Flaccid Arrogance

November 11th, 2008

Here’s a doozy:

CNN Anchor Tony Harris: How will we — “we,” big “we” — make this work? I’m talking Republicans, Democrats, independents, Libertarians. Republicans — do Republicans want to work with a President-elect Obama?

Bay Buchanan: Well, it all depends on which direction the country — Obama wants to take the country. If he is really going to govern from the center and recognizes that the nation is center to right, then we’re gonna work with him, just as we worked with Bill Clinton to get welfare reform.

In other words, “we’ll be bipartisan as long as the other side does what we want them to do.” Yeah, that’s bipartisanship.

I am really, really glad that the Dems have won such a commanding majority, else we’d be in for four years of rather horrific gridlock. Remember, the Republicans in the Senate used the filibuster at least three times more in the last session of Congress than it had ever been used before; they blocked virtually every single Democratic initiative out the gate. Even as they blamed Democrats as being the “do nothing” Congress, they crowed openly about how being obstructionist “worked for them.”

Republicans have, for too long, been far too greedy, far too insistent on having everything go their way. Remember when they got more of their judicial appointments confirmed than any party in living history–98 percent were approved–and then screamed that the Democrats were being “obstructionist” because they refused to rubber-stamp the most egregiously extremist and corrupt right-wing judges that even some conservatives gagged at?

For me, the best representation of this attitude was that one Republican woman who complained about Starbucks coffee cups when it was found that more of them had left-leaning quotes printed on them than right-leaning quotes: “oh well, I’m not surprised. I’m used to being under-represented.” This was 2005, when Republicans had held the White House, both houses of Congress, had a stronger voice on the Supreme Court, and had a media filled with right-wing voices–and here was this woman whining about how she was “under-represented” because her coffee cups disagreed with her more often than not.

The problem is, Republicans like Buchanan don’t seem to realize that their bargaining position has been whittled down to almost nothing. With even more Republican Senate seats coming up for election in the next round (the last round where Republicans stand to lose the most, after Democrats won big the last two times), there will probably be at least a few Republicans who won’t want to be held up as the ones who blocked progress.

While Republicans may be able to hold on to the barest sliver of obstructionist power, the fact is that they are marginalized now more than they have been for a long time–maybe more than they have been ever, all things considered. To still go about with such arrogant hubris, demanding things be done their way or not at all, is flirting with disaster.

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