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The White House's New Tone


Obama meets with Republican Vermont Governor Jim Douglas in the Oval Office on Monday. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

Not too long ago, we had a president who didn't just defy and shun his political opponents, he refused to respond to their actual arguments and chose instead to refute his own preposterous misrepresentations of what they were saying.

Somewhat lost in the furious Washington debate over how many concessions President Obama should be making to Republicans to win their support for his stimulus package is a public recognition of just how much has changed in the last few weeks.

The victorious president may not be pursuing an agenda that pleases the losers, but he is spending time with them, listening to them, and taking them seriously. That's a big change from the way former President Bush treated Democrats.

Bipartisanship doesn't necessarily require that the ruling party defers to the minority. It could simply mean that both sides treat each other like grownups.

There are two paths Obama could take to win widespread bipartisan support for his package -- certainly among the general public, if not the highly polarized Congress. He could sacrifice provisions of the stimulus package that are important to him, but anathema to the political right. Or he could spend even more time addressing the American people, openly discussing the views of his critics, explaining why he disagrees, tracing his thinking and discussing why he made the choices he did.

AFP's Stephen Collinson captures the irony of the reaction to the House's passage -- without a single Republican vote -- of the stimulus bill last week: "After Barack Obama's first big win, the White House finds itself in the odd position of denying the new president has absorbed a power-sapping defeat."

Alec MacGillis and Paul Kane write in The Washington Post that "the White House did not view the rejection of Obama's initial bid at fostering bipartisanship as a stinging disappointment. Even as Obama was unable to pick up their votes, he was left with many Republicans praising his outreach. And judging by Obama's record, it is this tone of mutual respect that -- at least for now -- he may be after as much as actual votes on bills he could pass without significant GOP backing....

"The uncertainty over just how the new president defines bipartisanship traces back to the campaign trail. When Obama called for an end to 'broken and divided politics,' his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), and others contended that there were few instances in Obama's career when he had made major concessions that upset fellow Democrats to reach agreement with Republicans.

"But this, said some who have worked with Obama, overlooked his intent. To Obama, they said, fixing 'broken politics' is less about making concessions just for the sake of finding common ground and more about elevating the debate -- replacing cynical gamesmanship and immature name-calling with intellectually honest arguments and respect for the other side's motives...

"The president himself emphasized tone more than the results of congressional roll calls last week. 'We're not going to get 100 percent agreement and we might not even get a 50 percent agreement, but I do think that people appreciate me walking them through my thought process,' he said. 'I hope that I communicated my sincere desire to get good ideas from everybody. And my attitude is that this is the first major piece of legislation that we've been working on the Hill and that over time some of these habits of consultation and mutual respect will take over. But old habits die hard.'"

And while Republicans are urging Obama to advocate on their behalf with Democratic congressional leaders, many Democrats don't get why they should concede on major points after their big victory in November. MacGillis and Kane write: "Already, many Democrats are upset with the inclusion in the stimulus package of $24 billion in business tax breaks that many economists doubt will provide a significant boost to the economy and that will reward some of the companies, such as banks and home builders, that fueled the housing bubble."

NBC's Matt Lauer interviewed Obama yesterday before the Super Bowl. Part of the interview was aired last night (see my earlier post.) But in more excerpts aired this morning, Lauer asked Obama if he was worried about his promise to build bipartisanship in Washington.

Obama replied: "Oh, listen, it's only been ten days. People have to recognize that it's going to take some time for trust to be built not only between Democrats and Republicans but between Congress and the White House, between the House and the Senate. You know, we've had a dysfunctional political system for a while now."

Obama even invited yet another Republican over to the White House this morning. Steven R. Hurst writes for the Associated Press: "Obama teamed up with Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, the Republican vice chairman of the National Governors Association, as he sought bipartisan backing for the stimulus legislation....

"'If I were writing it, it might look at little different,' said Douglas, who sat at Obama's side in the Oval Office. 'But the essence of a recovery package is essential to get the nation's economy moving.'

"Douglas is among several GOP governors who are breaking with their Republican colleagues in Congress to ask for approval of the plan. Douglas is in Washington to lobby the Senate."

The conventional wisdom is still not satisfied. Nancy Gibbs writes for Time that "we're about to find out" if Obama is "all hat and no cattle" -- or whether he will perform "some highly public sacrifices of some Democratic sacred cows. And by so doing, shows who's really in charge of leading America out of these dark times."

She writes: "I can't help but wonder at the gap between the aggressively sensible things Obama is saying and the passive way that he is acting. And you get a sense that a lot of people in the audience, the experts and economists as well as the worried working classes, are starting to wonder as well."

Also see my latest Honeymoon Watch item.

But Washington Post opinion columnist E. J. Dionne Jr. takes a different view of the challenge ahead: "The coming week will test the strength of President Obama and the Democrats: Will they lose their nerve, or will they face down a rapidly forming conventional wisdom that would allow them to claim victory only if their economic stimulus package passes with substantial Republican support?...

"If achieving bipartisanship takes priority over the actual content of policy, Republicans are handed a powerful weapon. In theory, they can keep moving the bipartisan bar indefinitely. And each concession to their sensibilities threatens the solidarity in the president's own camp."

And Frank Rich writes in his New York Times opinion column: "The crisis is at least as grave as the one that confronted us — and, for a time, united us — after 9/11. Which is why the antics among Republicans on Capitol Hill seem so surreal. These are the same politicians who only yesterday smeared the patriotism of any dissenters from Bush's 'war on terror.' Where is their own patriotism now that economic terror is inflicting far more harm on their constituents than Saddam Hussein's nonexistent W.M.D.?...

"[T]he Obama honeymoon remains intact. The nightmare is that we have so irrelevant, clownish and childish an opposition party at a moment when America is in an all-hands-on-deck emergency that's as trying as war. To paraphrase a dictum that has been variously attributed to two of our most storied leaders in times of great challenge, Thomas Paine and George Patton, the Republicans should either lead, follow or get out of the grown-ups' way."

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 2, 2009; 1:45 PM ET
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Comments

I read the lead title and I thought: Well, finally, Mr. Froomkin is not going to talk about Bush. Then I read the first paragraph. One must just as well expect the rivers to run backwards, as to expect you not to denigrate Bush. This is America. Have at it.

Posted by: david-mckenzie | February 2, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Davis:

Bush will be denigrated for LIFE..
So get over it..
He screwed up the country..

OR have you not noticed?

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | February 2, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

So let me get this straigt, Obama is asking the people who got us into this mess for ideas on getting us out? WE DIDN'T VOTE FOR THEM, BARAK! Looks like Obama will be ground under the jackboot of Rush and The Republicans. Ah, well........

Posted by: davidbn27 | February 2, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Froomkin is a disgrace. He is a lapdog that would Zsa Zsa uncomfortable. Weird how no one questions Obama's 17 waivers for lobbyists (not reported in WaPo but covered by the Times of India!!) nor the fact that Obama got over $50 million from the Wall Street Bonus Boobs, including $7 million since December!

Posted by: Cornell1984 | February 2, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

As usual it is the rotten to the core two party system that is the root cause of all the problems and the issues. The conservative white men have not changed from the days 200 years ago, when the 39 conservative white men, the representatives of the 12 Colonies carved out the Constitution wisely leaving out the words democracy, democratic principles, democratic process, god, bible for a good cause not for all and equal as missing in the permeable and the rest of the articles. They never meant to have equality, equal rights, equal justice, equal general well fare and blessings of liberty and posterity for all equally.

In fact starting with Nixon followed by Reagan / Bush one the perverse ideology of inequality and rights only of the conservative republican kind has taken a far perverse dimension. The country is more divided, polarized not only by ideology but by a class system.

85% of the population has no confidence in the Congress and these SOBs just keep on their merry way with corruption, use, abuse, exploitation and misappropriation of the tax payers money for their own self interests and self righteousness.

Only only viable solution is for the country to get rid of this conservative republicanism and their menace.

Posted by: winemaster2 | February 2, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Froomkin is behaving exactly as expected. His obsessive hatred of Bush makes him incapable of covering the Obama White House in any meaningful way.

But hey, he has quotes from other mindless Bush haters, so he must be right. Never mind the moderates like Samuelson who today gave a non-partisan analysis of some of the weaknesses of the stimulus plan as proposed. Dan isn't here to do anything meaningful. He is here to remind us how petty and small Bush haters are. See the above posts for further examples.

Posted by: bobmoses | February 2, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't know who Nancy Gibbs is, but channeling Rush Limbaugh is not going to get us out of all these messes we are in (that Bush & Co. dumped us in). What Democratic sacred cows does she want to axe? Social Security? Maybe she thinks private accounts are the way to go? Or that Obama should abandon his promise to totally reform healthcare? People who label things "Democratic sacred cows" need to remember that Obama won ON A SPECIFIC PLATFORM, and it was largely a liberal one.

Posted by: Digger2 | February 2, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Dear Dan,
Thank you for your good work. I know that you are not dissuaded by the ugly posters who imagine strangely that the avowed war criminal bush should be allowed to slink out of sight with no responsibility for the ruin he has caused. Who will apologize for his horrible failure.

Bush defenders at this late stage in the game are cowardly co-conspirators who have no gumption to make good on their collective mistake. Shame on them.

Conrad C. Elledge

Posted by: conradelledge | February 2, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

"He is here to remind us how petty and small Bush haters are."

Can you even correctly identify one policy point with which "Bush haters" disagree? I suspect that you think you do, even though any attempt to explain it would result in trainwreck of stereotypical Hannity-style propaganda. Simply put, if you don't understand why Bush is so disliked, you're in the FOX bubble.

Posted by: BigTunaTim | February 2, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that most of the Bush supporters are really angry that Barack Obama does not plan to serve a third term of George W. Bush and that he actually plans to pay attention to the tens of millions of Americans who voted for him. It is too bad, it seems, that the guy who won, with a House and Senate that won increasingly, is not willing to buy hook, line, and sinker the demonstrably defective plans that the people who got us where we are are trying to perpetrate.

I did not hear them standing up for having the Republicans actively incorporate views of minority Democrats -- and in fact, George W. Bush and the Congressional Republicans called people who disagreed with them the next worst thing to traitors. But then honesty -- intellectual, fiscal, moral, plain ordinary -- has not been a hallmark of the GOP since Richard Nixon's secret plan to get us out of Vietnam.

Posted by: edallan | February 2, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Dan: re your comment "The victorious president may not be pursuing an agenda that pleases the losers, but he is spending time with them, listening to them, and taking them seriously" was a nice perspective that provided me with a little different perspective on fairely frustrated "obama is caving to the right wing". I think you are pretty close on this. I will be looking forward to when this actually wins some converts from a group I regard as intransgient intractable right-wing idelogues who would rather see the country fail then admit someone else is "right" while being "left".

mickster

Posted by: mickster1 | February 2, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"Can you even correctly identify one policy point with which "Bush haters" disagree? I suspect that you think you do, even though any attempt to explain it would result in trainwreck of stereotypical Hannity-style propaganda. Simply put, if you don't understand why Bush is so disliked, you're in the FOX bubble.

Posted by: BigTunaTim"

Well your first sentence is unintelligible, but the rest of the mindless partisan drivel you spew afterwards identify you as just another mindless partisan.

Just remember: anyone who doesn't share your narrow minded views is inherently flawed. Also ascribe simplistic stereotypes to any who dare question partisan hacks like Froomkin. In that sense you are just like Rush's mindless dittoheads. All of you are incapable of thinking for yourself and easily led by partisan hack pundits.

Keep on hating. That's all you are capable of.

Posted by: bobmoses | February 2, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Dan: Re: Re: your comment: "The victorious president may not be pursuing an agenda that pleases the losers, but he is spending time with them, listening to them, and taking them seriously". Would be nice continuity for you blog to take this observation as a periodic theme and see how we're (the big WE) are progressing. I admit to a ton of cynical "I'll-believe-it-when-I-see-it" on your take on the new tone.

I am enjoying the new format. Thanks for your fine effort in all your doing.

Regards,

mickster

Posted by: mickster1 | February 2, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Of course Dan is still talking about Bush and his disasterous tenure. As long as we have the war in Iraq and the economy (just to mention 2 of Bush's legacies), Bush will be always part of the conversation. Just because he's hiding out in Texas doesn't mean he's off the hook or that the country will forgive and forget the mostly wrong decisions he made which left this country in such a mess and that we ordinary people have to live with. I hope the history books never forget George W. Bush (the Herbert Hoover of the 21st Century) and treat him deservedly so.

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | February 2, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Dan, a place for a new tone might be the comments section of your blog. It might become a place for more serious thought and consideration of different points of view coupled with reason and rationality in addition to the usual mind-dump of irrational, ad hominem, and venomous content. That would certainly be a pleasant and refreshing change indeed.

Regards,

mickster

Posted by: mickster1 | February 2, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse


I don't care about bi-partisanship; I care about whether the bill has effective, smart legislation that works. We need to determine whether the bills are based on factual information rather than fantasy.

Yet the Republicans have been spreading false and misleading information and refuse to acknowledge the beneficial aspects to certain things contained in the bill.

For instance removing the Medicaid waiver would save the states $700 million over 10 years. The STD education and prevention bill that would have cost $335 million pales in contrast to the $6.5 billion spent on medical costs of STD. Preventive health care would save the government hundreds of billions of dollars over 10 years and even more over 25 years and create jobs. But the Republicans objected.

Bi-partisanship does not mean the Democrats have to cave in to the Republican demands just for the sake of it. If the Republicans have suggestions supported by factual evidence, then of course their suggestions should be added to the bill. However the extent of what they have to offer consists of more tax cuts and making them permanent.

Furthermore even the Bush administration Treasury Department conceded permanent tax-cuts will result in slower long-term growth. Tax-cuts are an effective way to create jobs, but only when the economy is healthy.

Yglesias mentioned the other day that conservatives complain that we cannot afford large new *temporary* deficit spending, but simultaneously insist that we can afford large new *permanent* tax-cuts.


A successful recovery must be based in investment and productivity that will serve for decades to come.

We want our representatives to act in good faith and do what is best for the country not politics.

We are not interested in ideology, we want smart, pragmatic policies that protect all Americans and provide a level playing field.

We want our representatives to change course when things aren't working.

We want open and serious debates based on factual evidence not ideological certitude.

Posted by: serena1313 | February 2, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Many people have the inability to hear what others are saying, how else could Palin stand on a stage and mock President Obama for "not being one of us"... when the American People overwhelmingly were saying he was. And no one who truly listened to the words he was saying in his "Messiah" speeches could ever call him that. He isn't a god, but he is what God thought we needed in this critical time... and I thank Him for the people who got that message right.

Posted by: OldManTalking | February 2, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

While President Obama's ideas of bipartianship are laudable, the Republicans are eating his lunch.

Posted by: seldoc1 | February 2, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans in Washington seem to have a different view of "bipartisanship" than they had a few years ago. A few years ago, bipartisanship meant ramming whatever they wanted down the Democrats' throats, and threatening the so-called "nuclear option," eliminating the Senate filibuster, against any Democrat who dared to oppose them.

Now, "bipartisanship" means minority rule, by use of filibuster threats to paralyze the legislative process until they get things the way they want. Evidently, "bipartisanship" means that Republicans get their way, no matter what. Where can I get a word that everybody believes in but that means whatever I want it to mean at any given moment?

Evidently, the Republicans are still feeling very entitled about that "one party rule" strategy that worked out so well for them. I can appreciate their position; it's probably the only strategy they've got.

Who was it that voted for these goobers, anyway?

Posted by: lonquest | February 2, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Serene1313.

I am of the opinion that ideologies are in themselves neither good nor bad. They offer visions and ways of organized thinking about philosophy, politics, etc. It's when the ideology moves to dogmatically held opinions that appeal to fear, prejudices, irrationality that I have problems. And I think your post nails an issue that when the adherents of an ideology become intractable despite facts, and realities. It's then that the believers in an ideology becomes demagogues and what they believe in become demagoguery. And that might be where we have come to again?

How do tigers change their stripes anyway?

Mickster

Posted by: mickster1 | February 2, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Something the press needs to realize, and that Barack almost certainly learned long ago. He doesn't need bipartisan support, and in fact will do better in 2010 if he doesn't get it, provided he continues to be seen taking republican counsel, carefully considering how he might include it in his legislative agenda, and eventually not taking it. The Republicans will refuse to play his game, will be as obstructionist as he can, and then will try to run on their record, and the American People, already disgusted with everything else that the Republicans stand for, will blame said party for all the partisan rancor, and maybe the republicans will lose every one of the more than 33 Senatorial contests, and another handful or bushelful of House seats.

As long as Barack acts like a reasonable adult, and John Boehner and Mitch McConnel keep acting like spoiled pre-teens, when the American People go to the polls, Barack will prosper, as will the nation.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 2, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Grover Norquist compare bipartisanship to date rape?

Posted by: jme2 | February 2, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Why do Democrats have to sacrifice sacred cows to show bi-partisanship, but when it came to Bush's tax cuts and Iraq war, Democrats ha to accept unquestioningly Bush's policies?

I can't be the only one who is less and less interested in what the Cokie Roberts' of the world have to say. Declining ratings have to mean something...

I think Young Barry's plan is clear: he will be bi-partisan so long as the other party is prepared to come to the debate in a spirit of real patriotism and cooperation. The last Republican I know of who fit that bill was Ike. Let the Demints and Boehners flap their jaws and cast "no" votes. Unless and until they have something constructive to say (and by "constructive" I mean something that is not "tax cuts" or "liberals are evil"), I could care less about their "partisanship." Good riddance to bad trash.

Posted by: jimpharo | February 2, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

As a former Republican; the best thing to do with the remaining dead-enders is to ignore them completely! They are incapably of anything not dogmatically aligned with their deadly and failed economic and social theories of reality ala the windbag Limbaugh!

That said, none of the Congressman seem to remember that their job title begins with the words United States; not Democratic or Republican, not New York or Kentucky; not Conservative or Progressive; United States! It should be considered grounds for impeachment and criminal prosecution when "our" congressperson brags about how much of the Commonwealth has been stolen for his state or puts party before everyrthing else! Frankly, I would outlaw political parties and all of the "perks" they have accumulated over the 2 centuries of our nations existance; but I suppose that is asking the foxes to actually protect the henhouse, so I will accept removing the archane "ole boys" club rules by assigning "ALL" positions in the Clubs by random lot for each term without any regard to seniority or party including committees, leadership, and allowing each committe to select its own leaders; and enforcing strict term limits of 3 terms of Representatives and 2 terms for Senators; and forbidding with extreme penalties like years and years of "hard" labor, any contribution of services, monies, or labor from anyone not a live human being with a legal primary residence in the district being represented by the congressperson!!

As a final restriction remove all ability for congressman to add provisions to legislation not explicitly linked to the stated objective of any bill and change the senate rule to eliminate the so-called filabuster!

It would be nice to post all bills in their final form and allow a method of disapproval by some majority of each congresspersons constituents regarding any particular vote.

Posted by: Chaotician | February 2, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

bobmoses, you seem to be a dysfunctional thinker since all you ever spew is hatred while condemning those of us who don't subscribe to your lunacy as "Haters". Grow up Bob, you lost and blustering your version of your leader Limpbaugh's spiel will not change a thing.

Posted by: trbajaz | February 2, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

How can Froomkin actually be on the Whitehouse beat? He secretly (or not so much) wishes he were Michelle Obama so he could sleep with the emperor. But, alas, he does represent the press de jour. What a sleazy bunch of malcontents.

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

Dan, I read some nasty comments and wanted to add a good one. I love your writing and it was the only thing that kept me going these last couple years, amid all of the dysfunctional government going on.

In this article, i had never thought of the bipartianship you described, but it was brilliant. Let's work on getting the government working the way it was designed to. Each side working for the good of the country, not for the preservation of power. Perhaps if voters awake to adutness as a criteria, it could be perpetual.

Thanks again

Posted by: bbuchanan65yahoocom | February 2, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I read the column's title and thought- it will be at least in part a comparison of the two administrations' style of governing. How could that be done without mentioning both administrations? By my count Bush is mentioned only twice by name- once as a quote of another columnist- and alluded to once. Some commenters here seem to have set a pretty low bar for "obsessing" over the former president. He was running the government- sort of- for eight years. You can probably expect some commentary on the results of his policies at least until we are operating under the new administration's budget which won't be until September. That's not obsession, it's just common sense.

Posted by: bran-solo | February 2, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Dan Never miss your columns but I must agree with so many others....your new format really does not do credit to your words...Yes, please return to the former format...Spify

Posted by: spify79 | February 2, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh, by all means, treat the Republicans like adults! By all means, Be Polite--while you "LBJ" the little darlin's and pass some more legislation to keep them from ever violating our human and civil rights again.

Posted by: TQWoods | February 2, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Denigrating people who disagree with Bush's policies over the last eight years as "haters" doesn't add to the debate. I think Bush's policies have proven disastrous. I think the current state of the economy, health care in America, New Orleans, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East, the ongoing food contaminations, and the national debt are evidence of this. What, pray tell, do you offer as evidence that the Bush years were a triumph? Not being attacked?! No child left behind?! AIDS funding?!

Posted by: fletc3her | February 2, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse


Mickster1 | February 2, 2009 5:02 PM


Thank You for clarifying ideology in and of itself as being neutral -- which I agree -- as opposed to a dogmatic, irrational, inflexible application thereof.

If the stimulus bill is to be successful, then reasoned logic, common sense and intellect must prevail.


This bill is by far much too much important to be reduced to ideological political grandstanding.


Considering the House Republicans voted unanimously against the package because they wanted $5 billion removed from the bill -- far less than 1% of the entire bill -- while we are in a deepening recession illustrates they either do not understand the depth of the crisis, do not take it seriously and/or loyalty to the party's ideology trumps no matter the cost to the country. None of which justifies voting enmasse against it.

It is difficult to imagine they will score political points on this.

By the same token the Democrats need to do a better job of countering the Republicans disinformation campaign.

The longer our legislators dilly-dally the deeper the recession grows, the more painful and severe the consequences.


Posted by: serena1313 | February 2, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Has it been so long since we've had real bipartisanship that we've forgotten what it means? Everyone has something to contribute to the solution, Obama 's job is to LISTEN to them all, then DECIDE. Obviously, there will be unhappy people, and that's the story of democracy. But, it works.

Posted by: hadenuff1 | February 2, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

"Bipartisanship ... could simply mean that both sides treat each other like grownups."
--------------------
Or, both sides treating each other like grownups could just be "both sides treating each other like grownups." While noble, it has nothing to do with bipartisanship.

What's sad is that the then-incoming administration had a reasonable stimulus plan, agreeable to both Democrats and the GOP. Alas, once Obama got busy with the whole inauguration thing, Pelosi (to whom few would attribute "bipartisan" characteristics) and bill-writer David Obey (D-WI) crammed the stimulus bill full of liberal social spending pork. Even if you agree with the merits of these programs, it's hard to reasonably argue that the majority of this bill doesn't belong in regular appropriations.

Ironically, Mr. Froomkin, the only bipartisan episode in the past week was the opposition to the House stimulus bill.

Posted by: but_seriously | February 2, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Bipartisanship doesn't necessarily require that the ruling party defers to the minority. It could simply mean that both sides treat each other like grownups
********

ha! froomkin defining down bipartisanship! its about time the post added a cartoon to this joker's column.

a "bipartisan" bill is certainly not a bill that passes the house on a party line.

Posted by: dummypants | February 2, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

The Obamas have pick out there new mutt.

And they named him Dan.

Come here Dan, now sit.

Rollover, come on rollover,,,good boy!

Now give me your paw,,,good Boy !

Now bark,,I said bark,, like the lap dog you are.

Good boy Dan,,,Now go Lay down,,And Barack will give you that "bone", that you love to chew on so much.

Posted by: dashriprock | February 3, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

YOU ALL KNOW THE QUOTE: KEEP YOUR FRIEND CLOSE AND YOUR ENEMY CLOSER. PRESIDENT OBAMA IS NOT STUPID!

Posted by: Chrisjj1948 | February 3, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

They should call this column "Bush Watch", instead of White House Watch. Or maybe "White House Cheering Section".

Or, if they seriously want to have journalistic independence and integrity, get a new columnist.

Just a thought.

Posted by: dhartmanva | February 3, 2009 6:35 AM | Report abuse

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