The economy is very sick," Obama said before meeting with Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid. "The situation is getting worse. ... We have to act and act now to break the momentum of this recession."
"The reason we are here today is because the people's business cannot wait,"
"Economists from across the political spectrum agree that if we don't act swiftly and boldly, we could see a much deeper economic downturn that could lead to double-digit unemployment and the American dream slipping further and further out of reach...
"This is not a Republican problem or a Democratic problem at this stage. It is an American problem and we're going to all have to chip in and do what the American people expect."
In Obama's "bi-partisan Congressional" presser today, he called the economy "sick" and stressed the need for accountability on how the money from his massive stimulus package will be spent. As we've seen with TARP, and with no real oversight in place, you can't trust CEO's to do the right thing.
The AP contacted 21 banks that received at least $1 billion in government money and asked four questions: How much has been spent? What was it spent on? How much is being held in savings? What's the plan for the rest?None of the banks provided specific answers and most refused to explain why they are keeping the information secret.
Obama is stepping into an economic situation that is eerily similar to FDR and he's hitting the right notes when he says transparency and accountability are a high priority for him. That is going to be paramount if his new economic package is going to move forward. In FDR's time, just the fact that "change" was happening in America that didn't have the name "Hoover" attached to it gave FDR a huge boost to his agenda and to the American psyche that helped him get through his first 100 days. Hope and change do matter to the American public and Obama is using it wisely so far.
Obama is in a similar position to FDR, but what will Conservatives do? Will they try to block his policies that he wants to sign into law as soon as his first 100 days begin or will they become part of the solution? I think we know where Mitch McConnell's head will go. They want to appear to be relevant, but it was their control that has put us in this position to begin with.
I hope Obama's love affair with bipartisanship will come to an end very soon. Not because I don't think it's a good idea to have both sides working together, but because Conservatives are incapable of doing just that. They do not want Obama to succeed because it will weaken their grip on American politics for years to come at the expense of average Americans just trying to get by.
It's about ideology for them and not about the healing that our country is in desperate need of. I think Obama will soon feel their un-partisan wrath sooner rather than later and hopefully it will snap him out of any thought he had that he could work with Conservatives, no matter how "centrist" he goes. So here's the question.
How fast will Obama get fed up with Conservative obstructionism? Will it be in his first 100 days or shortly after?
I do know they filibuster Franken (who has just declared victory) and Holder as soon as Conservatives can. Will that be the beginning of the end to this bipartisan nightmare? If Conservatives did join in then at least Obama would be able to start healing the country, but don't expect any help from them.