Good points, APL. I know Rahm Emanuel may not be liked by many, but his attitude is exactly what is needed in the Obama White House when it comes to the Repubs...and he says the days of bipartisanship are over
:For Obama’s next act, the program is the same as he has been planning for months: New Deal-style plans to rescue struggling homeowners and rewrite regulations on the financial markets, plus a budget proposal that lays the groundwork for sweeping health care reform.
But the strategy to promote these items is getting an emergency overhaul. Obama plans to travel more and campaign more in an effort to pressure lawmakers with public support, rather than worrying about whether he can win over Republican votes in Congress. Officials suggested that the new, more partisan tone Obama embraced last week in his speech before House Democrats at their retreat and continued at his news conference Monday was what he should have been doing all along.
Meeting with reporters Thursday night, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said that there were times during the stimulus debate when “I don’t think we were sharp about the benefits” of the legislation, letting Washington process dominate the message. LINK
Reflecting as “somebody who has been in this town,” he observed that “there’s an insatiable appetite for the notion of bipartisanship here and we allowed that to get ahead of ourselves.”
But Emanuel said that they recognized they had overdone their initial outreach to Republicans and had offered "a sharp message for the last week."
For now, the hard-charging chief of staff added, “He has an open hand, but he has a very firm handshake.”
Translation: Yes, the president will continue to do obligatory outreach to the GOP, but he’s not going to be burned again by an out-of-power and toothless minority for the sake of appearances.
This may be the only practical course. Obama’s call for compromise and change in how Washington does its business was quickly rebuffed by both parties in Congress. Both Democrats and Republicans have political needs and authentic ideological priorities that matter a lot more to them than whether Washington is a civil place