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?