Mark "Matt Drudge Rules the World" Halperin was on Morning Joe earlier today and blamed President Obama for the fact that no House Republicans voted for the stimulus bill. One of the Village elders has spoken. I've heard him say foolish things before, but is he using Limbaugh's maid? What was Obama supposed to do, win the election, the House and the Senate and turn the stimulus package over to John Boehner and Rush Limbaugh? Is this man insane? I've written many times that I thought President Obama went too far in trying to wooooo Republicans for bipartisanship. They were never going to sign up.
Halperin: "This is a really bad sign for Barack Obama to try to change Washington.... He needs bipartisan solutions. They went for it and they came up with zero.... The House Republicans are more partisan....[This] does not bode well for a future that is supposed to be post-partisan. [...]
"[Obama] could have gone for centrist compromises. You can say to your own party, 'Sorry, some of you liberals aren't going to like it, but I am going to change this legislation radically to get a big centrist majority rather than an all-Democratic vote.' He chose not to do that, that's the exact path that George Bush took for most of his presidency with disastrous consequences for bipartisanship and solving big problems."
President Obama and the entire Democratic Congress were elected by the American people to change the direction our country is headed since conservatives have ruined our economy and most everything else under George Bush and the Republican led Congress. Villagers always fall back to their favorite term to smear liberals with. "Centrism." Only Democrats are supposed to be centrist in the minds of many Villagers, but never Republicans. Conservatives are the grownups and the left are dirty f*&king hippies who just want to trash the White House.
Listening to Mark Halperin in this clip should explain why blogs like C&L have gotten so popular. The Villagers are going to destroy this country. They helped Bush get elected over Gore, they led cheers for the Iraq war, and now they are supporting the Republican party at a time when this country faces a tremendous crisis.
I'm trying to wrap my head around Halperin's logic here. By his reasoning, the only appropriate thing for Obama to do was let Republicans -- who failed at governing, and who've been rejected by voters -- shape the bill, addressing the crisis they helped create. If the far-right House GOP caucus was unsatisfied, it was Obama's responsibility to make them happy. Why? Because Mark Halperin says so. This is absurd.
Media Matters has a rundown of the zombie lies now in circulation about the bill, but suffice to say that there was no shortage of people willing to sacrifice the American economy for political gamesmanship. The Republicans unleashed their inner Church Lady and demanded contraception be cut for the sinfully promiscuous poor, then complained they didn't "get" anything in the bill and turned the whole thing into a well-choreographed publicity stunt. They looked like a bunch of petulant, narcissistic brats and did a nice job of making Obama appear measured and statesmanlike by comparison.
Obama is facing a weaker Republican Party but a much bigger set of problems, with the stakes being exponentially higher. We just don't have time for this nonsense again. At some point, the Democrats are going to have to confront their central political problem, which is that the conservatives are not appeasable and that political and media elites have either been brainwashed by conservative propaganda or are conservatives by choice and they have to convince the citizenry that their ideology is better for their personal well being and the well being of the country. Until that happens, the conservatives will remain in power even as an opposition force and their failed ideology will continue to destroy this country. This isn't a game anymore. They have to pass good policies.