Monday, February 2, 2009

Bipartisanship? ...Bullship! Why We Need to Stop Pandering to The GOP

The Hubby, God love him, is the eternal "see-both-sides-of-any-issue" guy, the "can't we all just get along?" good neighbor. Honest to God, he could find some shred of redeemable humanity in anyone ("at least Bush is good comic relief..."). It's one of the things I love about him, but it also makes me absolutely crazy, especially over the past few days. He has been listening to me rant about the inanity of the administration pandering to the GOP: cabinet positions, tax cuts, Superbowl parties, etc. In his true, "give it a chance" style, he's been defending the quest for bipartisanship shown by our President. Now, I get that we want to be inclusive. I understand that we want to "heal the country" and all that. And I even see the whole "building political capital" thing...but where do we draw the line? The Hubby has been arguing all these points all week, and I am just not hearing it.

So there I am, sitting in the living room, agreeing loudly and wholeheartedly with Rachel Maddow, who is giving advice to The President about his relationship with the GOP. (If you'd like to see her clip, check the bottom of the page, as it's the only place I can get the whole picture to show up..what's up with that???) In the door comes my man, but it 'aint, "Hi Honey, I'm home!" It's "What the Hell does Obama think he's doing? Screw the friggin' Republicans!" He begins his own rant about the whole mess.

In addition to being grateful that Little Man had his earbuds in and Tweenie is reading Twilight for the umpteenth time in her room, I am delighted that The Hubby has finally come around! (I believe my exact words were, "About f***ing time, Hon!") See, when The Hubby's actually ticked off about an issue, when he has actually reached the point of saturation with the generosity of his nature, when he has had enough, then you know there's some overkill goin' on!

Now, I'm actually O.K. about a few appointments to throw a bone to the Republicans. That's all well and good, and if they're qualified, more power to them. But we have just gone too far. We have depleted the amount of infrastructure we have put in the Recovery bill by adding in tax cuts to keep the opposition happy. So, how did that compromise work out for us? How many GOP votes did it generate? Uh, zero. Zilch. Nothin'. Nada. Well, that worked out well. Now we have allowed the GOP to build in sabotage to a bill that they can entirely blame on us...because they didn't vote for it! I've had it. I say, throw the damn thing in Committee in the Senate, strip out all the Republican tax cuts and then put it on the floor. After all, it's not like they were gonna vote for it!

Take a look at Table 2 in this paper, by Moody's It pretty clearly spells out the "Bang for The Buck" each form of stimulus provides to the economy. Of particular note is how little return we get for our money with tax cuts, versus the comparatively substantial return of infrastructure for the money. We've got to change the package. Otherwise, the GOP gets the compromise of adding in tax cuts as stimulus, and when the economic growth isn't as strong, because we're supporting tax cuts and only 17% of the bill is infrastructure, they point and say, "Well, those Democrats aren't showing enough growth, and not quickly enough, either. Good thing we didn't vote for that!" And there we'll be, hat in hand. I was beginning to think I must be the only one on earth who gets this - I was so grateful to hear Rachel's shpiel tonight on the topic: "Hooray! Somebody else gets it, too!" Thank God. And The Hubby agrees??? Whoa. It may snow.

Now we have a Secretary of Commerce post to fill. Well, hey, the idea of filling it with a Republican so that the governor could then appoint a Dem and give us the filibuster-proof Senate we long for sounded appealing (Hooray for Al Franken!) ...then the guy (not just any guy...can you say "Extreme Conservative"?) says he won't accept it if it'll mess up the balance of the Senate. Okay, enough is enough. Find a good, loyal Dem and be done with it. No more Mr. Nice Guy. We don't have time for this nonsense.

Time to play hardball, the way the GOP do every time they're in office. We played nice, and now we're done. Last time I checked, the people had sent a pretty strong mandate to Washington: they'd had it with the GOP and wanted someone to get in there and stand up for the little guy, for families and the middle class, not for protecting corporations and bonuses of bank CFO's. Time to strike while the iron is hot, do what we know is right, which is why the Dems wound up in power: No wimping out! The American People want to see wrongs righted, we want to dig our way out of the hole so our kids and grandkids don't have to suffer. And while we could use an extra $1000 in tax cuts, I'd rather see it going to create jobs and inspire consumer confidence. I'd rather pay a little more in taxes now, even if it's hard, for us to be able to overcome this recession-soon-to-be-depression. So, as The Hubby said, (FINALLY!), "Screw the friggin' Republicans!" I sure as hell don't remember them making any concessions for us when they were in power. And if the Dems wimp out this time, well, then God help these United States. And I guess The Hubby, Rachel and I will be doomed to a life of ranting and raving...