Obama Attacks Republicans For Partisanship

Barack Obama has had quite enough of Republicans refusing to be bipartisan by giving him what he wants without a fuss.

A fired-up Barack Obama ditched his TelePrompter to rally House Democrats and rip Republican opponents of his recovery package Thursday night — at one point openly mocking the GOP for failing to follow through on promises of bipartisanship.

In what was the most pointedly partisan speech of his young presidency, Obama rejected Republican arguments that massive spending in the $819 billion stimulus bill that passed the House should be replaced by a new round of massive tax cuts.

“I welcome this debate, but we are not going to get relief by turning back to the same policies that for the last eight years doubled the national debt and threw our economy into a tailspin,” said President Obama — sounding more like Candidate Obama than at any time since he took the oath of office less than a month ago.

Obama, speaking to about 200 House Democrats at their annual retreat at the Kingsmill Resort and Spa, dismissed Republican attacks against the massive spending in the stimulus.

“What do you think a stimulus is?” Obama asked incredulously. “It’s spending — that’s the whole point! Seriously.”

Seriously, Obama’s better when he’s pretending to be non-partisan rather than spouting campaign trail nonsense.

He’s got the whip hand here.  He’s popular.  Democrats have solid majorities in the House and Senate.  But let’s not pretend that anyone has a clue what spending $819 billion is going to do in terms of stimulus.  And one either welcomes a debate or one doesn’t; rejecting the very premise of the other side’s claim outright without explanation ain’t a debate.

Beyond that, it’s frankly absurd to claim that the Bush policies “threw our economy into a tailspin.”  The world economy is undergoing a massive shakeup.  The United States is in better shape than just about any other major country.   Bush wasn’t running Japan, for instance, which is in free fall.  Or, for that matter, Germany or France, both run by leftist parties until recently.

And how does one decry doubling the national debt whilst simultaneously arguing for economic stimulus which, as I understand it, is spending.  Indeed, that’s the whole point!  Seriously.

John Cole, decidedly more sympathetic to the president’s aims here than me, offers some good advice:

It would be nice if the Democrats would sell this bill and explain why it is good, rather than Obama just coming out and warning about catastrophe every now and then. I dealt with eight years of fear-mongering about terrorism, I don’t need it regarding the economy. I recognize our economy is a disaster, and I will support the bill heartily if you give me a reason and make your case. They simply haven’t done that, and part of my ambivalence is I am tired of doing stupid things just to be “doing something.”

Explain why this is a good bill. I double dog dare you. And if you can’t or won’t, explain why I shouldn’t be siding with the GOP in opposition, despite how crazy they are.

Or, of course, he can continue down the current road, where public support for the stimulus is plummeting.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, US Politics, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. markm says:

    Barack Obama has had quite enough of Republicans refusing to be bipartisan

    Huh…howzat explain those on the left speaking out publicly against it or those on the left that have a bad case of the wobblies on it?.

    Maybe it’s too simple but if they went back and stripped the crap from the sandwich they’d have many more fully on board and it would nip the bad publicity in the bud. They’ve lost the message and now they are pushing a rope. He can come out and put the scary mean face on but it aint helping.

  2. bystander says:

    This ‘rally speech’ is a whole lot of nothing. If one listens carefully, it’s loaded with contradictions – the biggest has been pointed out by James – there has been and is no open constructive debate on the bill. The best debate I have encountered has been on the “cable chatter” that our President is trying to marginalize. BHO states “Legislation of this magnitude deserves the scrutiny it is receiving” and then chastises those who are scrutinizing it. Well, the American people are scrutinizing it, and it is becoming clear that being elected to office doesn’t give one Carte Blanc to shove pork down the throats of those who elected you. Apparently this isn’t exactly the ‘change’ the people wanted. If the Dems believe it is, then let them push it through. They don’t need the Republicans … what are they waiting for?

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    Bush wasn’t running Japan, for instance, which is in free fall.

    And its economy tanked before Bill Clinton was elected and has been in the dumps ever since.

    Makes a good stump speech, though, although I’m not so sure how effective oscillating back and forth between partisan posturing and pleas for bipartisanship will be.

    However, there’s a serious question lurking beneath the rhetoric. How effective can either fiscal or monetary policy be? While facile blaming our current problems on Bush policies is probably an over-simplification. We’ve had a complex of policies that go well beyond fiscal and monetary policies over a period of 30 or 40 years that have contributed to our economic woes.

    The Japanese government has deployed both fiscal and monetary policy vigorously but they’ve been reluctant to tackle the underlying problems in their economy because they cut too close to the bone. The result has been their L-shaped recession. Are we going to do the same thing?

  4. Joey Buzz says:

    While the POTUS cracks the whip at the Spa his staff instructs Reid to delay the vote. Nice.

  5. Jim Treacher says:

    “I dealt with eight years of fear-mongering about terrorism”

    Yeah, how annoying. Obviously the terrorists figured they made their point after 9/11.

  6. JKB says:

    Obama’s newspeak definition of bipartisan: I’ll get my way AND you’ll like it.

  7. Mac G says:

    Beyond that, it’s frankly absurd to claim that the Bush policies “threw our economy into a tailspin.”

    It was someone else in control of the govt for the past 8 years?

  8. James Joyner says:

    It was someone else in control of the govt for the past 8 years?

    Bush was in control of the executive branch of the U.S. federal government. He was not, contrary to the opinion of some, in charge of the global economy.

  9. And the executive branch of the U.S. federal government does not “run” the economy. It’s you and me and everyone else that gets up and goes to work that does so. IIRC, the federal government is now about 22% of GDP. That’s significant, but far from the whole economy.

    President Obama sounds like me trying to explain the virtues of a new boat to my wife and trying to deflect and defer all questions about what it will cost, the need for insurance, where we would keep it, and how I’m going to have to buy a truck just to haul it around. But, but it’s a boat! And I’m getting a great deal, but only if I buy it this week! Such killjoys.

  10. odograph says:

    I don’t blame you for attempting revisionism, James:

    yond that, it’s frankly absurd to claim that the Bush policies “threw our economy into a tailspin.” The world economy is undergoing a massive shakeup.

    OK, maybe I do, but the truth is the Bush administration pulled all the economic levers to make a false recovery, 2000 through 2008. Easy interest rates, tax cuts, and an elimination of financial oversight have very much some home to roost.

    If they’d worked Bush would have left a deficit, sure, but he also would have left the revenue producing economy he claimed to be building. If that tax cuts and low interest rates had produced real growth, we’d have real growth right now.

    You can’t make some empty argument that the world economy just happened to crash suddenly and catch everyone flat footed. Or you can’t if you remember 3 years of history. I mean, were you reading Calculated Risk?

    Greenspan’s 1% rates and Bush’s gutting of financial oversight very much made this.

  11. odograph says:

    Dave tells a partial truth:

    And its economy tanked before Bill Clinton was elected and has been in the dumps ever since.

    To make it a full truth you have to tell the Bush policies, and the recovery story, they told for the next 8 years.

    Remember tax cuts which, while building a then-record deficit in the meantime, would give us growth?

  12. Franklin says:

    To be fair to Obama, the bill is already very compromised for the Republicans. If it was purely up to the Democrats (and it could be, considering their stranglehold on the federal government at the moment), there wouldn’t be ANY tax cuts. As it is, some 30% of it is tax cuts.

    And there *is* a debate going on, whether you admit it or not, and the Republicans have had their say. I don’t have the link on me, but between Jan. 26th and the 28th, a survey showed that Republican senators and congressman were on cable news shows about 3:1 over their Democratic colleagues, arguing as always for all tax cuts and no spending.

    And this is what Obama is now combatting, fairly enough. One side got to speak already, now it’s his turn. Don’t give me this BS about it being railroaded through – he’s sat down with Republican senators, congressman, governors, and media personalities, and even used some of their input.

    Look, I agree that we don’t know exactly what the stimulus will do, and I also agree that there is fear mongering about the economy. But it’s also pretty obvious that Republicans have a vested interest in the economy continuing to fail until the next elections. And of course it is also amusing that they’ve finally jumped on the fiscally conservative bandwagon. Sorry, but their credibility is low right now. I actually have a lot more faith in our untested President right now.

  13. CT says:

    If they’d worked Bush would have left a deficit, sure, but he also would have left the revenue producing economy he claimed to be building. If that tax cuts and low interest rates had produced real growth, we’d have real growth right now.

    Exactly how do we explain tax cuts as the cause of the current economic troubles? It has zero to do with tax cuts and everything to do with bad loans and a credit sickness. What happens when you give money to people who can’t afford to pay it back? You’re out some money. Multiply that by the thousands, and you’re out alot of money. There is plenty of blame to go around besides Bush. When the tax cuts were instituted, we did have growth. It worked to drag us out of the 9/11 lag. Surely if it had been “false” recovery, we wouldn’t have had 7 years of prosperity? Tax cuts worked when Reagan tried them. Tax cuts worked when JFK tried them. What did NOT work was FDR’s new deal. I’m not being partisan here… just discussing history.

  14. markm says:

    elimination of financial oversight have very much some home to roost.

    What financial oversight was eliminated?. What was deregulated in the financial sector?. I keep hearing this claim but nobody says what was done.

  15. Dave Schuler says:

    Remember tax cuts which, while building a then-record deficit in the meantime, would give us growth?

    I always opposed those tax cuts.

    However, I think the situation Bush was in then is similar to the one Obama is in now: he had to do something. In Bush’s case and taking his base into account “something” had to be tax cuts just as, considering President Obama’s base, spending-based fiscal stimulus has to be his “something”.

    However, I think his tax cuts were the wrong ones, were too large, and persisted too long.

  16. odograph says:

    markm, this is a good read:

    I finally finished my own airport parking lot appraisal report in late March, the same week that the Bush Administration laid off most of the OTS examiners. I don’t know which event precipitated my termination. My appraisal of the airport parking lot estimated the stabilized value at $37 million in year 2003 and the value upon completion as $31 million in 2002. These appraised values were considered insufficient to support the $30 million loan.

    Dave, good on you for opposing the tax cuts without corresponding spending limitations.

    I agree that something had to be done in the dot-com aftermath. I think most observers agree that a rate reduction was justified. It was just held to long, by people who believed in rational markets and who disbelieved bubbles.

    The tax cuts suffered an ideological:economic binding. There were so many who believed and argued that tax cuts ALWAYS produce higher revenue that they shouted down the moderate view, that they sometimes do. When they did not, that should have been factual (pragmatic) feedback.

  17. odograph says:

    Exactly how do we explain tax cuts as the cause of the current economic troubles?

    Isn’t it Biblical that you save during the good years and spend during the bad?

    What was the size of the Bush deficit, and the national debt, BEFORE the credit crisis hit?

  18. odograph says:

    Surely if it had been “false” recovery, we wouldn’t have had 7 years of prosperity?

    Did you adjust that for expansion of public and private debt?

    Here is a striking image from an article I did not read.

  19. odograph says:

    Another good one:

    Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) Played Advocate Over Enforcer

    OTS is responsible for regulating thrifts, also known as savings and loans, which focus on mortgage lending. As the banks under OTS supervision expanded high-risk lending, the agency failed to rein in their destructive excesses despite clear evidence of mounting problems, according to banking officials and a review of financial documents.

    Instead, OTS adopted an aggressively deregulatory stance toward the mortgage lenders it regulated. It allowed the reserves the banks held as a buffer against losses to dwindle to a historic low. When the housing market turned downward, the thrifts were left vulnerable. As borrowers defaulted on loans, the companies were unable to replace the money they had expected to collect.

  20. Dave Schuler says:

    The tax cuts suffered an ideological:economic binding. There were so many who believed and argued that tax cuts ALWAYS produce higher revenue that they shouted down the moderate view, that they sometimes do. When they did not, that should have been factual (pragmatic) feedback.

    The problem I saw with the tax cuts was that they addressed a problem we didn’t have. There hadn’t been a notable decline in consumer spending.

    However, there had been a marked decline in domestic business spending. IMO any tax cut should have been tailored very narrowly to remedy that problem.

    While we’re assigning blame, we should assign some to Alan Greenspan, appointed by Ronald Reagan and retained by George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. His policies lead directly to asset inflation which was one of the proximate causes of the fix we’re in now.

  21. Gary says:

    Take notice to those Staunch Republicans.

    It is unfortunate for those of us loosing economic holdings to put up with those “Staunch Republicans” and their twisted truths and distasteful posturing. It saddens me to see our country going into financial ruin to and see so called republican politicians, who by the way CREATED this economic situation, still beat the drum on how well they did. We have come full circle and if the republicans still do not get it then we should VOTE them out of office. The President BUSHS’, yes both of them, have been deceptive and manipulative to the owners of the United States. That is us, the American people. The American dream has been literally stolen from us specifically by George W. Bush and his sides kick Dick Cheney.

    Programs like Limbaugh radio and Fox News made me realize how far off target the republicans truly are and we should act on this thinking by not voting for those fogies. I am not trying to say that all republicans are that way, but rather you judge for yourself. Watch a non-bias televised news channel(s) – read a non-bias newspaper. See for yourself what politicians are working for improving this country. For myself I see the republicans standing firm and twisting the truths, same old – same old, and just trying to make a statement about REPUBLICANS standing firm and doing absolutely NOTHING of value.

  22. odograph says:

    Sure, I mentioned Greenspan above. I think whatever his tenure, he was especially tight with this Whitehouse, and …. well, say what you will about fed (in)dependence, I think he found ready support for the “Greenspan put.”

  23. David says:

    I don’t see how you beleive that working for the government is a solution to fixing the economy. If everyone works for the government then who will pay the taxes. It only seems to reason that eventually the money would run out. Unless a product is produced and sold no business even government in a business sence can servive. Raise the minimum wage to prevalling wage and the market will fix it self. Then you can tax and spend your way to fame.

  24. Loviatar says:

    One of the things you’ll notice is that you can’t get into a real discussion with a Republican of James ilk; as soon as it was mentioned that Bush and the Republicans owned this recession, James immediately pulled a CDS – but, but, Clinton, Japan and global economy, so there.

    Bush and the Republicans spent the last 8 years implementing their economic strategy (tax cut, loosen regulations, excoriate oversight, rinse lather, repeat) and now that the economy has upchucked like a drunk whose been on an 8 years drinking binge, they refuse to seriously engage in trying something different.

    Ideologues pure and simple, that’s all they are and that all they’ll ever be.

    Steve Pearlstein gives a good summary of the stupidity of the current Republican talking points about the stimulus package.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/05/AR2009020503413.html

    “What do you think a stimulus is?” Obama asked incredulously. “It’s spending — that’s the whole point! Seriously.”

  25. markm says:

    markm, this is a good read:

    I read it and I get your point but what happened previously to get to that point?. I stumbled across this some time ago and it may be oversimplified and for sure slanted but it looks to me close to the root cause:

    http://www.progressivehistorians.com/2008/05/bill-clinton-glass-steagall-and-current.html

  26. markm says:

    and by slanted, it looks like the progressives that wrote it don’t like William Clinton.

  27. Our Paul says:

    Said it before, and I will say it again: If you do not recognize the problem, you cannot solve it. And if you do identify a problem, you will never solve it by insisting on ideological constraints. Data and History, they are the food for the problem solving mind.

    Thus, the first question is how severe is the economic crisis. Lots of soft stuff out there, but there is no argument with this data. And we do know that any projected “unemployment” figure underestimates the problem. Of course, there are always the prognostications of our Captains of Industry to pin your hat on…

    The history of this economic disaster is complex. To my mind, Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz outline is short, concise, and identifies the central cause of the current crisis. Thus, when James Joyner has this to say while playing the eternal shell game:

    Beyond that, it’s frankly absurd to claim that the Bush policies “threw our economy into a tailspin.” The world economy is undergoing a massive shakeup. The United States is in better shape than just about any other major country.(My italics, OP)

    President Bush paid no attention to the collapse of Enron, or the tech bubble. Instead the policies he pursued were continued deregulation, and implementation of tax cuts in the face of a war and mounting National Debt. We are not talking about “Bush policies”, we are talking about Conservative / Libertarian ideological driven policies that have failed.

    That plenty if criticism is presented, but no solutions are offered is not unexpected. What grates, and prompted my response was this: The United States is in better shape than just about any other major country. Pray tell James, what is your index for this statement? National Debt, state of the Banking Industry, GDP, or the actual deprivation of individual members of society caused as they lose their jobs.

    Dave Schuler in the comment section (above, at 08:39 am) raises the following:

    However, there’s a serious question lurking beneath the rhetoric. How effective can either fiscal or monetary policy be? While facile blaming our current problems on Bush policies is probably an over-simplification. We’ve had a complex of policies that go well beyond fiscal and monetary policies over a period of 30 or 40 years that have contributed to our economic woes.(My Italics,OP)

    Well said Dave. Stiglitz (linked above) traces our current collapse back 30 years. As to your central question, italicized in my quote, the future will tell. What we have identified is how ineffective our fiscal and monetary policy has been.

    If you do not learn from your mistakes, you are bound to repeat them…

  28. KABOOKEY says:

    This is too funny, yea he sat down with the other side and promptly told them “I won”. I remember him running in the general and promising 95% tax cuts and telling us how he was getting the scalpel out. He then runs out last night and says tax cuts don’t work. We need debate then the next line says the debate is over. He speaketh from both sides of mouth. Fork tongue.

    ***
    To be fair to Obama, the bill is already very compromised for the Republicans. If it was purely up to the Democrats (and it could be, considering their stranglehold on the federal government at the moment), there wouldn’t be ANY tax cuts. As it is, some 30% of it is tax cuts.

    And there *is* a debate going on, whether you admit it or not, and the Republicans have had their say. I don’t have the link on me, but between Jan. 26th and the 28th, a survey showed that Republican senators and congressman were on cable news shows about 3:1 over their Democratic colleagues, arguing as always for all tax cuts and no spending.

    And this is what Obama is now combatting, fairly enough. One side got to speak already, now it’s his turn. Don’t give me this BS about it being railroaded through – he’s sat down with Republican senators, congressman, governors, and media personalities, and even used some of their input.

    Look, I agree that we don’t know exactly what the stimulus will do, and I also agree that there is fear mongering about the economy. But it’s also pretty obvious that Republicans have a vested interest in the economy continuing to fail until the next elections. And of course it is also amusing that they’ve finally jumped on the fiscally conservative bandwagon. Sorry, but their credibility is low right now. I actually have a lot more faith in our untested President right now.

  29. KABOOKEY says:

    Lovi, sounds like you got the talking points down yourself. Yes stimulus is spending but this pork is not stimulus. Calling it spending and calling it stimulus are two different things. Buy condoms to pass out is not about job creation, it is about social policy. This bill should have been clean and clear not 700 pages of handouts. Infrastucture, rail, roads, bridges, ports, sewers, nuclear power plants. Things of that nature where the jobs being created are by the private sector not by cronies handed jobs at HHS to hand out condoms and check for std’s. Keep trying to defend the joke and you lose your standing with the public. The public can see pork and handouts. This bill is payoff pure and simple.

    **

    One of the things you’ll notice is that you can’t get into a real discussion with a Republican of James ilk; as soon as it was mentioned that Bush and the Republicans owned this recession, James immediately pulled a CDS – but, but, Clinton, Japan and global economy, so there.

    Bush and the Republicans spent the last 8 years implementing their economic strategy (tax cut, loosen regulations, excoriate oversight, rinse lather, repeat) and now that the economy has upchucked like a drunk whose been on an 8 years drinking binge, they refuse to seriously engage in trying something different.

    Ideologues pure and simple, that’s all they are and that all they’ll ever be.

    Steve Pearlstein gives a good summary of the stupidity of the current Republican talking points about the stimulus package.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/05/AR2009020503413.html

    “What do you think a stimulus is?” Obama asked incredulously. “It’s spending — that’s the whole point! Seriously.”

    Posted by Loviatar | February 6, 2009 | 12:03 pm | Permalink

  30. KABOOKEY says:

    Bottom line, they did create higher revenues but they never stopped the spending. The more they took in the more they rationalized more spending because it was less and less of GDP. The end game is once the government starts programs, it never stops them so the spending will go on and on. You ever hear a government program being stopped? These massive payoff bill will just create more government that will need to be fed with more taxes. Is anybody even talking about how you can recoup the nearly 2 trillion we are printing now? That is what is in the pipeline now and Saint O is saying he will be requesting more shortly. So 2 tillion in a year with more to come, who is going to ever pay that mortgage???

    ****

    The tax cuts suffered an ideological:economic binding. There were so many who believed and argued that tax cuts ALWAYS produce higher revenue that they shouted down the moderate view, that they sometimes do. When they did not, that should have been factual (pragmatic) feedback.

    The problem I saw with the tax cuts was that they addressed a problem we didn’t have. There hadn’t been a notable decline in consumer spending.

    However, there had been a marked decline in domestic business spending. IMO any tax cut should have been tailored very narrowly to remedy that problem.

    While we’re assigning blame, we should assign some to Alan Greenspan, appointed by Ronald Reagan and retained by George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. His policies lead directly to asset inflation which was one of the proximate causes of the fix we’re in now.

    Posted by Dave Schuler | February 6, 2009 | 11:28 am | Permalink

  31. KABOOKEY says:

    Gary, please point out one non-biased station, paper, anything? Please tell us what is approved listening or reading? Anyone that gets their news from one source is fulling themselves. I watch them all and they all have their bias but at least on FOX and to some extend CNN now they have opposing views on there when they discuss issues. MSNBC never has anyone on that does not agree with the host. Have you ever seen anyone on Olberwoman’s show that does not tow the line with what he says? Get real Gary. I’ll wait for your approved list of viewing.

    ***
    Take notice to those Staunch Republicans.

    It is unfortunate for those of us loosing economic holdings to put up with those “Staunch Republicans” and their twisted truths and distasteful posturing. It saddens me to see our country going into financial ruin to and see so called republican politicians, who by the way CREATED this economic situation, still beat the drum on how well they did. We have come full circle and if the republicans still do not get it then we should VOTE them out of office. The President BUSHS’, yes both of them, have been deceptive and manipulative to the owners of the United States. That is us, the American people. The American dream has been literally stolen from us specifically by George W. Bush and his sides kick Dick Cheney.

    Programs like Limbaugh radio and Fox News made me realize how far off target the republicans truly are and we should act on this thinking by not voting for those fogies. I am not trying to say that all republicans are that way, but rather you judge for yourself. Watch a non-bias televised news channel(s) – read a non-bias newspaper. See for yourself what politicians are working for improving this country. For myself I see the republicans standing firm and twisting the truths, same old – same old, and just trying to make a statement about REPUBLICANS standing firm and doing absolutely NOTHING of value.

    Posted by Gary | February 6, 2009 | 11:39 am | Permalink

  32. KABOOKEY says:

    Your post pooints out exactly what young people do not know. The economy can’t be rebooting with a button. It will take real work and not the kind you get paid for by your mom for making your bed. This requires adults who know someone down the line will have to pay for this bill. You really want to post here and claim money for the arts is stimulus? std screening is stimulus? paybacks to acorn is stimulus? You really think that is rebooting the economy? Your whole post was partisan, you expect just because the Sainted One speaks everyone should jump? You want to talk about waste here how much did it cost for Saint O to fire up Air Force and fly it a couple hundred miles to go to a retreat for the dems where we are footing that bill. You know if he was so smart he could have saved a mil or so and talked to them yesterday in Washington. Instead he runs out and cries about CEO pay and perks and then he wastes our dime the next. Typical lefty, do as I say not as I do.

    ***

    It is shameful that some in the media and Congress, earning cushy salaries, unaffected by the impending crisis, asks what’s the rush? But, thank God, there is a new Sherrif in town as President Obama takes his fight to the people. He understands the American people are hurting and needs help NOW, found here due to greed and neglect! This Stimulus will re-boot the stalled economy but also be an Investment for future generations, investments too long denied by Republicans who believe Goverment is a problem — not a solution. They are negative and not positive and nothing from nothing leaves nothing.

    Republicans’ new talking points regarding help to the people in the form of a stimulus – is that the polling shows the American people are against this Stimulus (against help)! What planet do they live on. By the day, Blue and White collar workers are losing thier jobs, homes, cars. They are resorting to food and bread lines; unemployment compensation and food stamps (by the way the GOP calls this Welfare). The American people are hurting and the GOP are playing political games — let’s damage the President, instead of putting their time and care on the crisis looming large for the American people. At least for Once!

    Not unexepectedly, the GOP cry loudly, that that is not the way for Pres. Obama to win — taking it to the airwaves, (however, he tried being diplomatic and nice)! They don’t want him to fight — to Expose their phony objections and impediment to this catastrophe. They don’t want light but President Obama believes in transparency, and there is no time to lose in this situation. This patient, the U.S. economy, needs emergency care, now. Thank God, a new Sheriff is in town and President Obama is fighting for You. This country has waited long enough for a blood transfusion, and theres no time to lose!

    This is not about Pork, as GOP wants you to believe — this is about the saving of our economy, our way of life. America is crumbling all around us and the GOP wants to play political games, as usual! As custodians of the people, President Obama assumed that due to the direness of the situation, Congress would Act accordingly and pass a stimulus, not try to Revive their policical party, when the country needs to be revived, for once to act selfless and put others before themselves!

    We must remember, that when the GOP were in control they held no oversight hearings on anything, they did not increase the minimum wage, their concern was not about our crumbling bridges or dirty air, water, contimanted food and Ponsy Schemes that robbed people of millions.

    What the young people know, is that we have to re-boot the economy and also Invest in Future Generations and it takes money — a stimulus to do. We will know what to do in 2010, get rid of those who want to hang onto the old ways which do not work. Old ways which neglect our infrastructures — crumbling schools, bridges and sewers, who want to hang onto the old ways of energy, even though it pollutes our air and water. We will know what to do in 2010! We need positive leaders who are able to envision a positive future, not negative ones, with the same old stale ideas, and do nothing for the people, year after year after year! They are like Elephants: big, clumsy and unmovable.

    Posted by angellight | February 6, 2009 | 01:30 pm | Permalink

  33. Drew says:

    I’m always amused at people blaming the mortgage mess on Bush and his “gutting the regulatory agencies,” or “Wall Street Greed” etc as if the whole thing magically started in the 2000’s.

    A cute quip I heard: Blaming the mortgage mess on Wall Street Greed is like blaming plane crashes on gravity, they both have an element of truth, but they tell you absolutely nothing about root causes.

    While bashing Bush on regulation, people conveniently forget the Big One, the repeal of Glass Steagall during Clinton’s reign, which unleashed the banks to be I banks, and gunning the subprime engine. They also conveniently forget to mention that CRA lending – read: bad credit lending – was an integral part of Clinton Admin public policy at HUD, beginning in about 1995.

    You can inspect these statistics, rapidly growing CRA loans and subprime lending, taking off in the nineties. The data is clear as a bell. Wheels set in motion, gaining momentum thereafter.

    Did Wall Street take this opportunity and play it for what it was worth? Of course. Look at what Citi did. Should the Bush administration (or Congress) have increased regulation in the 2000’s? I guess so. But I’ve also watched the CSPAN films of hearings with the likes of Barney Frank viciously attacking regulators in 2003 – 2004 for having the audacity to cry trouble. He basically called them enemies of the poor, if not racists. And once this freight train took off, we have to acknowledge that this became a global phenomenon, apparently fueled by easy credit and speculation worldwide.

    But there is are no two ways about it, this is a problem rooted in bad credit, and bad policy. This freight train left the station in the mid to late nineties, with a whole host of contributors, Republican and Democrat, thereafter.

    Bush bashing makes for good politics and neat cocktail party talk, but its really just wallowing in partisan ignorance. And its not the kind of thing that enables us to learn from our mistakes.

  34. Franklin says:

    This is too funny, yea he sat down with the other side and promptly told them “I won”.

    It seems to me that you are taking one out-of-context phrase and extrapolating his whole worldview based on it. It was in response to some idiot suggesting that they just use McCain’s tax-cut-only plan. The comment, while undiplomatic and easy to make a stupid soundbite out of, was quite justified in context. That’s the main problem with the media, they never give context to anything.

    Also, his tax cuts for 95% was a campaign point for roughly a year before the economy bombed. We’re talking about a stimulus plan now, and even Republicans admit that tax cuts alone are poor stimuli in the current environment.

  35. KABOOKEY says:

    Same me the out of context, he repeated it again last night. Pelosi has beat that over and over too. Lastly, this bill is not about stimulus anymore, it is about pork and politics as usual. You are trying the slight of hand Saint O is trying to pull off that he is fighting for the people in this bill. The people wanted tax cuts, they wanted the scalpel on the budget, they wanted honest open debate, they wanted an end to paybacks. Save the double talk Frank. He made the comment, she made the comment and then they stand up and say they want bi-partisan support. You really think that is bi-partisan support, telling the other side you won and sign off on what I want. Let republicans and dem offer up what they want and then vote it up or down and be done with it. Saint O should be the man and take ownership of the bill and then he can take credit or take the blame. If he thinks the bill as is is so good then tell Harry to stop the debate now and call the bill for a vote. Bottom line, his own party in the senate will not vote for the bill as is and that is the fact. It is not republicans holding anything up, it is dems that are afraid to go home after passing this stinker.

    **

    This is too funny, yea he sat down with the other side and promptly told them “I won”.

    It seems to me that you are taking one out-of-context phrase and extrapolating his whole worldview based on it. It was in response to some idiot suggesting that they just use McCain’s tax-cut-only plan. The comment, while undiplomatic and easy to make a stupid soundbite out of, was quite justified in context. That’s the main problem with the media, they never give context to anything.

    Also, his tax cuts for 95% was a campaign point for roughly a year before the economy bombed. We’re talking about a stimulus plan now, and even Republicans admit that tax cuts alone are poor stimuli in the current environment.

    Posted by Franklin | February 6, 2009 | 01:55 pm | Permalink

  36. odograph says:

    I’m always amused at people blaming the mortgage mess on Bush and his “gutting the regulatory agencies,” or “Wall Street Greed” etc as if the whole thing magically started in the 2000’s.

    You are munging two ideas there, gutting of regulations with the underlying greed.

    Yes, greed is old. I think it is discussed in the Bible. Regulation is old too.

    The amplification of what would have been a storm, the housing bubble, was magnified by Greenspan’s easy money and Bush’s reduced oversight.

  37. This thread is a trip. And I thought hindsight weas supposed to be 20/20.

  38. G.A.Phillips says:

    It is unfortunate for those of us loosing economic holdings to put up with those “Staunch Republicans” and their twisted truths and distasteful posturing. It saddens me to see our country going into financial ruin to and see so called republican politicians, who by the way CREATED this economic situation, still beat the drum on how well they did. We have come full circle and if the republicans still do not get it then we should VOTE them out of office. The President BUSHS’, yes both of them, have been deceptive and manipulative to the owners of the United States. That is us, the American people. The American dream has been literally stolen from us specifically by George W. Bush and his sides kick Dick Cheney.

    Programs like Limbaugh radio and Fox News made me realize how far off target the republicans truly are and we should act on this thinking by not voting for those fogies. I am not trying to say that all republicans are that way, but rather you judge for yourself. Watch a non-bias televised news channel(s) – read a non-bias newspaper. See for yourself what politicians are working for improving this country. For myself I see the republicans standing firm and twisting the truths, same old – same old, and just trying to make a statement about REPUBLICANS standing firm and doing absolutely NOTHING of value.

    Dude Why?

  39. Franklin says:

    Same me the out of context, he repeated it again last night. Pelosi has beat that over and over too. Lastly, this bill is not about stimulus anymore, it is about pork and politics as usual. You are trying the slight of hand Saint O is trying to pull off that he is fighting for the people in this bill. The people wanted tax cuts, they wanted the scalpel on the budget, they wanted honest open debate, they wanted an end to paybacks. Save the double talk Frank. He made the comment, she made the comment and then they stand up and say they want bi-partisan support. You really think that is bi-partisan support, telling the other side you won and sign off on what I want. Let republicans and dem offer up what they want and then vote it up or down and be done with it. Saint O should be the man and take ownership of the bill and then he can take credit or take the blame. If he thinks the bill as is is so good then tell Harry to stop the debate now and call the bill for a vote. Bottom line, his own party in the senate will not vote for the bill as is and that is the fact. It is not republicans holding anything up, it is dems that are afraid to go home after passing this stinker.

    You’ve got a few coherent lines in there, but you don’t seem to be well-informed. There’s only one Democratic Senator with serious concerns about the bill. One. Let me repeat: one. The delay is to make sure this doesn’t get filibustered.

    Again, 30% of this bill wouldn’t be tax cuts if it wasn’t being compromised. The $120 billion just lopped off tonight wouldn’t have happened without compromise. But you can continue to live in your fantasy world where Obama doesn’t bend over backwards for Republicans.

  40. steve s says:

    Well, yeah, I hope Obama’s waking up to the fact that the republicans are the stupidest people on the planet, and that giving them what they want would prolong the economic crisis. I want that, but tragically he seems to believe the bipartisan lie that republicans are just as good as dems. I’m holding my fingers crossed that he’ll come to understand that the GOP understands economics like a dog understands calculus, and he’ll ignore them and move in the right direction. We’ll see. If he doesn’t he’ll bear the undeserved burden Carter bore.

  41. Joe R. says:

    One of the things you’ll notice is that you can’t get into a real discussion with a Republican of James ilk

    You’re new to these parts, aren’t you? This right-leaning blog has a fair percentage of left-leaning commenters precisely because they can get into a real discussion with James.