Well, the 2010 Senate and Congressional Campaigns have just begun, not to mention the
2012 Presidential Campaign. With President Obama in office for little more than a month,
partisan politics in Washington are full steam ahead. Of course, no one has announced that they
are running against Obama in 2012 and by and large no one has announced their candidacy for
the House or Senate for 2010. However, make no mistakes those campaigns and races are on.
There is no other way to explain how every single Republican in the House of
Representatives voted against the Economic Stimulus Package and only three Senators from the
Republican side of the aisle voted in favor of it. The Republicans not looking out for the good of
the country, but rather for the good of their party, have obviously drawn a line in the sand that
they are going to make this economic mess that they more than helped create, be on the
Democrats’ and Obama’s shoulders. They are betting as their mentor, Rush Limbaugh, is
hoping, that President Obama and thereby the Democratic controlled Congress fails.
Does anyone really believe that every single Republican in the House of Representatives
and all but three in the Senate did not think that the Economic Stimulus Package was a good
idea? No, rather the Republican Party’s leaders have determined that the Democrats have
enough clout in Congress that the Republicans can virtually contest anything that they want
knowing that it will still pass and if the legislation fails then the Republicans take no blame.
Sure, some may think that the expenditures are too enormous. Some might think that the plan
may just not work. But overall it smacks of dumping this economic mess that was left to
President Obama and the Democratic Congress on the shoulders of the Democratic Party and the
repudiation of involvement by the Republicans.
President Obama reached out to the Republicans in Congress, listened to their points of
view and even had the legislation tailored to accommodate some of the Republican concerns.
What did he get for this gesture of bi-partisanship? Nothing, but a smack in the face, no support
and pure partisanship. Of course, this was the exact message that they intended to send. Letting
him know and the American people know that if things go bad it is the Democrats fault.
Obviously, they are betting that things will go bad and as Rush Limbaugh hoped that they will in
The question has to be asked, why do these people that we elect find that their allegiance
is more to their party and a radio talk show host than to the country? Why is it more important
that the country fails so that they can get re-elected and put back in power in 2010 and 2012 then
it is for the country to succeed under a Democratic Administration? What has happened to our
system of Government, to our two party system where retaking the Congress, Senate and the
Presidency of a crippled country is more important than being partners with the Democrats in a
country that is on the ascent?
Eight years ago, the Republicans controlled everything. The Presidency, the House, the
Senate and the Supreme Court. They misused and abused that power leading to the change in the
Senate and the House in 2006 and a resounding change in the Presidency in 2008. Now, as the
opposition party they have a chance to make amends. They can take part in this government
which President Obama has welcomed them to do and be Americans first. However, apparently
that taste of power they had for eight years during the heyday of the Bush Administration is too
intoxicating and too alluring. Rather than be good Americans and doing everything for the
success of this country, they view themselves as good Republicans doing anything to hope for the
future success of their dying party.
This is not to say that they need and should agree with President Obama and the
Democratic Congress at every turn. In fact, that would not be good at all as it is important in a
democracy to have a vigilant opposition. But that opposition needs to be based upon what they
truly see as the good for this country rather than pure politics. Right now, the Republicans are
practicing pure politics. Since they have gotten us into this mess, it is amazing and bewildering
that they don’t feel any responsibility to join with the Democrats to get us out of this mess.