Has the Last Month Been Good for the Republicans?

Politico decides that Judd Gregg's decision to back out his cabinet nomination has "embolden[ed]" the Republican Party. The website also passes on GOP spin saying that Barack Obama struck out in his attempts at bipartisanship, that his outreach to Senate Republicans was "like a bad date." President Obama, the spin explained, "[won] the battle [lost] the war."

I'm not certain what's in the water inside the Beltway, but it's hard to see how this has all been good for the Republicans. Take the stimulus. Barack Obama came into the process indicating that he wanted a $775 billion package on his desk by President's day -- and this looks like exactly what he's getting. He reached out to Republicans, they snubbed him, and he still got the bill passed.

Or take the cabinet. President Obama invited an unprecedented (at least in recent memory) three Republicans to his cabinet, including one to the top cabinet position of Defense Secretary. Just because one nominee decided after he sought out and eventually received a position in the cabinet that he had cold feet doesn't mean that this will swing back and hurt the President. (As I've wondered before, Gregg knew what he was getting into when he made his entreaties to the Obama administration, the stimulus package was already floating around before he was nominated, and Gregg himself flacked for the bill -- but now says he has a serious problem with the legislation?)

In fact, this all seems to play into the meme being accepted by the public, if not the establishment press, that Republicans are going out of their way to snub the very gracious President Obama. Don't believe me? Look at the sheer numbers, which show that Americans support the White House over Congressional Republicans by greater than a 2-to-1 margin.

The chattering class may be itching to declare victory for the Republicans, but I just don't see it. Then again, the pundits also thought that George W. Bush was moments away from a major political comeback for the last four years, and that never panned out, so maybe we should just tune them out.

Tags: 111th Congress, Congressional Republicans, Obama Administration, stimulus (all tags)

Comments

6 Comments

Has the Month (Year?) Been Good for Republicans?

I think the talking heads are bending over backwards in an attempt to appear 'fair and balanced' and find good news for Republicans that just isn't there right now. This goes back before the stimulus bill, as this diary indicates. Remember the 4 p/vp debates, and how the blatherers declared each either a tie or a very slight Republican victory... only to be followed by polls that vehemently showed otherwise among the general public, leaving our experts all simultaneously scratching their heads and looking like idiots?

I suspect the issue is twofold - (1) Because of that inane but pervasive 'media has a liberal bias' meme, they bend over backwards to find good news when Republicans are down, and (2) It is to their benefit if the 2 parties are on more or less an even playing field, because this puts them in a position to be valued mediators between evenly-split sources of power, enhancing both (a) their value as intellectual assessors above the fray, and (b) their bottom line as more people in an evenly-split and confused populace will 'check in' with the experts for their ability to sort out the rhetoric; when public opinion is generally swayed in one direction, this 'service' of theirs isn't as useful nor is it interpreted as being needed very much.

I predict boldly that we'll be hearing all about a Republican comeback... until the Republicans actually do make their comeback and have a greater degree of support among the population at large... at which point everything that happens will be pointing toward a Democratic comeback!

by RecoveringRepublican 2009-02-13 09:11AM | 0 recs
Giving them too much credit

I think your are bending over backward too much in your explanation. As best I can tell, the corporate media has purged most of their liberal pundits and reporters. Those who remain are either conservative or woefully ignorant. Plus, media corporations are big business -- it is in their interest to attack progressives and support pro-corporate dogma.

Ever since Ronald Reagan -- the "Teflon" President -- the corporate media has given Republicans long honeymoons and bent over backwards to let them spew their idiotic lies. It doesn't surprise me at all that the corporate media has interviewed twice as many Republicans as Democrats on the stimulus bill. And they pretty much ignored economists. This is not accidental -- it is deliberate propagation of the Right-wing propaganda. We've been seeing this for 30 years.

by RandomNonviolence 2009-02-13 01:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Has the Last Month Been

one of two things...

1) They expect the stimulus to fail and sink us deeper and that will hurt Obama. Doubtful...

2) They are using the 1993-94 playbook...  and will try to torpedo healthcare.  Basically they are misreading the situation.

by yitbos96bb 2009-02-13 09:21AM | 0 recs
Not sure we have heard the whole story on Gregg

I STILL think there were other shoes to fall, something would have made his confirmation rocky.

Cause, this last minute "Oh, I just couldn't support" makes him look like a lunkhead, no way he was blindsided by any of this.

He got out while the getting was good, and I hope the reporters continue to sniff around and find the rest of the story.

by WashStateBlue 2009-02-13 09:45AM | 0 recs
Good for the Republicans?

 The results of the last several weeks have been great for ALL Americans (even those who refer to themselves as Republicans) with the exception of Republican Senators and Congressman, who are apoplectic. And some, party affiliation aside,  who have wrongly predicted that Obama would do poorly are hyperventilating. That's not good. Juan Williams is getting lots of radio time, so even though he is an asshole, he's doing fine.

by QTG 2009-02-13 01:37PM | 0 recs
Republicans and BiPartisanship

As the President has learned with regard to every Republican in the House and all but three in the Senate, you can lead a horse's a$$ to water but you can't make him drink.

by ousteroune 2009-02-14 10:01AM | 0 recs

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