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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Obama Fails his own standard of bipartisanship

In the Wall Street Journal today William McGurn makes an excellent point about how the current administration got the stimulus bill done in a “bipartisan” manner. Which brings me back to my favorite political question “Are they liars or just stupid?”

In 1996 in Obama’s book The Audacity of Hope he outlines the definition and need for bipartisanship – especially in the face of a majority party which has the ability to run roughshod over the minority. Given how the stimulus bill was driven through Congress without any real Republican support, you would have thought the excerpts from the book came from the current Republican congressmen.

if nobody outside Washington is really paying attention to the substance of the bill, if the true costs . . . are buried in phony accounting and understated by a trillion dollars or so -- the majority party can begin every negotiation by asking for 100% of what it wants, go on to concede 10%, and then accuse any member of the minority party who fails to support this 'compromise' of being 'obstructionist.'

For the minority party in such circumstances, 'bipartisanship' comes to mean getting chronically steamrolled, although individual senators may enjoy certain political rewards by consistently going along with the majority and hence gaining a reputation for being 'moderate' or 'centrist.'"

Can the Obama administration really consider this a successful bill given his strong stance on bipartisanship and compromise during the campaign?

Does he really believe it is a compromise when no one on the other side votes with you (Stupid) or does he just spout the rhetoric to further his party’s agenda (Liar)?

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