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Will Any Other Republicans Support the Stimulus Deal?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid emerged just before 3 p.m. today with a passel of senators in tow to announce that a compromise between the House and Senate on President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package had been reached.

That a deal has been brokered is not surprising. Obama made it clear that this was his number one legislative priority, and campaigned hard over the last 72 hours for quick passage of the bill. With Democrats in control of the House and Senate, not passing a bill was never an option.

The question now becomes how many Republican votes the bill can attract and whether it will allow Obama to claim a bipartisan victory on the bill.

"The people want us working together in Washington," said Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), a key player in the compromise deal.

But, in the first round of voting, not a single Republican House member voted for the bill and just three GOP Senators -- Olympia Snowe (Me.), Susan Collins (Me.) and Arlen Specter (Pa.) -- crossed the aisle to back the legislation.

At the just-concluded press conference announcing the deal, all three Republican senators were in attendance -- ensuring that the bill will receive the required 60 votes in the Senate -- but there were no other GOP Senators in sight.

Moments before the deal was announced, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.), who has found himself in a bit of a media maelstrom of late, issued a statement that slammed Obama and congressional Democrats for allegedly keeping House GOPers out of the negotiations.

"Despite our repeated attempts to work with President Obama and the Democrat Majority, Speaker Pelosi has refused to meet with us, or even include us in key negotiations, choosing instead to stick with a pork-filled bill that even Members of her own party do not support," said Cantor.

Given the ever-increasing partisanship around the issue, which Republicans might ultimately cast a "yea" on the economic stimulus package?

The Fix polled a handful of wise Democratic Hill operatives today on that very question. In the Senate, possible GOP switchers include George Voinovich (Ohio), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Richard Lugar (Ind.) while in the House Reps. Fred Upton (Mich.), Mike Castle (Del.) and Jim Gerlach (Pa.) are potential switches, according to these sources.

A word of caution: Everyone the Fix spoke to warned that the shifting sands of the bill (what's in it, what's not) make predicting who will vote for or against it difficult.

What's clear is that barring some sort of seismic shift over the next 24 hours, Obama will not even come close to getting the broad bipartisan support in either the House or Senate that he and his team had once hoped for.

Is bipartisanship dead? Or at least badly wounded?

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 11, 2009; 3:40 PM ET
Categories:  House , Senate , White House  
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Next: Wag the Blog Redux: Debating the Stimulus


What most of us want to know is that what the Republicans would like to add to the Stimulus Bill that they have not tried in the last eight years? Any thing NEW?

Posted by: kmguru | February 12, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

As far as bipartisanship? President Barack Obama offered to the Conservatives an open door.

So, if they feel left out. They have only themselves to blame. Why don't you and your other followers demand an explanation as to why they refused this invitation?

Are we going to allow this grumbling between these party leaders, who were voted in these positions to voice our opinions? 59% for 33% against.

Or are we going to call them to the carpet and demand an explanation?

This money or stimulus Bill the Conservatives are trying to block is not their money.

So, why do they act like they give a damn? This money is not coming out of their pockets.

President Barack Obama is in office now. If it's not excepted, then it is what it is.

why can't we be friends, why can't we be friends, why can't we be friends, why can't we be friends?

I know your working for the C.I.A. They wouldn't have you in the mafiiiiaaaa!

Can't we all get along?

Posted by: opp88 | February 12, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse


Bipartisanship died when the House Democrats refused to let the House Republicans even have a say in drafting the bill. Died a second death when the same House Democrats locked out the House Republicans during the negotiations. Can't lay that one on the Reps ---- this one belongs to the guys that 'won the election' as they are so prone to remind all of us!!

Posted by: wolfmanjack14 | February 11

Posted by: opp88 | February 12, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Day 24 - the War on Prosperity

Our country had the greatest economic engine in history. One that allows most people to have something to eat each day which is not the norm for many people on earth and one that was so successful that large portions of the population don’t contribute or work, but still survive (w/ cell phones, hdtv, and more), now has come to the point where those people, who have greatly benefitted from it, now reject it.

Government of the people, by the people, for the people. The people in this phrase are referred to by our royal elitist politicians as chattering classes who if they received a tax cut would probably spend it outside the country.

Some much for openess and accountability on the stimu”less”. The taxpayers should be getting the trillions and the government should be getting $13 a week. It would prove to be much more effective.
Don’t be surprised if there is a time when all the inflated/devalued currency will be recalled and you will be issued a government debit card for your needs. It will be nice card with a smiling Barry on it and good at all soup lines.

Posted by: leapin | February 12, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey Fraziercam-
Are you a 'DEMOCRAT" or a "DEMOCRATIC"?
What a genius!

Posted by: rockerdon | February 12, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Republican Senator Demint proposed an amendment to the $800 billion dollar stimulus. He proposed replacing the $800 billion dollar stimulus with a pur tax cut stimulus of $3.1 TRILLION in tax cuts and 36 of the 41 republican senators voted for it. This is thier idea of a solution? This is exactly why we need the democrats in control.

Posted by: neglectedveterans | February 12, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Conservatives would rather see America fail than to let our economy be saved by "Liberals" and "Socialists".

Please visit my Blog: "Conservatives Are America's Real Terrorists"

Posted by: cjprentiss | February 12, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Don't confuse stimulus with bailout. They are different things.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2009 3:57 AM | Report abuse

I am sick of both liberials and hard core conservitives,they are the ruining our nation with their crap. I am moderate Democrate. When will it all this stop? House Dem want to spend and House GOP want tax cuts or credits. In the spending the time and energy in whining that GOP is doing eveyday,why they do something constucted. I agree with GOP there was alot pork in the orginal stimulas package. It seem to me when Bush left office, that the house lefties were in a candy store. I think the GOP spoiled rotten babies and they can't handle that they all longer in power. If President Obama allows the the lefties to dictate or write legislation and not govern in the center, the dems could lose big in 2010.

Posted by: valjeanharden | February 12, 2009 3:41 AM | Report abuse

Just a note for all of those, including President Obama, that have forgotten the final House of Representatives bailout vote back in October.

Voting yes were 172 Democrats and 91 Republicans.
Voting no were 63 Democrats and 108 Republicans.

More than half of Republicans voted against their own Republican President to protect fiscal conservatism and the free market system of success and failure, while almost 3/4 of their Democratic counterparts voted in favor of the bill.

It is quite disingenuous for the President to keep saying that the people voted out the GOP policies and ultimately those of the Democratic Party of the last 8 years, because a good portion of the GOP were against those policies, as can be seen above, too. And there is still substantial public opposition to that bailout, it was not the choice of the people.

And a note, if the bailout package would have included more special interest liberal platforms, most of the remaining 63 Democrats would have voted for it to, minus some of the blue dog Democrats, because that was their biggest objection to it.

Posted by: TheEngineer16 | February 12, 2009 1:22 AM | Report abuse

The best thing about Republicans is that they are a minority. THANK GOD!

Posted by: camera_eye_11 | February 11, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Um, Cillizza. What do you think? No, there will be no bi partisanship. Why? Because Republicans want -- in the words of their hero, Rush Limbaugh -- Obama to fail. Too bad if that means the country also fails. You see, Chris, they don't care. They. Don't. Care. But you knew that, didn't you. Jesus. Another idiotic column from the Post. You and your buddy Milbank are fighting it out for the biggest hack in washington.

Posted by: monk4hall | February 11, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

[Quote by Chris Cilliza] The question now becomes how many Republican votes the bill can attract and whether it will allow Obama to claim a bipartisan victory on the bill. [End Quote]

Is that how it works Chris? Should Republicans too sign on to this bad legislation so that it will "look" bipartisan? No! I would never sign this bogus stimulus fraud, would you? You know, and a lot of the panting supporters know this shopping spree know it for what it is; a payback to special interests and bad bills that were shot down repeatedly in the past. Oh sure, there are some worthy stimulus items in there, but all the rest is pork by the pound and you know it. Let’s not forget the shameful $ 4.2 billion that will be sent directly to ACORN, still suspected of widespread voter fraud, an organization that Obama himself was involved in during its creation. ACORN, a despicable organization that appears to have been involved in wide spread voter fraud and likely threw many elections, all in favor of the Democrats. Some process pal. Are we supposed to pad their pockets with our money too? No Chris. Obama and Friends don’t need the 48% and growing minority to open their pig farm. They can do it on their own. I won’t have a part of it and neither will either of my senators. Enjoy.

Posted by: OIFVet06 | February 11, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

With all the promises that Obama made during the campaign, I knew he wouldn't be able to fulfill all of them. But what was important to me was that first, he try, and second, he succeeds in reversing most of the negative things that are going on. I'm willing to accept partial victory. So, will he able to claim BIPARTISAN victory? No. But he can claim victory. That's enough for me, especially when you consider what he was up against--the stick-your-head-in-the-sand (and elsewhere) Republicans who put party and power above all else. When things begin to turn around, those Republicans will become even more marginalized than ever. I just hope their constituents realize this.

Posted by: stmr | February 11, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

$ trillion patronage system

Smoking Gun: Democrat Says "Obama Has Secret Plan to Fund a Patronage System"

"When the 2010 & 2012 election comes arround you are going to HAVE to go out and get out the vote"

Posted by: rtfanning | February 11, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are in a tough spot. Effectively, their national spokesmen are Limbaugh and Drudge. Their policies, by any objective measure, favor the well-heeled, who are too well educated to take Rush or Matt seriously - so the whole Republican thing is inherently dishonest.

Obama, on the other hand, stands for things Democrats can really believe in.

Look for continued atrophy of the Republican party for as far as the eye can see, and by the same token look for vigor at the Democratic roots.

Watch, for instance, Philadelphia's bedroom counties over the next several elections. Well to do, well educated, financially insecure suburbanites.

I don't know what Ed Rendell was thinking when he dissed Obama in the PA primary.

Posted by: officermancuso | February 11, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

I fear that given the depth of the ideological divide, with conservatives/Republicans feeling there is little role for government to play other than to stand aside while liberals/Democrats feel that, particularly given the depth of the crisis, there is an enormous role for government to play, there is no real possibility of meaningful bipartisanship.
As it is, for good or ill, the Republicans are winning the battle of perceptions. They have raised doubts by focusing on relatively minor emotionally resonant issues, and if the bill 'succeeds' in its purpose they will claim credit for having shaped it and if it 'fails' they will say they did would could be done but that the 'socialists' have failed.
This is a culture war of the truest sort as to the appropriate role of government now that laissez-faire capitalism has demonstrably failed.
It would have been far better to stick to principles, shape the bill as the administration desired, make appropriate accommodation to reasonable suggestion and criticism, then put it before Congress. If the Republicans had chosen to filibuster they then might have exposed themselves as mere obstructionists and the public likely would have demanded action.
As it is, this hand has been ill-played by the new administration. I am sorely disappointed.
It's time for the Obama administration to get serious and, if necessary, confrontational. There is too much on the line to do otherwise.

Posted by: atomikweasel | February 11, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Bipartisanship, bischmartisanship. Who cares? The Republicans were given many concessions and chose to vote no. They are out of the game.

Posted by: johnsonc2 | February 11, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Fox News' Juan Williams insults the First Lady on TV.

We just stumbled on this. I guess it's old news but I didn't see it anywhere in the Washington Post. When you Google, though, it comes up everywhere...except the MSM. Guess the Post was too busy editing Kathleen Parker anti-O attack pieces. Outrageous.

Excerpt from Washington Monthly:

"During the January 26 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, NPR news analyst and Fox News political contributor Juan Williams again baselessly attacked first lady Michelle Obama, claiming that "her instinct is to start with this 'blame America' ... stuff." Williams asserted that "[i]f you think about liabilities for President [Barack] Obama that are close to him -- [Vice President] Joe Biden's up there -- but Michelle Obama's right there."

Posted by: broadwayjoe | February 11, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Chris: you're sounding more pragmatic nowadays, good to see some balance :)

need4trth: Stop with the links to all the other sites, we get the point. Note, at least 55.78 million people (46% that voted for McCain) likely disagree with you. Don't worry, not me, I voted for the 3rd guy.

What this article is asking really was bipartisian-ship a political theater ploy or the real deal. I call BS as this is ALL political theater to convince us that the federal gov't is '*now* doing it's job'. Obama promised lots of change and really, it is really business as usual downtown. Changes happens everyday in Congress since 1776, just SLOWER on some issues, FASTER on others. Obama should have told us that the issues important *to us* will change faster (we want) than normal. He would have easily gotten my vote that way. Instead, he sells the 'dream', ambiguous 'change' and the full crate-n-barrel.

If anyone, Clinton was the only person over the *last year* that show some bipartisanship. But she lost.

Standing back from all this hoopla, we have as heads of Congress liberal, political superstars from SF, Chicago, and Vegas. Pelsoi has been wanting to streamroll the repukes, Reid was tired of the beat down, and Obama's base (his 'ear') despises repukes as much as conservatives hate liberals. It's like a mirror image (think about it, really). The bipartisianship was never there in the 1st place--just all theater.

Posted by: recharged95 | February 11, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Who cares about "bipartisanship"?
No one I know.

Republicans hated the idea and they still do.

Obama blah, blah, etc. about it,
but he won because we in the middle and left are very angry about a lot of things that came from the Republicans and they have learned nothing.

Again, no one cares whether Republicans are happy about anything. As a party, it is their political posture to be unhappy.


Posted by: shrink2 | February 11, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Its time for President Obama and the congressional leadership to stop the fear-mongering and speak truth to the American people.

Without doubt, many of the jobs that people have lost will never, ever come back. If you are a low skilled worker who will never have enough ambition to get a technical or college education, go apply at a fast food restaurant right now because all the guvament help in the world is not going to provide you with economic security for long.

But for those of you who aspire to improve your and your family's lot, there is, dare it be said, great reason to HOPE. The United States of America is on the verge of a SEVERE labor shortage.

Don't be foolish enough to believe any of the nonsense that is playing out on the national stage, unless you wish to doom yourself to a life of failure. Take your head out of the sand and go get an education that will prepare you for the jobs that the baby boomers will be leaving in ever increasing numbers. Regardless of what the politicians say, labor shortfalls in America are INEVITABLE and if you don't prepare yourself you deserve nothing from the rest of us, NOTHING!

Posted by: magellan1 | February 11, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Take a good look at Abe Lincoln Barack.
Do you see a bit of Africa? I do.

Posted by: mudbone | February 11, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

As long as GOP members such as Eric Cantor keeps referring to the DemocratIC members of Congress as the "Democrat" party, he'll likely continue to find himself without a sympathetic ear.

That's so rude, so yesterday, and so unnecessary.

I don't disparage the name of the Republican party, and I don't see what purpose is served by the GOP continuing to denigrate the proper name of my party.

Virginia is my home state, and Eric? Have you noticed that it's turned blue?

Posted by: fraziercam | February 11, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Not only did the Republicans make this mess, they'd rather play politics than solutions. I can't see any reason to bother with bipartisanship when they are only willing to be part of the problem.

Posted by: timscanlon | February 11, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

virginacon, wake up and relize that your side lost. The American people rejected your side. You want to side with a bunch of crybabies who all of a sudden can't get their way after 8 years, too bad. Just proves the the gop doesn't care about this country, only their rich friends. You guys keep up the baby crap and see how ell you do in the next elections. Then, no one will have to worry about bipartisanship because there won't be any of you in Congress.

Posted by: mikel7 | February 11, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD is spot on.

"I don't think that you can use this as much of an indicator of bipartisanship. The stimulus cuts right to the heart of the philosophical differences between the two parties."

The Prez will continue his efforts and there will be times when they pay off for all of us.

As a practical matter, bipartisanship is actually possible on FP and unlikely on domestic policy. This effort will pay dividends on a foreign policy matter down the road, I predict.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 11, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Who the F cares? Stop trying to pretend like you add any value to political discourse in this country. Your column is almost as vapid as an issue of US weekly.

Posted by: cbcpapa | February 11, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

If the Democratic Party makes a good faith effort to meet the Republican Party half way, does it really whether or not Congress is bi-partisan, if what is really only required is to get practical and effective laws passed by a simple majority in the House and a filibuster 60 vote decision in the Senate that work and will help the American public for the next eight years?

Posted by: TabLUnoLCSWfromUtah | February 11, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse


sometimes I find myself wondering who it is who writes the checks of some of you Corporate press. Is it the Republican party? You guys constantly give them the upper hand and allow them (Republican crooks and liars) to frame the conversation. You guys constantly privilige their lies and false agenda. Why? Does anyone who voted against Republicasn ideology really care if the Republicans will play ball? I don't think so. We the majority of the American populace voted against Republican ideology. We voted against tax-cuts and a continuum of Bush/Cheney/McCain policies. Why does the Media privilidge the Republicans as though they are in control and as though they won the election? If my memory serves me right over 7 million more voters voted for Obama than voted for McCain. Yet, you press people constantly give the Republicans the mic 24/7. Republican ideology lost and is the reason for the economic crisis we are in. why aren't you guys reporting on that fact?

Posted by: need4trth | February 11, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Obama did his best to facilitate a dialogue. In the end, all but a few moderate Senate Republicans voted against him. I would have liked to see Republicans advance some more constructive ideas for restructuring the stimulus rather than some massively different, tax-cut-only measures. Oh well.

It's not Obama's problem if the remaining Republican minority is radicalized. There are enough blue state Republicans who are listening to their constituents that he can pass major bills while still needing to be responsive and get feedback. Seems like a decent system to me, I think the bill turned out reasonably well considering how it was originally written.

Posted by: Nissl | February 11, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

If Bipartisanship means giving Republicans back the power they used so unwisely for so long, and that the voters took away from them in November, it is Change We Don't Need.

Posted by: ArmyBrat68 | February 11, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Typical Republican posturing. Where was all the outrage when they gave billions to Wall Street with no oversight? They didn't even bat an eye. Why? Because those are rich little lords like the GOP all want to be, so they gave them all they wanted, and rushed to do it before a real intellect took the helm and quashed it for them. I truly hope the GOP keeps up their antics, as it will endear them to the electorate for the next election, probably the last in which they will actually compete (see US demographic trends for the numbers).

The GOP are all secretly in love with the idea of kingship and plutocracy, where rich is right, and "don't question anything the lords are up to, its all for your own good" is the real law of the land. Go Big Industry! Rah rah bankers! You let's us stay up in de big house when we is good. So kind of them.

That is what most of our ancestors got fed up with and left behind in other lands. Look at what they let Bush & co. do with no thought to what it meant for the vast majority of freedom loving Americans.

Posted by: blackmask | February 11, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

The more important and intelligent question to be asked by a journalist (and not simply someone who wants to play the narrative sharing game that is all too cute among beltway pundits) that cares about the truth is this:

Is there any chance that the Republicans that are in Congress want to compromise on anything? Do the Republicans really care at all about bipartisanship? Perhaps, Chris, you might ask some of your sources for an honest answer to that question instead of asking the inane rhetorical question "Is bipartisanship dead?" Which has no answer but contains the hidden straw men who are responsible for this supposed death--the Democrats.

Posted by: eddiehaskel | February 11, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

If the readers all say that bipartisanship is dead, will the journalists promise to stop talking about bipartisanship all the time? It's really tedious.

Posted by: kenonwenu | February 11, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Bipartisanship has never existed. This is not a country that should cater to only the wealthy. This is the idea of the rep party; money is power and control. When it is greatly apparent of human suffering, reaching across the table in an agreement to pacify the wealthy should be totally disregarded. In the time of theft done by the Rep party's nod of the head, the federal government should move forward in regard for the best interest of the country and the fate of the world.

Posted by: alwaysAlabama | February 11, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Dead? it never had life! Any past misconceptions about any bipartisanship was exactly that a MYTH

Posted by: writedave | February 11, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Three RINO scumbags does not bipartisanship make.

The right is not going to wake up tomorrow, start singing kumbaya and doing prostrations in front of black light posters of Lenin and Marx.

Sorry lefties.
BTW - to those who say block the funds from right wing states... Great - you keep the bill, too.

Posted by: VirginiaConservative | February 11, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

HuffPo is reporting that the Senate and the House have cut a deal on the jobs bill.

Congrats to BHO, Pelosi, and Reid. Let's hope the jobs bill works--and it may take three years or more before we find out. But even if it doesn't, BHO still wins because he tried, because he did something. The other side did nothing. No alternative package. Just say no, let them eat cake, and wear flagpins.

Let's be real: The only folks who are buying the do-nothing GOP line on the bill are O-haters (see, e.g., today's Kathleen Parker hatchet job in the Post), fat cats who think they have it made (at least for now), and Phalinite Yahoos (who are still obsessing over 44's middle name).

Posted by: broadwayjoe | February 11, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse


Sorry I forgot to include a link to the Pearlstein column in my post to you. Even though Pearlstein writes for the Post I know that unless you are given the information you probably won't find it. So here it is:

Posted by: pmorlan1 | February 11, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Ranmat sez (6:35):
"Since 2006 the Democrats have controlled Congress and up to 2006 the economy and the culture were perking along very well."

Please stop trying to put lipstick on a pig.

Bush's economic policies, adopted in the GOP-controlled Congress in 2001 (before Jeffords briefly flipped control of the Senate), set the stage for the weakest economic recovery since... well, certainly since before the Great Depression.

Even before the current recession began, real household income had declined under Bush -- in other words, our collective standard of living had slipped. And job creation was anemic -- about 5 million at its peak, compared with 18 million under Clinton and about 14 million just needed to keep up with population growth. With the recession, that 5 million figure dropped to about 2 million net jobs created by the time Bush rode off into the sunset.

As to your suggestion that Pelosi and the House Dems are somehow responsible for the Bush/GOP recession, please name one major Bush economic policy that Congress reversed after the Democrats took control in 2007.

Posted by: PhilHart | February 11, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Chris, try reading Pearlstein's column and maybe even you will learn a thing or two about what real journalism looks like instead of wasting our time writing yet another faux journalism piece that you and the other lazy beltway media stars pretend is important.

In answer to your silly question about bipartisanship - let's hope the distorted idea of bipartisanship is dead and buried so far under the ground that it will never rear it's ugly head again. Maybe then we can finally get self-important media "personalities" like you to actually earn your paychecks like the columnist, Pearlstein did today. His "original" reporting pieces are well worth reading and make the rest of you look like a bunch of gossipy junior high school ninnies. Come to think of it you are gossipy junior high school ninnies.

Posted by: pmorlan1 | February 11, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

We'll not see much bipartisanship while the GOP is in thrall to the ideas of that Nobel prize winning economist, Rush Limbaugh (honored for the 'porculus' theory of government spending). These guys secretly think nothing will work and are only trying to hang onto their jobs by spreading the blame to Obama, who had nothing at all to do with the current crisis.

Republicans: you can't live with them, and you're not allowed to shoot them.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 11, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

With Collins putting in waterways, Snowe pushing unemployment help and small business, Specter going for stem cells, Schwatzneggar and other governors needing help, there is enough movement toward the Dems for Obama to get his way. The Republicans tried cloture, lost, criticized the president on spending and poor direction, which Obama retorted with todays problems came after you were in charge and you guys doubled the national debt. He then went around the country in Republican strongholds to tout local benefits from the bill. When education was cut you got Obama's goat, so I expect some restoration in future bills. Republicans play hardball with Obama at their own peril.

Posted by: jameschirico | February 11, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

As usual, Cillizza gets the premise wrong and shows that he doesn't do anything at the Post that a first-year journalism student can't do.

President Obama does not have to claim "bipartisanship" you idiot. All he has to do is point out to the voters that the GOP has no credibility, and is playing games with our lives in a lame effort to find a political angle to sell to the hicks out there who don't read.

The fires of the Great Republican Depression burn on...

Posted by: losthorizon10 | February 11, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

The past few months have been a confirmation for me of the Republican Agenda and Republican Thinking. Nothing new. Everything that I thought ended up being true. Republicans are slime and that's the only gentle way I can describe their behavior.

Posted by: blakesouthwood | February 11, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Clearly bipartisanship *is* dead.

With this in mind, the next time Obama should push it further to the left and ignore the Republicans. The American people didn't vote to give the Republicans power - they voted against them. The Republicans should get out of the way.

Posted by: bmrobert64 | February 11, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chris, this bipartisan thing is so last week.

As folks above have said, we won. We get to try it our way. If the Republickers (since they call us the "Democrat party", I'm just returning the favor) want, they can get on board. Otherwise, please get out of the way.

BTW, President Obama has had one hell of a start. First class team, first class leader. What a change.

Posted by: gwbush2323 | February 11, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

He doesn't need to claim a bipartisan victory. All he has to be able to do is to truthfully say I tried to involve the other side. He did that.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | February 11, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Republicans aren't voting for this bill because it won't actually accomplish anything. It's a pork-laden fantasy that will not bring the economic relief that so many middle and low income Americans need at this difficult time. Had the Democrats proposed a real solution to our nation's problems - one that includes cutting out wasteful spending - it would have the bipartisan support Obama supposedly wants.

Posted by: Terps98 | February 11, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

"bipartisanship" does not make a bad bill good and "partisanship" does not make a good bill bad. why write a column that asks the wrong question ? washington post readers deserve better than the tired and irrelevant thinking that we get daily on this phony issue. if you must talk process, then why not ask: is democracy badly injured when a minority party in one chamber can potentially veto major legislation ?

Posted by: SanFran | February 11, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

The storyline is:


Posted by: mudbone | February 11, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

"There is no bipartisanship because the Republicans are determined that they will not agree to anything that Obama proposes. Apparently they didn't understand why so many people took to the streets during the campaign and the inauguration. We support our President. Get used to it!

Posted by: mbstrong | February 11, 2009 6:40 PM"

I agree, mbstrong.

I hear again and again privately that the hardcore Phalinite-type Republicans did not think America would elect an Obama in their lifetime. Impossible.

They thought if the Mac/Phalin campaign threw out the usual codewords during the campaign (He is Muslim/ What do we know about him? / A blonde non-star named Scarlett Johnasen emailed him /His middle name is Hussein/ His wife gave him a fistbump/Ayers/He's a commie/Where's his flagpin?/His wife said "whitey" in a tape but we can't find it (b/c it never existed)), he had no chance.

The hardcore GOP is still in absolute shock (although the MSM will not report that); it has not gotten over the idea of an Obama in the White House. Probably never will. They are voting against a jobs bill that over 70% of the country wants largely because they can't accept the idea of a President Obama. As Rush said on the air, they "hope Obama fails." How anti-American is that?

But BHO's prediction proved to be right: this time, Dems, Obamacans, independents, young people, and others of goodwill, weren't buying it. They decided to vote on...the issues, not irrelevant BS. Let's hope over the next four years, under BHO's leadership, the politics of distraction and division will finally come to a close.

If the GOP continues to follow Rush off the cliff, they will end up as a party consisting of only the Deep South (basically some of the old Confederate states less Virginia and North Carolina) and wisps of Appalachia.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | February 11, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are actually playing it smart - for themselves. Most know that this stimulus plan will not prevent an on-going economic meltdown. It may slow the pace a bit and provide a brief breather, but it cannot fix what is essentially a deeply flawed system. Insolvent banks must and will fail, as will many businesses. Unemployment numbers will continue to climb. This is not gloom and doom; it is reality. The Republican leaders know this and want to insulate themselves from the public disappointment that is certain to follow. For the White House and the Democratic congress it is a no win situation.

Posted by: graycycle | February 11, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

From the posting of many Republicans I accept that many of the racists I attended school with are now solid Republican voters. They never comment without name-calling their opponents. How about this GOPers? Which party controlled the U.S. Senate for 10 of the last 16 years? Which party dominated the U.S. House of Representatives for 12 of the last 16 years? And finally, which party held the White House for 20 of the last 28 years? yep the GOP. So where is our Capitalist Nirvana? Instead the GOP sh9t-canned America. You all should be tried for treason and jailed.

Posted by: sperrico | February 11, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

There's still plenty of time for the House to sabotage with reinserting their spending that got cut or for the three GOP moderates to get swayed by conservative threats and pull out. Not done yet...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | February 11, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Bipartisanship. F that Obama.
Gop F them.

What Obama should do is announce a new holiday.

Drag a ReDingaling in the street and beat them unconscious day.

Posted by: langs13 |

I hope he does and you show up at my house to try and do it, one less libtard Obama worshipper would be the result.

Posted by: kitzdakat | February 11, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I must be old. I remember a time when Democrats and Republicans put away their toys and acted like statesmen. In those days, Members of Congress actually spent time together, talked to one another, and shared a history of putting country first. Current leadership reflects a more selfish time, a time when cynicism fulfills its own prophecies of doom. The President is doing the only reasonable thing that anyone can do to try to change the culture, the normative behavior that says its o.k. to put self-interest first. He's bringing people together in a room and beginning a dialogue that's going to take a good long while to take hold. He's also pointing out that when we trample over the other guy (gal), we put ourselves in just the kind of fix that collapses economies and civilizations. At the moment, we stand at a crossroads that leads down uncertain paths. We're trying to test those paths with the blunt instruments of government, and its like marching along with cement shoes. Neither party has the answer, so a little humility, a little humanity, and a lot of courage seems far more appropriate than the noisesome miasma that's descended on the Hill. Curiously, some of the best in Congress simply walk away because they do not care about their next election. It seems time for Members on both sides of he aisle to actually care about the people they represent, not just the funders who grease the wheels of empty victory.

Posted by: rhonig1 | February 11, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

If the Republicans continue to put politics ahead of service to the nation and opt out of any participation in trying to repair our economy, why on earth does the blame for a lack of bipartisanship fall on President Obama?

Only in Washington would such a thought cross anyone's mind.

Posted by: SDWalters | February 11, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

The polling says it all: FORGET ABOUT THE GOP. The nation is ready to do that. They are down to about 12 percent support. That's a good number to be exiled to Alaska.
LET THEM HAVE ALASKA. They can start their own nation.

Posted by: TOMHERE | February 11, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

I don't think that you can use this as much of an indicator of bipartisanship. The stimulus cuts right to the heart of the philosophical differences between the two parties. If not for the fact that the situation were so dire, I really doubt Obama would be trying to get this sort of thing done on day one. Circumstances forced his hand and while bipartisanship is nice, its not the one and only concern. It's something that ideally would have been built up through smaller issues. We don't have that luxury, but that's no reason to say that we can't try this again and again.

That's why some of these analysts come across as short sighted idiots. Sure bipartisanship didn't work this time, but that means its wounded or dead? Nonsense. This isn't something to happen overnight. This is too important of a goal to just give up within a few weeks. Obama admits it didn't work this time, but he will continue to try. I'll take his word at it. I'd like to see Republicans continually obstruct everything for four years. It's been three weeks and they are already taking a lot of popular opinion flak for it.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 11, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Bipartisanship. F that Obama.
Gop F them.

What Obama should do is announce a new holiday.

Drag a ReDingaling in the street and beat them unconscious day.

Posted by: langs13 | February 11, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Again, BHO has 70% support for the agenda the American people elected him to put forward. Forget bipartisanship (that would be trying to catch your shadow) and just do what you said you'd do. The other side stiffed you so now just go for it.

Sadly, obstructionism is rapidly turning the GOP into an extremist regional party reminiscent of the Strom Thurmond "Dixiecrats" of 1948. The GOP could have listened to Colin and Scrowcroft but they decide to go with Rush and Hal Turner. Their bad.

BTW, rightwing faux-columnist Kathleen Parker is getting totally trashed for her idiotic hatchet job on BHO in the Washington Post today. Last time I checked, there were about 1200 comments on her "article," running about 8 to 1 against Parker. Very much against her. If Parker was looking for a reaction to personal attack on our President, she got it in spades.

Parker's "work" belongs on a Hannity blog, not in the Washington Post, which, like it or not, is our Nation's political paper of record.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | February 11, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Obama won again and right-wing Republicans lost again. They should be getting used to it by now. Just hope that he remebers next time that pandering to the right-wing nut side of the Republican Party and WP columnist got him not one vote and acts accordingly. His victories will be even greater when he does.

Posted by: rodneythecat | February 11, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

There is no bipartisanship because the Republicans are determined that they will not agree to anything that Obama proposes. Apparently they didn't understand why so many people took to the streets during the campaign and the inauguration. We support our President. Get used to it!

Posted by: mbstrong | February 11, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Who actually cares if the Republicans support it, by now we realize they are not going to support anything put forth by this president and pray for his failure. If you can't wrap your thoughts around that just listen to the fat talking conservative heads each day. They are pathetic.

Posted by: hmmmmmer | February 11, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans need to grow up and learn to act like responsible adults and stop playing this obstructionist game. Obama is reaching out to them, and instead the House GOP members take their marching orders from Limbaugh and other assorted kooks.

Posted by: jackrussell252521 | February 11, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

It never ceases to amaze me as to how ignorate some of my fellow Americans really are. Any wide awake person would recognize that during the past 12 years never once did the Republicans have a filibuster proof senate. In effect the Democrats were able to thwart any major initiatives by the Republicans; in addition since 2006 the Democrats have controlled Congress and up to 2006 the economy and the culture were perking along very well. Anyone who believes differently is either just stupid or they are merely narcasiatic navel gazers.

Posted by: ranmat | February 11, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

How will we ever get by without the support of those that ran the country into a ditch? It's so heart rending to hear the whining of the losers with the discredited ideology. Well, at least they have the lame columnists from the Post to carry the torch for bipartisanship which is so-o important all of a sudden.

Posted by: branfo4 | February 11, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Geez the press and you people who comment have some crazy expectations. No modern leader could change Washington culture overnight, no matter how serious the problems they face. (Well, maybe Rush believes he could.) I "hope" president Obama and the "Democrat" party will continue to work with their "Republic" fellows towards good legislation that considers their entire constituency. If the bipartisanship attempt was like dating, only the losers stop after one rejection. The swingers will take it in stride and move on to their next target. Give it time, people. I am amazed that some of you act like Obama is God or Satan. He is just a man, as fallible as the rest of us - e.g. the straw man argument Monday night...P.U! But some of his ideas, like working with the "Republic" party, are good ones. It should eventually succeed given enough time. I imagine some of his ideas will prove to be failures. In the balance, I am guessing he will have more successes than failures and he won't need to create propaganda pieces to bolster his record at the end of his administration. Who knows? My magic 8 ball really doesn't help me prognosticate any more than those who comment.

Posted by: mraymond10 | February 11, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Read it and weep, Republican Dead Enders:

From a new McClatchy poll-

"Nearly seven in ten Americans approve of the way President Barack Obama is doing his job, giving him enormous political capital as he pushes Congress to give him unprecedented tools to fight economic crisis, according to a new McClatchy-Ipsos poll.

Obama outpolls Congress by more than 30 points, and he also can point to an uptick in the number of people who think the country's headed in the right direction even as a majority thinks the worst is yet to come in the economy.

The survey found that 69 percent of Americans approve of Obama's performance — with a robust 38 percent "strongly" approving.

At the same time, 26 percent disapprove of the way he's doing his job, with 12 percent "strongly" disapproving."

Posted by: marSF | February 11, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Is bipartisanship hurt? Don't you mean, does bipartisanship exist? Bipartisanship was dead under "you're either with us or against us" Bush, and Obama ran with the promise of trying to revive it. It appeared once during the Bush administration, and that was when Bush and Paulson appealed to Congress to do something (finally) about the economy and the Democrats backed his plan. But no one expected the nay saying Republicans to do the same for Obama. All they know is no. What I think is hysterical is how may times they have used the word "deficit" over the past two weeks when it didn't cross their lips for the past eight years.

Posted by: fmjk | February 11, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Another really - really bad day for the DEMOCRUDS.

Posted by: hclark1 | February 11, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

The GOP swore off bipartisanship with Newt Gingrich and the Culture Warriors.

The fact that he is still considered one of their bright lights says it all.

Posted by: BurfordHolly | February 11, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Bipartisan????? Republicans under Bush for eight years and their control of the congress for 12 years is what messed up this country. Who cares what they have to say. For them it is the same ideological knee jerk solution to everything.

Posted by: truth1 | February 11, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Hey, who's behind developing the website less than 24 hours after Obama held his town hall in Fort Myers. Fla.?

P.S. Liked your blog post about Dodd.

Posted by: laloomis | February 11, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I think the original en-block nay vote from the House Republicans was just a response to Pelosi and Reid's vindictive behavior. Now that the bill has been discussed civilly in the Senate and some effort at trimming the pork has been made, I think a certain number of House Republicans will cross the aisle. Only the hard-liners of both parties will continue to obstruct its progress.

To those who think the Republican 'losers' should just sit in the corner and keep their mouths shut - sorry, our government doesn't work that way. You didn't expect your Democrat Congressmen to just STFU when the Republicans were in charge, did you?

Posted by: telesonic | February 11, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

The obvious bipartisan solution: People who want bail-outs should pay for the bail-outs; people who don't, should take the lead from bammie's buddies and not pay taxes. And don't pay taxes again until nominated to bammie's cabinet!

Posted by: 2xy4k9 | February 11, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Partisanship is the way of life if you're a Republican. A story on that might be more appropriate unless the other reporters are as out out touch as the one who penned this story.

Posted by: riverhorse_2000 | February 11, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Find some real news about which to write. If the GOP stonewalls this recovery, just as they did the Clinton recovery in '93, then shame on them. But please do understand, mr. fixit, that bipartisanship is possible ONLY if both parties want to join legitimate discussion. so far, the GOP is not interested as a party. Hurrah for the few individuals who are.

Posted by: 33rdStreet | February 11, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are hard core partisans, by their very nature. Discussing bipartisanship as though such a thing could exist with the intransigent GOP is silly, and suggests that the reporter is out of touch (in usual Beltway fashion, I might add).

Posted by: PutDownTheKoolaid | February 11, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Classic. Washington conventional thinking swallows the GOP line once again. Republicans simply have to vote "no," and Obama will have "failed" to change the tone, reach out, deliver on bipartisanship, etc. So all they have to do is demand $3.1 trillion in permanent tax cuts for the wealthy, the Dems don't give it to them, the GOP votes no as a block, and viola, Obama is an abject failure.

Gee, if Republicans vote no on everything, Obama will be the biggest failure ever!

Posted by: steveandshelley | February 11, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Screw bipartisanship. We should grasp the opportunity to squeeze the goddam republican thieves until they howl and trample them into the dirt whenever we get a chance. The republicans are the enemies of the American people, the only thing they think we're good for is to be fleeced like sheep. Does no one remember how they behaved when they were in the majority? They locked out all opposing views, refused debate, and in some cases even turned off the electricity in the conference rooms to prevent people from having their say. That calls for PAYBACKS to the filthy, fascist, rotten republican prison-packing swine, along with the yellow-dog-urine Democrats, traitors and scum that they are. I wish they would all croak while I could watch.

Posted by: hfisher1 | February 11, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Really who cares? The Republicans have shown themselves to be obstructionists at every turn.

And it's not because of principles, it's because they want to see this president fail. Little do they know that if the president fails, we all fail. Yes, we all fail.

The world fails. Republicans want two things to happen these next four years. They hope for a terrorist attack and they hope the economy continues to tank. They are disingenuous, and unfeeling for the American people.

That's their only ticket to toppling this president. Why? They have no ideas. They are the Party of No.

Ask them, each and everyone of them if they will take the money for their states or will they give it back to the government.

Graham, today on CNN in an answer to Wolf Blitzer, said of course he will take the money for the good for his state.

If so, then, why under God's planet did he and his colleagues fight the plan.

Do you see that Republicans are playing with the lives of Americans?

I am unemployed, barely trying to make it, and will welcome any kind of help right now.

That's why I was glad to see my governor stand by the president yesterday in support of this plan. He knows the problems we face here.

You know the Congressmen and women who oppose this plan have their cushy homes, their guaranteed healthcare and their jobs to go to everyday. Some of us don't have that luxury.

Like them, some of you all in the news dwell on the trivia. Your article speaks to this.

Why not try to explain what this means for Americans, the pros and cons, I don't care, but why try to get into this silliness about the Republicans.

Posted by: | February 11, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Bi-partisanship is a fairy tale, the pursuit of it should be abandon.

Posted by: yarbrougharts | February 11, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I predicted Tuesday that by Friday Obama would have the Republicans on the run. I was off by 100%.

Posted by: bradcpa | February 11, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I think the republicans should oppose anything and everything except tax break for the wealthy. This is their true constituency. The GOP is intellectually a bankrupt party. It has nothing else to offer on any issue important to the public. In order to con votes, they will resort to social wedge issues. How else they can elected given that their true constituency is very narrow.

Posted by: kevin1231 | February 11, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

No, bipartisanship can't die if it isn't given a chance to exist to begin with! 36 out of 41 Republican senators voted for the DeMint bill calling for NO stimulus spending and ONLY tax cuts as a way to stimulate the economy. When one party to the negotiations is effectively unable to recognize reality, allowing them to influence legislation isn't bipartisanship, it's the height of irresponsibility.

Posted by: libraryguy | February 11, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse


You didn't need sources to come up with that switch list. Any midwest Republicans would be stupid not to support the final version. Bipartisanship was an illusion; Republicans sense that the crisis will get worse and will score political points by six months from now decrying big spending Obama for not getting us out of the recession.

Republicans are playing hardball

Posted by: morning135 | February 11, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Bipartisanship is in fine shape. The left and right wings of the Democratic Party joined hands to pass a major piece of legislation. Who cares what ineffective fringe elements like Republicans, Greens, and LaRouche feel about it.

Posted by: nodebris | February 11, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I recently had a debate at a bar in the airport with a 'Ditto head' (Rush Limbaugh follower). It's funny... as someone else pointed out in this blog post, the emerging Republican talking point is "George Bush was the most liberal Republican ever!".

To that I just have to say... "If you think George Bush was a liberal, I can understand why you hate liberals."

The method Republicans frequently use when they argue is really funny... it basically is this:

- Make an attack and wait for response
- Jump to next attack almost completely unrelated to the last point they were talking about (This is Ann Coulter Fu)
- Repeat until the debate is too tiresome or the liberal concedes Clinton had some problems

Oh yeah... Bipartisanship! We actually got some agreement. I forced him to compare the bank bailout with the stimulus package. I pointed out that in the bank bailout 1 man had control over 700 Billion dollars with no oversight. In the Stimulus, while spending may be percieved to be 'Wasteful' all of it is directed towards job creation and we get the added benefit of new infrastructure in this country.

I got a few head nods out of him before he attacked Clinton again.

It's a start.

Posted by: pdxgeek | February 11, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I am always amused by the kooks who like to take credit for the gingrich congress and call it clinton policies and shun blame for the Peloony congress and call it bush policies.

the reason the country did well in the 90s was the Repub congress. the failure returned when Peloony took over.

In case you Libs failed your civics class or are the victim of the government schools, I will remind you the President simply signs or vetoes a bill.

the problem with the current measure is that it was written soley by the out of her head worst speaker in history.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | February 11, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are fetishizing bipartisanship because it's the only way they can try to diminish Obama: don't cooperate or engage with him in any meaningful way, despite his attempts at outreach, and -- lo and behold! -- he's failed to deliver change. Never mind that Boehner instructed the House GOP caucus to oppose the stimulus package before they'd even seen it.

Posted by: PhilHart | February 11, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Who cares? The fraudulent republican assertion that "tax cuts pay for themselves" has been exposed, yet they continue to harp on tax cuts as the primary solution. The administration is at least trying to move the ball. If the republicans want to pout and complain, fine by me. As long as they're not in charge again. They tried, they failed, and if they're too stupid to learn from mistakes, they have marginalized themselves.

Posted by: xSamplex | February 11, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

While my preference would be that democrats simply steamroll republicans -- "Go ahead, shut down all progress. Fillibuster your party to extinction!" -- I expect Obama to continue to work for bipartisan compromise and progress. Will it work? I have my doubts, but it all depends on republicans, doesn't it? Obama keeps extending his hand and all republicans seem capable of is slapping it.

One thing seems clear: after two elections in which Americans overwhelmingly voted for change at all levels of government, republican leaders seem unable or unwilling to change anything. They simply keep pushing the only policies they've known for 40 years: smaller government, mandatory christianty, trickle down economics, less taxes, no oversight, no regulation. All proven failures.

Up to the last election, I was predicting that republicans would be out of power for a generation, because it would take that long to regain the trust of the middle class.

I'm beginning to think we're watching the end of the modern republican party as we know it. Party leaders in office certainly don't seem to be waging any serious campaign to "rebrand" their party or create a coherent election strategy.

I think we're headed to a multi-party system. Perhaps Rush will lead the Nationalist Christian Party for the extreme right to balance the New Socialist Party on the extreme left.

The rest of us can occupy the center and come together to solve our common problems with logical debate, intelligence and compassion.


Posted by: dastubbs | February 11, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

President Obama can strongly encourage bipartisanship, but beyond that what's he supposed to do about it when the great majority of those in the shipwrecked republican party have nothing to offer or do except keep their fingers crossed Obama fails--that's all they've got for a strategy to rescue their party. So I say bipartisanship would be ideal, but Obama will do what needs to be done with or without it.

Posted by: binkynh | February 11, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

This vote simply confirms what we already know: bipartisanship is alive and well in Washington and will remain so as log as Reid, Pelosi, McConnell and Boehner retain their leadership positions.

Thank in large part to their inability to evolve, Congress will continue its current role as the branch of government that serves us best when not in session.

Posted by: exco | February 11, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Forget bipartisanship. Use the power of the majority while you have it.

Posted by: mgiangr | February 11, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

"Can compromise attract enough GOP votes for Obama to claim a bipartisan victory?"


How would such a thing be possible when "the other side" dug in their heels and from the get go decided against supporting whatever came from the Administration?

Posted by: sugarstreet | February 11, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

It's not about votes, it's about policy. And a stimulus bill that is about 39% tax cuts sounds about 39% bipartisan to me, and that's more bipartisanship than we've seen in this country for quite some time.

Kudos to both sides for hammering this out.

Posted by: ChrisDC | February 11, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

When the ship is sinking, those that don't want to get in the lifeboat shouldn't stop the rest. If the Republicans realize that they look like people who want to go down with a sinking ship, they may change their mind. I think they got fooled by the media that was spinning things their way. Come to find out tho that the media had it all wrong. The people really do support Obama. We don't want to go down with the ship. We are jumping in the lifeboat following the lead of our President and I am sure glad he is in charge.

Posted by: goldie2 | February 11, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Barrybailout, keep up the good work.

Posted by: csaether | February 11, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I think we can safely predict that Obambi will utilize the "best" of all past Lib presidents. He will learn from FDR how to extend a recession into a decade long depression using giant government interference and spending. He will master the act of being surprised by the enemy. He will abandon civil rights and lock up americans soon after. He will use nuclear weapons. he will create huge spending programs that will never pay off.

then he will grab up all of carter's mojo and get us into a malaise including high unemployment, astronomical inflation, surrender and defeat in Iran and other places.

He can use the Kennedy example to abandon our allies and turn over whole countries to the communists.

He can follow Johnson and lose wars with micromanagement and succombing to popular opinion.

all this assumes he will even make his first decision. Poor little girls, still waiting for that promised dog. who knew it could be so hard to make up a mind.

Of course, he could always simply deploy the stump speech and take no questions - ie standard procedure.

Lib question: If you stumble by having too much borrowing and spending and growing the government beyond control, what should you do.

Lib answer: More, more.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | February 11, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Bipartisanship is not dead, its coming back... with whining Republican B!tches coming kicking and screaming. Hey... I never made a claim 'I' was bipartisan.

As a progressive this bill had far too many tax cuts. Obama went to the hill to negotiate. Concessions in the bill were made.

It boggles my mind to see the economic mess we are in today after 8 years of Republican policies. Republicans got their de-regulation, blind business-first policies. The free market reigned supreme like never before under Bush. And here we are with the result. This situation is BAD. It's probably worse than the majority of the people in this country believe. Yet here are Republicans talking about tax cuts!

I am glad that the political narative has changed. We are finally hearing talking heads say "This tax cut provides 41 cents on the dollar of stimulus, whereas this bridge construction project provides $1.13 on the dollar of stimulus". We are finally talking about executive pay which is 100x the percentage it was in the 50's and 60's. Self serving Wall-Streeters are no-longer heralded as economic wizards and finally we can start to really talk about the benefits of Democratic Socialism where we can prevent shareholders from earning healthcare profits derived from the backs of those who suffer illness and their families.

Obama will bring back bipartisanship, treating all members of congress in a civil manner, providing transparent government and honest debate. However Republicans need to acknowledge that the era of American conservatism is over.

Posted by: pdxgeek | February 11, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Bipartisanship is not dead, its coming back... with whining Republican B!tches coming kicking and screaming. Hey... I never made a claim 'I' was bipartisan.

As a progressive this bill had far too many tax cuts. Obama went to the hill to negotiate. Concessions in the bill were made.

It boggles my mind to see the economic mess we are in today after 8 years of Republican policies. Republicans got their de-regulation, blind business-first policies. The free market reigned supreme like never before under Bush. And here we are with the result. This situation is BAD. It's probably worse than the majority of the people in this country believe. Yet here are Republicans talking about tax cuts!

I am glad that the political narative has changed. We are finally hearing talking heads say "This tax cut provides 41 cents on the dollar of stimulus, whereas this bridge construction project provides $1.13 on the dollar of stimulus". We are finally talking about executive pay which is 100x the percentage it was in the 50's and 60's. Self serving Wall-Streeters are no-longer heralded as economic wizards and finally we can start to really talk about the benefits of Democratic Socialism where we can prevent shareholders from earning healthcare profits derived from the backs of those who suffer illness and their families.

Obama will bring back bipartisanship, treating all members of congress in a civil manner, providing transparent government and honest debate. However Republicans need to acknowledge that the era of American conservatism is over.

Posted by: pdxgeek | February 11, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

If you object to this stimulus package, sign a national petition at:

My objection is that this package leaves women stadning in the unemployment line and being put out on the street.

I am tired of my tax dollars making men rich and me poor!

Posted by: mgd1 | February 11, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Cillizza asks, "Is bipartisanship dead? Or at least badly wounded?"

Where was all this hand-wringing concern for "bipartisanship" in the LAST administration, where President Bush strong-armed the Democrats at every turn, didn't care a whit whether they supported him, and Republican legislators voted in lockstep to support him no matter how bad the bill? I guess "reaching across the aisle" and singing kumbaya to your counterparts only matters when the DEMOCRATS are in charge. Media, heal thyself.

Posted by: TruthTeller41 | February 11, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Bipartisanship is off to a good start. On national security issues nobody seems to even be questioning it at this point. That step is a big accomplishment particularly considering that Obama is moving forward with some significant initiatives. Getting even sixty votes for $800 billion stimulus package in the Senate is also a very substantial accomplishment. That number includes the full spectrum of Democrats plus at least a few Republicans. Contrary to all the speculation in the press, the more partisan House Democrats don't seem to have had any problem reaching the compromises needed to get the stimulus plan through. President Obama likely will make good on his promise to continue to encourage a bipartisan approach on major economic issues. Only time will tell if he is successful in getting more Republicans to engage constructively. But the reality is that sixty votes is the magic number. If he can sustain that level of cooperation on a series of major bills, it will be a spectacular achievement.

Posted by: dnjake | February 11, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

To king of zouk and all the other Republican apologists who think that Liberal policies don't work:

We could point out the 20 million jobs, balanced budgets, and unprecedented economic growth of the Clinton years, but let's not dwell that far in the past. The fact is that no liberal economic policy could possible be compared to the $30 trillion-plus hole that George Bush left in the value of the nation's investments. The most credible thing conservatives could say would have to start with "We screwed up bad", and the second-most credible thing would be silence. Anything else from any conservative commentator is plain nonsense.

Posted by: lartfromabove | February 11, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

The No Party has a chance to join history in the making, but the so-called-leaders running the show now are obstinately obstructionist, gambling that this major effort to bring our economy back for ALL Americans, will fail. The minority whip, Kantor, in the House, complains that they were excluded from discussions, just as the Dems were when they were in the minority. But I doubt that is the case - it is an excuse for having no ideas and no plans to offer - because Obama's instructions to Pelosi were to negotiate with the GOP House, and she did.

I hope for the sake of their constituents that the No Party decides to vote for this plan. But it is no great loss. In the short time since John McCain lost the election, they have been acting wierd and allowing Rush and Sarah to take over the party. Good riddance.

Posted by: jbleenyc | February 11, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Bi-partisanship is FAR more important than actual, effect legislation. Better bi-partisan tax cuts that do nothing for folks who need it than for the "stimulus" bill to actually create jobs and work for those who want it.

The horror of it all, to think that folks might actually want something that works, even if the Republicans don't vote for it.

Posted by: cadet70 | February 11, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Obama and have 3 mortgages on my home. I have owned my home for 20 years and really would like to grow old in my home. I took out 2 home equity loans one in 2003 and one in 2006 on top of the cash out refi in 2002 because a mortgage broker told me I could refinance out of these loans in 2008. Now I owe 250,000 on my 2nd and 3rd home equity loans and my house is worth less then my 1st mortgage because of the original cash out refi. I am pretty sure I should be able to get my 2 home equity loans eliminated and write down my first mortgage. This way I can spend more money and help the economy. In addition I am a female and have no children but going to the fertility clinic tomorrow to get some. Afterward I will cancel my insurance and go on medicaid after unemployment runs out. Then I will enroll in some expensive college and get a student loan for a purported advanced degree in “communications” and use it for a downpayment on a foreclosed second home in Vail. During this time I will be getting an SBA loan easily because I am a woman therefore a victim and use this money to start an LLC to get government spending contracts from the new stimulus package. The best part is I will jump in front of the line because not only am I a woman owned LLC but I will get an address for my business in a hubzone area therefore the government will practically be forced to give me the contracts. While I wait for the LLC and live off the SBA loan skiing in Vail, I will be getting my real estate and mortgage broker license. As a mortgage broker I am just waiting until the stimulus package funds all over again the USDA rural "no down payment" government and seller subsidized loans and with all the new loose credit congress mandates for easy to get federal backed mortgage loans I will benefit huge. In addition I will get 3 to 6 percent of all real estate transactions regardless of how much work I do. I will be maxing out my credit cards and use the money for a downpayment on my 3rd house of which I will buy at .30 cents on the dollar because I have connections with banks and their foreclosure departments. Because of all the secret loopholes and waivers I can get my buyer a cheap FHA 90 day no flip loan so I can easily double my profit in a week with my flip. This is why it is awesome we are throwing 1 trillion including the interest payments to our economy pronto with no real honest debate. The money will be flowing to me like you can’t believe..

Posted by: barrybailout | February 11, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

There’s still time enough for House shenanigans or last-minute defections by the three GOP amigos propping up the entire stimulus. I’ll believe the deal when this package is passed and on the president’s desk.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | February 11, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

"If the right voices within the Republican party begin to speak up, I would not at all be surprised to see a repeat of 1994 in 2010."

This isn't 1994. The President was elected with 53% of the vote, not 43%. The COngress isn't facing a shifting demographic map that had been moving that direction for 30 years, it is reaching the end of that same shift. The GOP is dominated not by reformists, but by ideologues from the most conservative districts of the country, meaning they are in tune not with middle America, but with the needed majorities back home, the uber-right wing. Voting NO time and again means nothing if they are 1. unable to successfully block legilsation and 2. offer a viable and popular alternative. Gingrich had been building his wing of the party for almost a decade leading up to 1994, no one in the current house is similarly positioned.

the Dems are digging this nation out of the hole the GOP dug for all of us, the people won't turn the country back to them in two years because they were obstructionists and ideologically rigid despite a commanding majority reaching out to them at every opportunity.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 11, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

When are beltway pundits going to stop with the bipartisanship crap? They never lecture Republicans this way.

And it's not as if Republican economic ideology weren't thoroughly discredited.

Posted by: ColinLaney | February 11, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

"Wait, George W Bush was a Lib. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, right.

He was the conservative movement's wet dream, until he proved how flawed their ideas really were."

Actually, no, Bush was hardly a boon for principled conservatives. Bush threw some favors toward social conservatives, but in terms of his outlook on government, Bush oversaw some of the largest expansions in federal government that we have seen in a long time. No Child Left Behind massively expanded the federal role in local public schooling; Medicare drug payments massively expanded the government's entitlement responsibilities; the PATRIOT Act and Homeland Security massively expanded both federal bureaucracy and law enforcement powers.

The conservative principle of small government was about as far from Bush policies as could be in many respects. Yes, in other areas the Bush administration was very resistant to enforce regulations, but then so was the Clinton administration. (Remember Worldcom and Enron? Many of their accounting abuses started in the mid-1990s under Clinton's watch. It truly was a bi-partisan effort that brought about those disasters.) Overall, however, Bush sought to expand government more than limit it, and he destroyed conservatives by pretending to be one of them and then taking the country the opposite direction in so many ways.

Posted by: blert | February 11, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

The only way "WE THE PEOPLE" are going to get out of this financial mess is to stop looking to the government for help. We need to spend less time trying to figure out what those self absorbed politicians in Washington are doing and more time figuring out what WE THE PEOPLE are going to do to turn this economy around.

It has never been the government that makes this country great. It has always been the hard working, inovative, responsible citizens of this nation that makes us great and builds our infrastructure and economy.

It's time to show the politicians how it's done and ignore their constant whinning.

Posted by: pmrodriguez25 | February 11, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Back to the OT, I don't think it matters if Obama can claim a bipartisan victory or not. All thatmatters for him is that he can argue in good faith that he tried, and than any blame for lack of bipartisan support falls on Republicans. Last week that was up in the air, it clearly isn't anymore. He reached out time and again, they still played my way or the highway. Just like their idol George W. Bush.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 11, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Well said wolfmanjack14. If the House Democrats don't want input from Republicans, how do they expect Republicans to have any buy-in or sense of ownership.

People like mattadamsdietmanager1014 must be hoping that pay-to-play never dies.

If I was a Republican in the House and I was never asked for any input or had my input ignored, I wouldn't vote for it. I would figure that if the Democrats don't want my input, then they don't want my vote.

Posted by: ahashburn | February 11, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Why is the term bipartisanship even in anything but a historical dictionary? I has no functional meaning in the Congress today.

Posted by: Geezer4 | February 11, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

GOP.."grumpy old people"
I love it !

Those enslaved by the debt are declaring victory as if it was the super bowl and they won the right to repay the stimulus back for the rest of their lives and thus "beat" the grumpy old people.

Knock your selves out kiddies

Posted by: rtfanning | February 11, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Sounds pretty reasonable to me. If Republicans don't require any benefits of the stimulus, then by all means reduce the overall cost by not sending any money to their districts and states.

It's past time for elected officials to represent the peoples interests and legislate for the common good. The point is for the Government to stimulate consumer spending and create jobs.

Obstructionists who would rather see the downfall of the county for political gain need to be booted out of office...

Posted by: siris | February 11, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

The republicans in both h are houses are gambling that the stimulus package will fail. If it does, then 2010 will be a good year for them. However, if the package turns out to work, then 2010 will be disastrous for them. Let's hope that the package works

Posted by: | February 11, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Sounds pretty reasonable to me. If Republicans don't require any benefits of the stimulus, then by all means reduce the overall cost by not sending any money to their districts and states.

It's past time for elected officials to represent the peoples interests and legislate for the common good. The point is for the Government to stimulate consumer spending and create jobs.

Obstructionists who would rather see the downfall of the county for political gain need to be booted out of office...

Posted by: siris | February 11, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

"If they keep this up, and particularly after the eceonomy turns around, they will find themselves in PERMANENT minority status."

You know, comments like these are hardly in a "bi-partisan" spirit. Implicit threats and the mentality that reaching across the aisle essentially means that the other side has to give into any demands that your side makes do not count as bi-partisanship.

Given that many Republicans were skeptical of Bush's initial bailout bill, I think many of these opponents to the current stimulus are simply standing on principle. You can disagree with their principles, and they certainly didn't share the same principles as borrow-and-spend Bush or as Obama seems to espouse, but many of these Republicans are not merely voting on party lines.

I'd like to think that there is a difference between mere partisanship and principle.

And the assumptions that the economy is going to turn around quickly and that this stimulus bill is going to have any short-term effect in that turnaround are pretty large leaps of logic, too. At best, investments in education and training will have returns years and perhaps decades down the road. They are worthy investments, but will not help the economy recover by next year. And given that all of the New Deal spending did not stimulate any true economic recovery, the track record for this kind of economic policy is fairly weak.

In short, I can very much imagine a scenario where Obama and the rest of the Democrats put their eggs in this stimulus basket, and then the economic situation gets worse, lending credibility to Republicans who opposed it.

As I recall, this is precisely what happened with Iraq, no? And it's part of the reason why Obama gained credibility on Iraq over Clinton. Initially, the vote to support the war was wildly popular, even bi-partisan, but as the war increasingly became a partisan issue, and as the situation in Iraq deteriorated, Republicans took their lumps and lost credibility. And even though the surge effectively put Iraq back on a positive track, Obama is very happy not to have to deal with the mess that was. Republicans staked their credibility on Iraq and lost big in the last two elections. To what extent are Democrats now staking their credibility on this stimulus, and if we don't see recovery, will they lose credibility and House and Senate seats in two years, too?

Republicans can look back, too, to 1993. They were in the minority in the House and Senate and had lost the presidency, but they took a principled stand against nationalized health care and then laid out a principled manifesto of sorts with the Contract for America. Republicans won big by being a serious opposition and by taking principled stands and communicating those principles to the American public. If the right voices within the Republican party begin to speak up, I would not at all be surprised to see a repeat of 1994 in 2010.

Posted by: blert | February 11, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

There was sooo little trust in Congress--already! Now how are the repub's going to react when less than 9% of Americans trust them and the PRESIDENT NO LONGER DOES!

Make you bed---it must be a little damp now!

Posted by: jetlone | February 11, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I don't know if President Obama can claim bipartisan victory, but he can claim victory and the Republicans can claim one more loss.

You seem to forget that Bush didn't care for anything bipartisan.

Posted by: frederick2 | February 11, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

"If there is any sure thing these days, it is that Libs screw everything up."

Wait, George W Bush was a Lib. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, right.

He was the conservative movement's wet dream, until he proved how flawed their ideas really were.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 11, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

President Obama is getting dangerously close to an actual decision, the first ever. rather than answer questions, he will do the usual, the only thing he knows - give a campaign stump speech. In other words, blame bush, exhibit thin-skinned defensivism and refuse to actually answer the question. what a long winded bore. Jimmy II is among us. Look for the economy. the military and foreign policy to mirror 1979.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | February 11, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Who cares? Bipartisanship is way overrated, to paraphrase Hollywood producer Marty Wolf.

As the legendary columnist Eugene Robinson advised, Obama needs to press forward on his agenda for the Nation's recovery on all fronts, and forget about the bipartisanship.

O extended his hand to the GOP and got it chopped off. Nuff said.

The zero-GOP votes in the House for his stimulus package was clearly equal parts detachment from reality, unhinged partisanship, and bigotry.

O's outreach to the Senate went nowhere: he couldn't even get Senator Gregg, whom he nominated as Commerce Secretary, to vote for the package.

Enough is enough. Any further overtures by O would diminish the Office of the President. O has a strong mandate from the American people, 70% approval at last count. If Snowe and Collins refuse to support the final compromise, let them. But then let them explain their votes in New England where the pair are only GOP members of Congress. If Specter falls off of the bill, let him explain it during his reelection bid in Pennsylvania where the stimulus package is desperately needed.

And it appears Congress will finally move forward on the Fairness Doctrine so, one day, when you do a long drive through Nebraska or Wyoming, there will be more than Rush's bigoted blatherings on the AM dial.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | February 11, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

The just desserts would be for states who are represented by the obstructionists Republicans to be excluded from the stimulus package. Not that I have no compassion for those people, but Republicans know how this works very well. The Republicans talk compassion and bipartisanship but it iks just talk.

Posted by: EarlC | February 11, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Give me a break! The GOP (Grumpy Old People) are only concerned with feathering their own beds. They don't give a hoot about you and me.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | February 11, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Can some one tell me when the next round of Lib explanations of their economic plan will be aired?
I want to short a bunch of stocks.

If there is any sure thing these days, it is that Libs screw everything up.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | February 11, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the more interesting question will be, "Which Republicans who vote against the Stimulus Package see immediate Democratic Party or, perhaps, American reform Party Challengers stand up and have the money to stay standing?"

In Ohio Boehner and Truner will vote agin it, Boehner because he can't change and Turner because he is Toast in 2012 (The third District rates to go back to being a compact district full of people who never liked him in the first place) and may need the bona fides to negotiate a nice cushy landing when even his rural counties are disgusted in how little he did to help them, (Wilmington, for instance) and Mitakidies makes her third run a charm.

Nationally, the vote is prelude, not climax. It will be where strong Democratic party or American Reform Party candidates stand up with the money and manpower to stay standing that Republicans get to regret their Monolithic running wall, its mortar grown friable with age, adamant, brittle, and only one brick thick. If the ARP gets busy, the holes they blow in that wall will be fatal to a party grown ossified and immutable in its tactics driven dogma.

Still, as a starting point for the coming campaign, I look forward to a complete rundown of Republicans about to be run down.

And I want to see who gets control of Ross Perot's Flip Charts.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 11, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Seahawkdad -- well said my man -- well said.

Posted by: wolfmanjack14 | February 11, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

This is hilarious! I see that mud slinging and name calling is alive and well. As for punishing all the districts where -- what were they called? Red Bushies? - makes a lot of sense - we wouldn't want to actually TRY to pull together as a country -- Much better to name call and punish everyone that we don't agree with. Yeah -- that really makes a LOT of sense!!!

Posted by: wolfmanjack14 | February 11, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"Is bipartisanship dead? Or at least badly wounded?"

You forgot the third choice: Irrelevant.

Posted by: treetopflyer | February 11, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

President Obama has made serious efforts to reach across the aisle for bipartisan support. The GOP will not be satsified until the unemployment rate reaches the levels it reached during the Depression. If you look at the facts, the largest increases in federal debt during the past three generations have all come under Republican administrations. So have the greatest levels of unemployment. The GOP seems to have forgotten that the country voted them out in November simply because their ideas were dismal failures. They also seem to have forgotten that they are no longer in power. If they keep this up, and particularly after the eceonomy turns around, they will find themselves in PERMANENT minority status.

Posted by: topperale | February 11, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

As much as I tend to identify with Democrats, I firmly believe that House Democrats, under their leadership, are playing payback to the Republicans. This keeps the cycle going and I have little hope for bi-partisanship as a governing principle of our government.

As my wife says, a pox on both their houses. It's just too damned bad that this behavior affects all of us.

Posted by: seahawkdad | February 11, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

CC, at this point we don't give a #### how many "extra" GOPers vote for the bill. The time for games is over.

So far, it looks like we got a mostly decent bill (minus the AMT boondoggle) and we have to get people back to work. This is Obama's baby. We don't care about hurt feelings or political cover now.

Posted by: hoos3014 | February 11, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Chris, this whole episode has been ridiculous because we all knew the outcome: The Republicans don't believe in bipartisanship because to them bipartisanship to them means "my way or the highway". It WAS clear that Obama tried reaching out to them and it was just the same old song and dance from them.

It's time the Democrats in Congress and the president realize they simply cannot work with the RepubliCANTs and force as much of their agenda through with an eye to slamming the republicans deeper into minority status in 2010 for being nothing but obstructionist pigs.

Posted by: | February 11, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

i agree hiberniantears--

On Any Given Legislation Day, you can win the game !!

President Obama wins the game.
Who cares if it was a "bipartisan victory". Winning is what counts.
So what if the repulsives take their toys and go home.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 11, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Why should House Republican's vote for the stimulus? It's a socialist bill, right? Remember, Republican's are the MINORITY. That means the best they can offer to their constituents is COMPROMISE. How can they compromise yet, earn votes by "standing for their principles", right? Remember, this isn't defense spending, so they'll be no "Country First" signs anywhere.

Now don't get me wrong, their districts will take the money, use the tax incentives and improve their lives but, when it comes time to PAY for it, Boener & Co. will be spewing on about dem/socialist agenda all over again and their constituents will eat it up!! Seems like a win-win stradegy to me!!

Posted by: OK4obama | February 11, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

People need to not get carried away with how the votes go, according to party affliation, on this particular bill. The first Clinton budget, I think, did not receive a single Republican vote in either house. Yet Clinton was later able to work with many Republicans, largely out of necessity after they gained control of the House in 1995, in enacting key legislation including NAFTA and welfare reform.

I think a few Republicans will vote for the stimulus bill in the House and perhaps five or six in the Senate. Any Republican who votes against the stimulus bill on the grounds it will add to the deficit and national debt is a blatant hypocrite, unless he/she voted against every Bush budget. When Bush took office the national debt was about $5.7 trillion. The current national debt is about $10.7 trillion.

"The New York Times" reports some of the funding reduced by the "compromise" is for unemployed persons who lose health care coverage. For Congress to agree to reduce funding health care coverage for people who lose their jobs in the hardest job market since at least the early 1980's, while allowing upper middle class households to save many thousands in AMT relief, suggests major health care reform is less likely to occur within the next four years.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | February 11, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Bipartisanship died when the House Democrats refused to let the House Republicans even have a say in drafting the bill. Died a second death when the same House Democrats locked out the House Republicans during the negotiations. Can't lay that one on the Reps ---- this one belongs to the guys that 'won the election' as they are so prone to remind all of us!!

Posted by: wolfmanjack14 | February 11, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

The next building to go up on the National Mall will be the Museum of the Republican Party (1854-2009).

Future generations will marvel at the once-proud party that quickly became extinct when it fell under the control of right-wing zealots.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | February 11, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"The question now becomes how many Republican votes the bill can attract and whether it will allow Obama to claim a bipartisan victory on the bill."

No. That is not the question. Obama can claim one of the biggest legislative victories ever just by signing this bill. That this is being overlooked is just another indicator of how gossipy and lightweight the MSM is. If you had told Democrats this time last year that Obama would be President, and in his first month pass an $800 billion spending package, they would have collectively jizzed their pants.

Posted by: hiberniantears | February 11, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

President Obama needs to redline stimulus components going to the districts of the Red Bushies who voted against the bill.

They obviously don't need it, so that sounds fair to me.

Posted by: WillSeattle | February 11, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Nothing destroys sprit like poverty.
The GOP has been trying to ruin government since Nixon/ Reagan so 'we' all will see that government doesn't work and should be reduced or eliminated.

We need a third & forth party to help create better choices and more cooperation between group represenitives that work for US in Comgress.

Posted by: crrobin | February 11, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

This bill is the Mirror of Erised for the entire Congress, and when the votes are counted we will have the measure of every republican well on record for the duration of this Congress. Will blind loyalty and Party discipline sticki, and doom the Party, or will an attack of common sense occur and fear of an enraged electorate break the mortar, grown friable with age, that gives the republicans their adamant, brittle, seemingly monolithic front?

George Voinovitch would have to grow an independent soul to stand where he never really stood before, against his party on the last vote. Every Ohio Congressman realizes that 2010 is a make or break year, because at least two are there for the last time, due to redistricting. Those who decide that they can possibly get a friendly district may stick with their handlers, but there should be several who have to guess whether they will even remotely see a district they can still visit, let alone get elected in. Should the Dems hold their offices, Turner is toast, since the Thirdwill go back to being full of people who just don't like him. Boehner will lose Huber heights, for him an advantage, but his adamant refusal to budge means that his once industrial district has a lot to hate him for, and he proudly refuses to let anyone put his name on projects in his district. That may be the wrong idea wwhen knowing your desperation job keeping the flashing lights going on the barrells on I 75 was something he opposed.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 11, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

President Obama has done his best to extend a hand to the other side of the aisle. They aren't interested.

It's time for the Democrats to step up, own the government entirely, and make their agenda happen regardless of Republican sniping. If saying nasty things is the worst the Republicans can do--and it pretty much is--let 'em. Obama can play hardball with the Republicans on their pet issues later.

Posted by: dbitt | February 11, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

My comment is that lowercaselarry is correct. We keep hearing about this talk of bipartisanship and how, if the bill passes without Republican votes, it will somehow be Obama's fault. How about putting the blame where it actually lies? The Republicans are dead-set determined to rewrite the history of two Presidents, FDR and Reagan. The latter they cling to as if he never made a mistake and the former they disparage as if he was never right.

The real question isn't is bipartisanship dead, because the answer is yes. The real question the press should be asking is, who killed it?

Posted by: jenzinoh | February 11, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Bipartisanship isn't dead, it's just that the GOP has no idea how to move to the center.

Posted by: Roofelstoon | February 11, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse


If it had been primarily a JOBS bill and a homeowners' mortgage rescue bill, it couldn't have been rejected so easily by the GOP as a spending bill.

Letting Congress write the bill may have been unwise, tactically and substantively.

Obama ekes out a win, but now should do a "lessons learned."


Sen. Specter, you've heard the reports. What are you doing about this?



Team Obama, this is no "State Secret." You MUST immediately join with GOP defenders of the Constitution to dismantle the nationwide extrajudicial punishment network...

...authoritarian bureaucrats and security/intel officers and their nationwide network of citizen vigilantes fronted by federally-funded volunteer programs.

This nationwide, Gestapo-like operation has made a mockery of the judicial system for the past eight years and has claimed many unjustly "targeted" victims from all strata of society.

Crimes against humanity are being committed across the nation via the use of so-called "directed energy (radiation) weapons" which the Bush D.O.J. recently confirmed are being widely deployed to police forces nationwide.

These RADIATION weapons emit silent, pulsed bursts of various forms of radiation -- degrading and damaging the health of those on the receiving end as well as their operators.

This weaponry has NO PLACE in civilized society -- much less in the hands of security personnel who interact with the public.

The widespread deployment of this weaponry virtually assures its misuse.

Imagine if rogue actors tried to use its silent, deadly force to induce illness or to disorient, prematurely age, sicken or disable our political leaders.

Perhaps they already have.

Victims of this extrajudicial punishment network also see their finances and livelihoods expropriated and destroyed by coordinated "multi-agency action" "programs of personal destruction" that deny them due process of law while degrading their lives and destroying their families.

The IRS, under Bush-Cheney, has been transmogrified into an ideological weapon of social control and recrimination by these covert "multi-agency actions."

Obama administration officials must address these abuses IMMEDIATELY, before these affronts to the Constitution destroy more American families -- and subvert the Obama presidency.




OR (if links are corrupted):

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 11, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Bi-partisanship won't work if one side is intent on creating failure for the other. The Republicans now say they are using the tactics of the Taliban, and drawing their philosophical direction from Rush Limbaugh. Where is the possibility of bi-partisanship given these facts? President Obama and the Democrats should concentrate on establishing a record of accomplishment on their own.

Posted by: lowercaselarry | February 11, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Given that unending opposition to everything Clinton proposed was key to the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994, it's not shocking that they've gone back to their roots. Now, it's time for the Democrats to act like a majority and act. If nothing turns around, they will get the blame.

My guess is that Republicans are betting that any recovery will be slow and they can hammer the Democrats in Nov. 2010. Cynical, but that's how the game is played.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 11, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

In answer to Fix's question: Is bipartisanship dead? Or at least badly wounded? As long as Ted Kennedy can make it in for votes, and after Al Franken is sworn in, I say RIP Republicans. Don't want 'em, don't need 'em, don't give 'em the time of day.

Posted by: ncahill1 | February 11, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Of course, the Republicans won't support it. They are intent on Obama's failure. They'll throw as many wrenches in the plan as they can.

The Republicans' motto is " Party Over Country". All they care about is power. Not for governing -- they have no interest in that as the past eight years have demonstrated --, but for filling up their pockets and that of their supporters as much as possible.

Republicans despise the working class, the middle class, and the upper middle class. Al they care about are the "have mores" as Bush put it. That is their constituency. The Republicans are dreaming of a pre-FDR world, where robber barons dominated, the middle class was very small, and the working class very large and very poor. Republicans, left to their own devices, would like to reinstate child labor, and send blacks back on their plantations, among other regressive ideas.

Posted by: Gatsby1 | February 11, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

"Despite our repeated attempts to work with President Obama and the Democrat (sic)Majority, Speaker Pelosi has refused to meet with us.."

Perhaps Eric Cantor is unaware what he is saying is grammatically incorrect ("Democrat Majority"), but I'd bet against it. These people are unbelievable. I can't believe they are shocked they are out of power. Then again, any party that is taking it's cues from Rush LimPbaugh (!!!!) has to be desperate.

Posted by: smh3477 | February 11, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are going to lose big on this. Normal cycles means we'll head back up. They're fighting nature here.

I don't think we'll ever be back where we were though, our credit cards have been cut.

Posted by: don1one | February 11, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Elections have consequences, Chris. Contrary to what you and the rest of the media insist, it's not necessary to please 100 percent of Republicans 100 percent of the time. They lost these elections for a reason!

Posted by: swallen1 | February 11, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Well i hope all these Republicans who voted against the Stimulus do not recieve and refuse funding from the bill to there states. President OBAMA should not send any funds of the stimulus to the States of the Senators who voted against it.

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | February 11, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

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