While I rarely agreed with McCain, and voted for him holding my nose, we all knew the man spoke the truth when he said he would run a bipartisan administration if elected. He has a long history of doing just that.
Meanwhile Obama spoke eloquently of reaching across the aisle and running a bipartisan administration also. No history to look at since the man doesn’t have any. So we waited.
And learned, once again, Obama lies:
“John McCain Was Right.”
That’s one headline we ought to see when President Barack Obama puts his name to the stimulus bill in Denver later today. But we won’t. And the reason points to a glaring double standard on bipartisanship.
When Mr. McCain accepted the Republican nomination for president, he noted that while he and his opponent both spoke about moving beyond partisan divisions, only one of them had a history of working with members of both parties to get things done. “I have that record and the scars to prove it,” he said. “Senator Obama does not.”
Only a month ago, with Mr. Obama holding a dinner in Mr. McCain’s honor, it wasn’t hard to imagine the two coming together on the big challenges facing our nation. But now Mr. McCain has come out strongly against the stimulus in a spirited dissent suggesting that the whole process was a “bad beginning” for someone who promised a new spirit of bipartisanship. That ought to give White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel pause, if only because it wasn’t all that long ago that Barack Obama was speaking the same way.
In a passage from his 2006 book, “The Audacity of Hope,” he sounds like a Republican complaining about the stimulus. “Genuine bipartisanship,” he wrote, “assumes an honest process of give-and-take, and that the quality of the compromise is measured by how well it serves some agreed-upon goal, whether better schools or lower deficits. This in turn assumes that the majority will be constrained — by an exacting press corps and ultimately an informed electorate — to negotiate in good faith.
“If these conditions do not hold — if nobody outside Washington is really paying attention to the substance of the bill, if the true costs . . . are buried in phony accounting and understated by a trillion dollars or so — the majority party can begin every negotiation by asking for 100% of what it wants, go on to concede 10%, and then accuse any member of the minority party who fails to support this ‘compromise’ of being ‘obstructionist.’
“For the minority party in such circumstances, ‘bipartisanship’ comes to mean getting chronically steamrolled, although individual senators may enjoy certain political rewards by consistently going along with the majority and hence gaining a reputation for being ‘moderate’ or ‘centrist.'”
As a rule, complaints about the “lack of bipartisanship” generally represent the whine of the losing side. With regard to Mr. Obama’s handling of the stimulus, however — his first big test as president — they have a more interesting subtext. For one thing, his promises of a postpartisan future in some ways became the substance of a campaign built on lofty but largely undefined invocations of “hope” and “change.”
For another, a stimulus package with strong bipartisan support was well within his reach. Even at full strength, the Republicans didn’t have the votes to obstruct the stimulus if they had wanted to. And with a little imagination, a White House in search of bipartisan support might have easily picked off Republicans by exploiting differences within the party.
The WSJ details a few instances where true compromise could of been reached, but wasn’t. Such as infrastructure projects which could of swung 6-7 Senators and maybe a good 30-40 House Republicans. Instead Obama went the other way and took out infrastructure projects, instead of adding more in.
We have said many times that Obama will tow the party line. He will go along with those who helped put him into the oval office ie. MoveOn, Code Pink, and the Pelosi’s and Reid’s.
What does this mean for the next four years? We are told that when LBJ learned of Walter Cronkite’s famous broadcast questioning U.S. policy in Vietnam, he said, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost middle America.” In a similar way, it might be worth asking what John McCain’s strong dissent says about this president’s commitment to lead us into a postpartisan future.
That was the standard Mr. Obama promised during his campaign. Now that he’s got his bill, it will be instructive to see if he will be held to that standard by an “exacting” press corps he says is essential to ensuring that a ruling party negotiates in good faith.
And the result of Obama and Company not putting together a bipartisan bill?
1,073 pages of scattergun spending, with much of it extending for a decade – and it offers a “cure” to the jobs hemorrhaging that may be far worse than the disease.
Before Mr. Obama has even submitted his first budget later this month, he and congressional Democrats have increased spending for multiple programs that will be in place for the next 10 years before expiring – a multiyear practice virtually unheard of in American politics that may cost $2 trillion more to fund. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the full cost of this bill, including its $348 billion debt service and the out-year financing, will reach $3.2 trillion by 2019.