On FOX News, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) attacked President Obama for not being bipartisan and a bad leader and threatened to obstruct further bills that might come up as we move forward to try and dig ourselves out of the destruction the party of Ronald Reagan have brought down on all of our heads.
Graham, who was a big supporter of John McCain's run at the presidency, has been almost as vocal and vehement in his opposition to the stimulus bill. Do these conservatives have any shame at all?
Graham said this:
Graham: What we've lost is a young president's promise to change things. Please don't say this is change I can believe in. And please don't underestimate how the public is pulling for you, but they don't like this bill.
President Obama is only fulfilling promises he made on the campaign trail. He reached out in an unprecedented way to congressional Republicans as soon as he took the oath of office. He reached out his hand like no other president has done in many, many years, but Republicans took a huge chunk of flesh out of his hand.
John McCain has acted as badly as Sean Hannity and refused to negotiate in good faith after Obama called him directly for his bipartisan help. He has been trying to block this stimulus package from the beginning, but he knows more than anyone else that President Obama ran on his economic principles and won the election handily, helping the Democratic Party picked up a huge chunk of Congress along the way.
Instead of being part of the solution that America voted to bring, McCain and Graham have only brought bitterness from their resounding defeat. Graham complained to Shepard Smith and blamed the usual Republican targets:
Smith: How did this happen?
Graham: It started with the attitude, we won, we write the bill. Dave Obey, Democratic appropriater in the House, created a monster of a bill that really stunk up the place and the public saw right through it and it came to the Senate and the compromise is actually more expensive then the original House bill. You've rearranged the puzzle a bit....
The public does like this president, he's a very likeable guy, but his leadership here I think has been unacceptable and his partisan rhetoric is going to make it harder for us to work together on banking and housing and if we don't solve the banking crisis and the housing problems, no stimulus package will jump start the economy.
So Lindsey Graham is threatening President Obama that he and his fellow Republicans will not work with him and basically hold the country hostage unless he bows down to their will. Graham doesn't tell you that the Republican obstructionism started from the get-go -- and as the media focused its entire attention on their message these past few weeks, they threw cold water on the entire process.
That forced President Obama to start speaking out publicly to help push his agenda through. He never wanted to give prime-time speeches about this plan, but he underestimated the Republican hostility, and should have understood that his good will would never be reciprocated by a party that is struggling to find themselves. Obama's popularity does have then a little nervous, but not enough, and they will pay for it in the long run.
In the latest Gallup poll, Americans once again show huge support for President Obama as he tries to solve the problems that BushCo. has created.
But they underestimate the power of his bully pulpit. If he goes on air and tells the country he tried to work with the Republicans but they refused to do the things he deems necessary to kick start this economy, it will resonate and they will pay another huge price. So, keep at it boys and girls. Obstruct away.
Last week, ThinkProgress released a report showing that, in the debate over the House economic recovery bill on the five cable news networks, Republican members of Congress outnumbered their Democratic counterparts by a ratio of 2 to 1. The analysis tallied interview segments about the stimulus on CNBC, Fox Business, Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC during a three-day period, finding that the networks had hosted Republican lawmakers 51 times and Democratic lawmakers only 26 times.
In a new analysis, ThinkProgress has found that Republican lawmakers outnumbered Democratic lawmakers 75 to 41 on cable news interviews by members of Congress (from 6am on Monday 2/2 through 11pm on Thursday 2/5.
This imbalance of coverage created the need for President Obama to take to the airwaves and and tell the American people what he wants to do for them. And that happened last night.
I don't think Republicans will want to look at many polls coming out this week, but I guess they will adopt the Bush administration attitude that "they don't govern by the polls" ... until they need to.