Posted by: ReyMac
On the left, they are moaning about the President’s extending a hand to the Republicans. Letting them vent, putting in more tax cuts, cutting out “non-stimulative” portions of the Recovery package, are all signals that he values listening to his political adversaries than his allies.
On the right, they are crying about how the President said he was going to listen, but then he didn’t follow their directions, so he didn’t really mean it when he said he wanted their input. Lindsey Graham’s bushlit argument that “the president has been awol” and has shown “zero leadership” is absurd in the extreme given the walks President Obama has taken over to both Republican caucuses.
In the media, the pundits and the journalists (and there is a difference) want to hold up the three Republican votes in both houses as “gotcha journalism” (did I really just quote Sarah Palin . . . I am slipping in the extreme) that proves the bipartisan effort is failing.
It was refreshing to see the President last night silence all of these noisemakers in one fell swoop. At his first press conference, the President said the following:
You know, when I made a series of overtures to the Republicans — going over to meet with both Republican caucuses; you know, putting three Republicans in my Cabinet, something that is unprecedented; making sure that they were invited here to the White House to talk about the economic recovery plan — all those were not designed simply to get some short-term votes. They were designed to try to build up some trust over time. And I think that as I continue to make these overtures, over time hopefully that will be reciprocated.
But understand the bottom line that I’ve got right now, which is what’s happening to the people of Elkhart and what’s happening across the country. I can’t afford to see Congress play the usual political games. What we have to do right now is deliver for the American people.”
That should put everyone on notice. This isn’t a short-term game. Much like his campaign for the office he now holds, Barack Obama is looking at this CHANGE in Washington with a long view.
He’s not abdicating to either his supporters or his opponents. He’s not playing the one-second, one-minute, one-hour, one-day, twenty-four hour newscycle sudden death vote count with the fourth estate.
He’s building relationships, listening to all comers, and then making decisions which in his mind will reap the most rewards for those most directly affected. It’s a new type of presidency. It’s a new way to steward the country.
That’s what being bipartisan really means.