight decent wages for labor – higher wages do mean higher tax revenues for government, don’t they? Maybe CEO money is different than worker money? (Kind of parallels that idiotic remark from a CEO that bonuses etc. were not being ‘paid’ with bailout money so what’s the beef.)

  12. Doug – most excellent and wise your gravatar is! I switched to a different gravatar, so if you’d like to use The Brain, please do. He craves the attention.

    Swami – who’s your gravatar? Looks like Martin Van Buren having a bad hair day?

    I assume maha’s is herself as a little’un. Cutie!

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