Post-Gazette Editorial–Nation of divisions: Obama and the Republicans must seek cooperation

Change in government is almost always good for the country, in spite of the loss of experience in the process. A lot of that occurred in Tuesday’s elections. Now the newcomers have to figure out how to make government serve the people, as opposed to serving just themselves. Obstruction and electoral combat won’t be good enough. The short leash in power that the voters gave Mr. Obama’s party made that very clear.

Read it all.


Posted in * Economics, Politics, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate

26 comments on “Post-Gazette Editorial–Nation of divisions: Obama and the Republicans must seek cooperation

  1. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    Wait…I thought Obama considered anyone that disagreed with him the “enemy”. I thought Republicans had to “get in the back of the bus”. I thought Obama was all about “I won – we write the bill”. I thought Democrats were all about “we won, get over it”. I seem to recall Democrats ramming Health Care through without even reading it…taking over 1/5th of the US economy. Their concept of bi-partisanship was “do what we tell you and we will get along”. They were all about wrapping themselves in the role of “loyal opposition” while they called Bush “Bushler” and did everything they could to demonize his administration no matter if it hurt the war effort. Last I checked, Guantanamo is still open!!!

    What a difference a day makes!

  2. Cole says:

    [blockquote] The Republicans must understand that the strategy they pursued in upending Mr. Obama’s party — saying no and threatening to filibuster everything the president proposed — will not be good enough to get the country through the next two years.[/blockquote]
    I’m confused by this sentence. Is the writer talking in the past tense, present or future. The past had both Congress and the White House holding all the power. They could do whatever they wanted. The mandate is to put the breaks on more spending, higher taxes and increased entitlements.

  3. Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) says:

    The left [i]always[/i] trots out “co-operation” and “bi-partisanship” when the right has gained any element of power. When the [i]left[/i] has power, however, any differing viewpoint becomes “obstructionism” to be overcome. I call BS, and fundamentally reject the premise that the natural flow of history is ever-leftward.

    I see absolutely no reason ever to cooperate with people who seek to control even minor aspects of my life — like what sort of light bulb I may use, whether I’m required to purchase medical insurance, or how much “carbon” I’m allowed to emit — for it is but a softened and cryptic form of tyranny, advanced by those who would become the new nobility.

    [b]The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes.[/b] — Thomas Paine ( 1737 – 1809 )

  4. Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    No. 3,
    To be fair, the [i]right[/i] uses the same terminology when its in power. Power without a check or balance often leads to unfortunate ends.

  5. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    #4 You are right. The Right talks about bipartisanship when they [i]are[/i] in power. The Left only talks about bipartisanship when they [i]are not[/i] in power. Truer words…

  6. Dan Crawford says:

    One would think the commenters ought to show more joy. Now they have their way. Let’s see what their triumph achieves in two years.

  7. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    “One would think the commenters ought to show more joy. Now they have their way.”

    No, they have not triumphed. This is just a beachhead. The senate and president are still firmly and unapologetically committed to their “progressive” agenda and do not grasp the repudiation of Obamacare. The house minority is now more Liberal since the the moderate democrats mostly lost in the last election. There is much work to be done to undo the harm that this administration has done. There is only the merest glimmer of hope that we can turn things around. The hard work is ahead of us and there is no time for wasted triumphalism. My comments are just a recognition that the Left is now using enticing words without changing their agenda one bit and that it would be folly to believe them. They still look at half of Americans as “the enemy”. They say the election losses were just about the economy…not about their raw naked abuse of power in passing Obamacare without even reading it!

  8. AnglicanFirst says:

    The treatment of the opposition to the healthcare bill (aka ObamaCare) by both the President and the Democrat majority in the current Congress was disgraceful. They were dismissive, pre-emptive, disparaging, undemocratically secretive and adamantly opposed to any national debate in the Congress of this bill which affects a major part of the national economy and which damaged the existing health care that was available to many many Americans.

    Numerous comments of a dictatorial and dismissive nature were made by the President, Senator Reid, Congressperson Pelosi and by other leading Democrats toward the Republican leadership and Republicans in general. This was occurring right up to the eve of the elections.

    Now, having lost their majority in the House, the President and other Democrat leaders are blandishing conciliatory statements about the need for openness and cooperation between Republicans and Democrats.

    Can anyone spell “hypocrisy” children?

    “Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly.”

  9. LumenChristie says:

    # 7 YOu are so right. And these are the same people who run TEC with the same operating principles. Winner take all and scorched earth when “we” have the power.

  10. Alta Californian says:

    I call BS on #3 and #5. George Bush had no trouble calling minority Democrats “obstructionists” for six years. And it was Republicans who talked about using the “nuclear option” and eliminating the filibuster from 2000 to 2006, only to plant their flag on it the moment they lost. And the Democrats who hate the filibuster today are going to love it the moment they lose. Lets be adults here and admit that for both sides “bipartisanship” really means “you agreeing to my agenda”. Both parties are guilty. There is no double standard when everyone’s a hypocrite.

    Real bipartisanship is possible. What remains to be seen is whether we go down the road of complete partisan gridlock or find some sort of cooperation. As I recollect, the late 90s were pretty darn good, when we had a Democratic President and a Republican Congress. Impeachment and the shut-down notwithstanding, some good things were done. Liberal excesses were checked, as were conservative ones. Of course, we also had a booming economy, which certainly helped. But let’s see if those lessons can be learned. When I look at President Obama AND Speaker-to-be Boehner, Harry Reid AND Mitch McConnell – I ain’t holding my breath. But really, let’s drop the pretense that we have not all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

  11. Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    I am joyful that one side or the other doesn’t have a complete monopoly on the Hill. In the real world, adults can work out differences and do something productive. Unfortunately, DC is anything but the real world. I fear there is no real incentive now until 2012 to get anything done. I will joyfully to be wrong if something productive can be wrong. However, from the initial press conferences by both the President and the various Republican leaders over the last 24 hours, I remain skeptical.

  12. AnglicanFirst says:

    “Unfortunately, DC is anything but the real world.”

    AofTF, you are so right. I worked and lived in the greater Washington, DC area for almost nineteen years and I have never seen such arrogance anywhere else, except possibly in Paris, France.

    ‘Know nothing’ individuals who have often done nothing of real significance in their lives, that relates to the important issues ‘at hand’ in DC, arrive in DC from all over the USA and after 90 days in DC they have become ‘experts’ on ‘everything.’

    Just ask one of them.

    The most arrogant of all are the Senators and the Senate staffers.

  13. Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) says:

    Let’s come back to my point, repeated several times, that broad social libertarianism is the only politically sustainable approach to such issues.

    One of the great failings of Republicans during the Bush years, and not so much Bush himself, was their shift towards Big Government, as long as that government was imposing “conservative” social principles instead of “liberal” ones.

    At a time when one-third of Americans would re-impose Prohibition, what were they thinking? Miserable “abstinence-only” sex ed, doubling down on the “War on drugs,” harsher prison time for a kid who stole a $600 piece of electronics than for a white-collar robber of millions, and expelling from our military scores of our best Arabic and Parsi speakers merely on account of their nocturnal proclivities ??

    There’s no compromising with that sort of nonsense, either. American voters repeatedly rejected evangelical social fundamentalism. This week they rejected socialist economic fundamentalism.

    I say ‘Good Riddance’ on both counts. We should not compromise on any threat to true liberty. Christ freed us from ritual law, but politicians around the world, especially in Europe, have been a bit slow in understanding that.

  14. Scott K says:

    Both parties exercise power when they have it, and cry for bipartisanship when the don’t.

    “Back of the bus” — this is a deliberate misquote.

    Regarding HCR — we’ll see. Although polls show “Health Care Reform” to have lower overall support, most of the provisions of HCR when polled individually are favored by most people. It’ll be interesting to see how people react if the GOP tries to take away (for example) the repeal of lifetime maximum limits or coverage for adult children under 26 or elimination of pre-existing conditions, all of which are very popular.

    In any case, the Republicans managed to stop most legislation with only 40 seats in the Senate. The Dems still have the majority there, as well as the White House — there is no conceivable way that HCR can be substantially changed unless and until the Republicans control both houses (with 60% in the Senate) and the oval office. Which may happen in 2012, but a lot can change in two years.

  15. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    [blockquote]I call BS on #3 and #5. George Bush had no trouble calling minority Democrats “obstructionists” for six years. And it was Republicans who talked about using the “nuclear option” and eliminating the filibuster from 2000 to 2006, only to plant their flag on it the moment they lost.[/blockquote]

    The Republicans did not have a veto proof majority as the Democrats enjoyed these past two years…so they were obstructionists. Over the past two years, the Democrats have had enough votes to pass anything they wanted without Republicans…so how could they obstruct anything? As for the “Nuclear Option”…yes, there was talk but it was never done. The Democrats rammed Obamacare through without even a decent reading let alone a debate. So, I call BS on #10.

  16. Connecticutian says:

    Although many of us might disdain the nebulous “Tea Party” (and there are some elements of the movement that are disdainful), it’s interesting to note that they are significantly motivated by the type of commentary going on here. There’s a significant portion of the population that is getting fed up with partisan power plays fought for their own sake, rather than as proxies for trying to enact policy to benefit the country. Both parties do it, with equal hypocrisy and cynicism. And while there’s been a strong correlation between the Tea Partiers and the GOP, that’s only because the GOP tends to be “less far way” from the Tea Party ideals. Some of the intra-party fights have demonstrated this. The GOP needs to learn this lesson very quickly, and do what’s right rather than what benefits the party. Of course, sometimes simply throwing sand into the gears can be the “right” thing to do. Gridlock is good when the government is looking for new things to “help” us with.

  17. R S Hopper says:

    The Republicans are not a party about change, certainly not now. They have the tax laws pretty much the way they want them, and that’s really all they care about. Not since 1929 has the top 1% of American earners had as large a piece of the pie as they do today. They earn more than the bottom 80%. But what is really shocking is what the top 1/100 of that top 1% earns. And that is thanks to Wall Street and its billion dollar bonuses.

    Wanna know why America is out of work … the leaders of corporate America are taking too much cash out of their companies and putting it into their pockets … some might damn deep pockets.

  18. R S Hopper says:

    “The Right talks about bipartisanship when they are in power.”

    Uh huh … sure they do.

  19. Alta Californian says:

    Two years? Excuse me? They had that majority for less than 7 months, because Al Franken was not seated until July 7, 2009 due to the Minnesota recount and court action, and Scott Brown from Massachusetts was seated on February 4, 2010. And even then it was never easy to wield with conservative Dems like Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson, and Joe Lieberman. Even then if that is your argument than you should be willing to admit to Republican “obstructionism” for the first half of 2009 and nearly everything that has happened this year. But you won’t, because that is not the point you were trying to make. You were trying to paint the Democrats in the worst terms and the Republicans in the best terms. But it is hypocrisy to accuse others of hypocrisy when everyone is a hypocrite (how’s that for a sentence). Both parties are guilty of posturing, and I for one am sick of the partisan game of accusing the other side of stuff that one’s own side is frequently guilty of. And in that spirit I seriously repent of and repudiate every time I myself have done it in the past.

  20. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    Personally, I am glad that there is partisanship and I hope the conservatives will ALWAYS oppose efforts by the Left to murder babies with my tax dollars. The Left is the party of death responsible for the torture/murder of tens of millions of babies. They are in favor of chemically burning the skin off tiny babies in the womb, or cutting them up and dismembering them ALIVE, turning them in the womb so that they come out breach birth and stoping them before their heads are clear and jamming sharp instruments into the backs of tiny baby skulls…and if by some miracle a baby survives and is born alive, the Left is in favor of leaving them alone, cold and naked, to starve to death. That is what the Left is about. It is part of their party plank. How can you not “paint the Democrats in the worst terms” when that is in their party platform? They are also the party that wants to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and destroy the very foundations of civilization!

  21. Alta Californian says:

    I see, so you aren’t interested in anything like civil dialogue. If you really believe what you are saying than you should be taking up arms to defeat the government and anyone who is involved in that decision. But you aren’t. Rather than debating my point about hypocrisy, you just like scoring rhetorical points by pointing to the worst and using it to tarnish everything else. There is a great deal that we might come to agreement on (for example education reform – look at Arne Duncan and Adrian Fenty). But why talk to a Democrat about education reform, they sacrifice children to Moloch. Therefore any further conversation is useless, and I was clearly wrong to expect anything otherwise from the first instant. I suggest a new version of Godwin’s Law, you may call it Alta’s Law, whenever a Republican and Democrat are in any sort of discussion, just say the word “abortion” and the conversation will be over. I’m sure that will save you a great deal of inconvenience in the future.

    So I bid you good day, sir.

  22. John Wilkins says:

    In fact, Sick and Tired, one of the reasons the bills were so big was because Dems included a lot of Republican suggestions. The Republicans made a bet however – even if the Dems compromised, they could renege because they’d get the political rewards. And they won that bet. Good for them. Personally, I do wish the Dems had not compromised as much as they did. Obama, by saving capitalism, lost the elections.

    He has supported some big government things: regulating tobacco; increasing fuel economy standards; protecting women against pay discrimination; provided travel expenses for the families of dead soldiers; provided the veterans affairs with 1.4 billion dollars to improve services to Veterans; provided health care to 11 million children; signed the Dana and Chris Reeve Paralysis act; provided 18 billion for scientific research and development; signed the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act to minimize fraud and waste; Established a Credit Card Bill of rights to prohibit Credit Card companies from exploiting consumers with arbitrary rate hikes.

    But the car companies are doing well. Banks have recapitalized. And GDP has gone up. My own taxes have decreased.

    Saying that the Left’s primary role is to kill babies is a lot like saying the Right hates women who like sex and people of color in authority. There are good reasons to argue against sorts of liberalism, or socialism, or progressivism. “Killing babies” is hyperbole. Especially given the evidence that countries with more liberal policies around abortion and sex ed have lower abortion rates. If people really wanted to reduce abortions, they’d pay for women’s health care and give them two years paid maternity leave to raise their kids.

    Many pro-life people like babies. Not enough to pay for them.

  23. Ross says:

    Given that the Republicans took the House riding a popular wave of “**** you, Democrats!” I don’t see a lot of hope for bipartisan compromise in the near future.

  24. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    Killing babies is an accurate description of what the Democratic platform has consistently been in favor of…it is codified into their political stance. The vote on partial birth abortion is a horrific and primary example of that stance. The clear majority of Americans wanted that barbaric procedure banned, yet vote after vote by Democrats kept it legal. That isn’t hyperbole, that is the historic record. On a personal note, I do give to Birthright and to a local group called A Better Choice. I believe we should do more for crisis pregnancies to support women and children. I note that MA government has pushed the Catholic Church out of adoptions by their stance that would force them to place children with gay couples…that would be Democrat controlled MA. They care more for gay couples “rights” to have their child accessories than they do for placing orphaned children into stabel and traditional homes.

  25. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    Oh, and Obamacare is taking tax dollars from me to support abortion! Cooperate? Never! Compromise? Never!

  26. John Wilkins says:

    Sick and Tired: Obviously, to some, protecting marriage is more important than supporting adoption. That’s their choice. However, I know of gay couples who have prevented abortions. We live in an imperfect world, alas.

    “partial birth” abortions is propaganda. Generally, we’re talking about situations where there’s a choice between the life of the child and the woman. In my view, women’s lives are also important.

    And last, there’s probably no such thing as clean money. I’m skeptical that Government money goes to pay for abortions. But I do think that the government, through inaction, has provided plenty of incentives for women to prefer abortions to bearing children. That, however, is because we prefer tax cuts to providing mutual support.