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It's Not Me, It's You: Should Obama Stop Wooing Republicans?

It's Not Me, It's You: Should Obama Stop Wooing Republicans?

Obama may have won 52.9 percent of America over and pretty much all of Europe, but there's one group who continues to resist his charm, his cocktail parties, and his stimulus plan (I spared you package). With zero votes for the stimulus, Republicans have yet to give an inch when he's given them tens of billions in tax cuts.

Last night, Rachel Maddow asked if Obama is in an unrequited relationship with Republicans. How far can he go before bipartisanship becomes a fool's errand?

President Obama's latest outreach came today when he nominated a Republican, Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, to the commerce secretary post. Before accepting, Gregg said he would refuse the job if his seat were filled by a Democrat. Another Democratic senator would push the Senate one seat closer to the 60-seat filibuster, giving Democrats complete control. But as predicted, his chief of staff, Republican Bonnie Newman, will replace him.

So what's in it for the president? To find out,


While it may do wonders for his bipartisan image, it does little to change Washington. Are Republicans testing him? Or are they just laughing, tax cuts in hand? It could be that Obama needs to set some boundaries and remind Congress that in politics no favor goes unreturned — start a little quid-pro-quo fire underneath their seats.

For now one question buzzes through the tunnels of Washington: Is bipartisanship worth it if President Obama gets nothing in return?


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hope2be hope2be 8 years
He's wooing the Republicans? I didn't even realize that. Anyway, I disagree with the current stimulus bill. I think some of the Reps are dragging their foot, quite whiny and a little extreme in some aspects about the bill (because there are good stuffs in there, and I agree that spending is needed beside tax cuts only to stimulate the economy), but I also think the bill needs to be cleaned up a great deal and if both parties can clean it up together. GREAT. From what I've read so far, the original bill has a lot of 'pork' in it. The thing what I want most from all of this, and so far I've not seen is that Congress actually wants to resolve their differences and work together without being 'childish' (honestly, I think BOTH parties are being babies right now) for the sake of the people. Please both parties, do what's right and work it out. Then again, I kinda think that if they can't reach any sort of the agreement, heck, the Dems can override the minority and pass the bill as it is. Just own the bill, so if it fails, it's their mistake (in expense of the people), if it succeeds, they'll get to stay longer in power (people will vote them in again and again). Yep.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
"Yeah, I think Obama's done enough. He told them his door is open and that he's willing to listen. If they have anything worthwhile to offer they can find him." Exactly. Respect and cooperation are two-way streets.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
Why does everyone have animal avatars lately? Did I miss a memo?
refinedharmony refinedharmony 8 years
The comments have been interesting! I for one really don't like the bipartisan system. We all know that life is not black and white, so I'm not understanding why politics is that way? Maybe not soon, but I definitily could potentially see a third party to emerge and remove us from this rediculous, childish fighting- to even up the playing field, and make sure EVERYONE's voice is heard. I heard recently the suggestion that the third party would be the Conservative party, along with Republicans and Democrats. That being said, I think it's great that Obama is trying to compromise with the Rs. It sounds to me like they want none of it. But I don't think that means that Obama should stop trying :/
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Giving someone a tax cut is very different than giving them billions of dollars. So the analogy of cutting salaries just doesn't work. Sorry.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
"Republicans don't want to be saddled with a government that runs everything." Isn't this in direct conflict with your proposed salary caps on so many industries? We are trying to create jobs here, not re-regulate 10,000 industries. It has been shown time and again that tax cuts do not have the economic impact that is needed to fully get us out of this. They help a modest amount, but people and businesses are saving. Economists largely agree that spending will stimulate the economy far more. Tax cuts are quicker, so they are included and take up about 40% of the bill, but economists mostly agree that this bill HAS to be more than tax cuts for it to work. It seems that some people are looking to expand the number and types of jobs that will be spurred by this package, and Congressional republicans are looking to narrow it down for superficial reasons.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
Republicans don't want to be saddled with a government that runs everything. There is no out to this bill. Once it's done, it's done. And it doesn't work. See UK, France, Iceland, poland etc.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
pet projects = pork
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
Tax cuts across the board, not pet projects.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
I see a big difference between a tax cut and a bailout. I thought that republicans did as well, hence debate on the stimulus. Maybe I'm missing something.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
I don't care if we give them a cent, they should all be subject to the same scrutiny.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
Are these movies getting billions of stimulus money? Seems what was proposed was a tax cut. Billions were given to these corporations BILLIONS.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
1 person making 15 million when we have to bail them out is too much. We cannot give hollywood special exceptions because they paid for your campaign, Obama.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
There are also very few execs that make exorbitant amounts of money too, but theat didn't stop Obama from placing a cap on their salary. Same should be done with Movies. Sorry.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
Public polling shows that the majority of the country supports the Recovery Program. I dont' have time to find and post, but I know it is out there. Check out for statistical info.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
And I know several big stars in movies you would have heard of that only made $250,000 for their part, so you are actually over estimating. Surprising, I know!
Jillness Jillness 8 years
Hain, the VAST MAJORITY of movies that get made do not have even one star that gets paid over $1 million. Most movies that are made are considered small next to the block busters, and can't afford a very well known cast. You hear the most about the ones with the stars in them, but straight to video/cable/foreign market movies are really the ones that are made more frequently.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
And trust me, just because a repub votes no on this danged stimulus doesn't mean he is simply towing the party's lines. The constituents don't want this. It is TOO big. THEY need to scrap it and start over. Problem is that Obama came to the table with a huge package. At first they tried to look at it objectively but when it came down to it, they don't think it is in the best interest of American and their constituency. We will be giving our children a HUGE debt that they will have to increase taxes to pay back at some time. Feinstein received 93% or her calls against the stimulus and is voting for it anyway. She is supposed to representing her constituency. Repubs are just doing what they were hired on to do, actually represent the people instead of thinking you are too high and mighty and that all the public are idiots.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
Jillness, if hollywood wants to be involved in the stimulus package, they need to limit the income for the higher paid actors, just like Obama is doing for the executives. Is there a reason they need to make 15 million a film. You can have 500,000 a film and the rest of that money can actually be spent revitalizing our economy. Then, and only then, should they get any money.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Thanks mydia. :) "And lastly, no I don't think Obama should stop. Bi-partisanship is more than a couple cabinet seats and Rick Warren. And this isn't a problem that can be fixed, what, TWO weeks into his presidency? This is something that will take a while and I think it's worth the wait. Although there are obviously some people who will hate the man no matter what he does, I think there are some who will see his commitment to working with everyone." I agree that there are some who dislike Obama, no matter what he does, and there are some who will like him, no matter what he does. I agree that it's a great idea to reach across party lines and try to find compromises. Government shouldn't be about pushing your party's ideologies, it should be about compromising to make sure everyone, libs and repubs, benefit. It should be about doing what is best for the country.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
Great point Pop: "If they see Obama reaching out over and over only to have his hand slapped, the irritation will be at the Repubs who will look like spoiled children - not at Obama's willingness to reach out." It was also good to have a reminder we are only 2 weeks into his Presidency! It feels like longer!
Jillness Jillness 8 years
I think that for the sake of finding the best answers to our severe problems, he should certainly not stop trying to reach across the isle. This isn't a game with people scoring points, this is about seriously finding ways to address what is crippling our country. It boggles my mind how some people can be so petty, but I guess to some people it is a game. I think the Democrats in Congress need to work better with Republicans, but the Republicans are doing a lot of their foot dragging for show and upcoming elections. They created a list of things they oppose in the bill, and some of them you can tell they did not research at all! For example, there is a tax cut for movie production. I know that hating Hollywood is en vogue for the red party, but movie production brings in TONS of cash that is spent on a massive variety of industries. They spend vast amounts directly to state and city governments by buying huge amounts of permits, etc. Republicans in congress say they are focused on job creation, however, they seem to be pretty limited as to what kind of jobs they would approve of, and I think this mentality hurts progress on this bill.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Ahh, so the list begins of Obama's campaign promises that have been broken. But what does that have to do with bi-partisan ship? It's not black or white - he either keeps ALL his promises, or none. Why not allow for a middle ground where someone makes mistakes? I listened to something on NPR about this the other day, specifically in re: to the House not giving any Repub votes. They mostly said that they knew it wasn't the final bill and the votes were symbolic. They also interviewed members of the House who said that Obama's visit was great, and they just wished Pelosi showed the same willingness to compromise. This isn't all about Obama. In any case, if Obama continues to give and give and the Republicans don't follow suit at all, Obama still wins. Most of the US is pretty much in the middle and wants to see government working. If they see Obama reaching out over and over only to have his hand slapped, the irritation will be at the Repubs who will look like spoiled children - not at Obama's willingness to reach out. And lastly, no I don't think Obama should stop. Bi-partisanship is more than a couple cabinet seats and Rick Warren. And this isn't a problem that can be fixed, what, TWO weeks into his presidency? This is something that will take a while and I think it's worth the wait. Although there are obviously some people who will hate the man no matter what he does, I think there are some who will see his commitment to working with everyone.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
He is actually listening, and he supported extending the about for infrastructure and public works projects unlike most Republicans. "A procedural vote to waive budget rules to proceed on the amendment failed, 58-39, two votes short of 60-votes needed. The vote itself drew out the opposition in a variety of ways, with Republican senators expressing their views on the broader disagreement over whether there ought to be deeper tax relief and less spending. It also demonstrated the strength of the Republican opposition to the overall bill, which they contend would amount to $1.2 trillion altogether. The highway amendment had been pushed by Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, and others, in response to concerns that money needed to be increased for states to pursue “shovel-ready” projects that would create or preserve jobs in the short term. Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, was one of the few Republicans who supported it, saying that his state’s governor, Ed Rendell, had told him jobs could be available within six months. Mr. Specter, however, expressed concerns raised by others that the additional spending should be offset by savings elsewhere." General philosophical issues with any stimulus (besides tax cuts) has I think caused Republicans to throw the baby out with the bath water. Senators like Specter are actually listening and trying to be constructive.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
mydia - What is Arlen doing, with regards to the stimulus?
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