Sunday, August 01, 2010

GOP Won't Cooperate With Broder

The King of The Village and steadfast champion of bipartisanship, Washington Post syndicated columnist David Broder, acknowledges “Obama's definition of what would constitute wise, farsighted Republican policy may bear no resemblance to what John Boehner or Mitch McConnell, the GOP leaders in Congress, have in mind.”

But Broder is eager for the GOP and the President to collaborate on the pending free-trade agreement with South Korea, extension of the basic elementary and secondary education bill, “budgetary discipline,” energy and climate legislation, and job creation in the private sector. Broder, who foresaw GOP support for health care reform if only President Obama would “demonstrate his flexibility on a government-run option,” is (as Digby put it) “positively giddy” at the prospect of the President working with the Republican opposition in the next Congress.

But why wait? Surely Republicans at least would support a bill intended to lessen the recession while cutting taxes.

Not exactly:

Senate Republicans on Thursday rejected a bill to aid small businesses with expanded loan programs and tax breaks, in a procedural blockade that underscored how fiercely determined the party’s leaders are to deny Democrats any further legislative accomplishments ahead of November’s midterm elections.

The measure, championed by Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, had the backing of some of the Republican Party’s most reliable business allies, including the United States Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business. Several Republican lawmakers also helped write it.

The bill would create a $30 billion lending program within the Treasury Department, to be administered through local banks. It would also provide more than $12 billion in tax breaks, and would expand or enhance existing lending programs.

Every Republican- every Republican, including co-sponsor Olympia Snowe of Maine- voted against invoking cloture on a bill which included three GOP-sponsored amendments and tax breaks for small businesses.

The Republicans cried Procedure!- just as the House GOP did with the bill which would have provided health benefits to family members of individuals killed on 9/11/01. Yet again, they wanted to gum up the works with unrelated amendments, including their obsession, extending the Bush-era tax breaks for the wealthy, which are slated to expire at the end of 2010 pursuant to legislation passed by a Republican-controlled Congress and signed by a Republican president.

Here is today’s bipartisanship: Democrats propose moderate or centrist legislation to encourage GOP support. Republicans vote in lockstep to deny cloture to major Democratic initiatives. Mainstream media decries partisanship, insisting that “the system” is broken. And Republicans campaign against Democratic “partisanship” and attack the failure of the President to implement fundamental change.

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