Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Bipartisanship Process

Keep going, President Obama. To break the atmosphere of hyper-partisanship in Washington, you have tried little things and big things. You have invited Republicans into your new home for cookies, cocktails, and watching the super-bowl. You have invited Republicans into your Administration, including key Cabinet posts. You have gone to the Capitol to speak directly with the Republican caucus. Keep going.

No one should be surprised that the first three weeks of effort have failed to alter a culture poisoned by a decade of determined effort. The real test of your determination to bring about change is not really how well you make the first overtures, but how gracefully you handle their first refusals. Turn the other cheek and keep trying. The good that can come of this thankless effort to thaw the ice may long outlast your Presidency.

Like peacemaking anywhere, bipartisanship is a process, and it takes time. Bipartisanship is not about winning votes but winning hearts and minds; it is not about building support for your policies but building relationships with the opposition, and trannsforming the proverbial political aisle from a dividing wall into a meeting place. In honor of Valentine's Day, Mr. Obama, keep handing out the roses and don't fret too much about the thorns.


Raised By Republicans said...

I fear that the Republicans won't negotiate in good faith until they learn that if they don't Obama and the Democrats can do what they want with or without them. Intransigence doesn't pay anymore but the kind of Republicans that are still left in the party aren't very smart and will need to be beat over the head a few times before they get the picture.

USwest said...

Dr. S is exactly right. And I see that Obama is trying to change a culture.

I think it was wise for Obama and the Senate Democrats to negotiate with the 3 Republican senators in order to keep them on board. It showed that when Republicans come up to the plate and are willing to participate fairly, they will get concessions. So RASPBERRY to the rest of them who couldn't bother.

I also listened to his press conference last week and was pleased with how he conducted himself. He said then that if people come to the negotiation table with a "do nothing, don't stimulate the economy, let the market run its course", then there wasn't much chance of negotiation there. But if they come with legitimate and real concerns and show cooperation, then they will get something for their efforts.

Message decoded: Extreme elements of either party, especially the Republican Party, shouldn't show up because it they are wasting the time of American citizens.

Bottom line is the Republicans can't hit Obama. So they are trying to hit his flank and to undermine his efforts. Who knows what they threatened "Granitehead Gregg" with to get him to resign.