Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said on national television today that, despite the complete solidarity of House Republicans and eleven Democrats voting against the stimulus/spending bill, Republicans across the country support it. What hogwash. Why does she think the party spoke with one voice on that vote? It was because Republicans were quite vocal in their non-support and members of Congress heard the shouts loud and clear.
This is of Pelosi's own doing. She demanded Republicans support her bill, written by the most liberal, free spenders in the House, while not allowing Republican input. That is no way to get votes. She allowed forty years worth of social engineering dreams and every pet project imaginable to be written into the bill and claim it was all for job creation. Even on the level of small business tax cuts she was dishonest. She planned to rush it on through while insisting the economy could not wait another minute.
What Pelosi didn't plan for was the fact that Americans are leery of more big government intrusion into the lives of regular taxpayers and resent more debt piled onto the backs of future generations without any hope of future rescinding of programs down the road. Once a government program is in place, it is almost impossible for it to be cut. The Obama administration is to be ruled by 'czars' put into place to overrule traditional cabinet positions. The 'energy czar' and the 'health care czar' are two examples. It will be interesting to watch these big egos interact.
Continuing on with the talking point that the Republicans were simply playing politics with the House vote on the stimulus/spending bill, just as it is always done in Washington, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs insisted that "old habits die hard in this town." The Republicans finally found their collective backbones and voted as Republicans. To professionals like Gibbs, this is playing politics. Voting on values of your political party is not partisan. It is remaining true to your party convictions. Some Democrats crossed over and voted their conscience, too. Are they lesser Democrats for that?
Robert Gibbs has much to learn. Watching his daily press briefings with the White House press corps, it is obvious he is in over his head. Even with the adoring press corps, for whom Obama walks on water, Gibbs is showing the strain of accountability. By stating that the Republicans would be targeted by special interest groups and the White House in commercials in their districts for not support the stimulus/spending bill is nothing short of petty, low ball, Clinton era retaliation tactics. What's next? Will the FBI files and IRS returns now be used against members of Congress as the Clintons did? What kind of change is this?
Gibbs speaks for someone elected on establishing a new tone in Washington. He should remember that himself. President Bush came in with the same agenda of changing the tone in Washington. This is only a new goal for those with short attention spans. Unfortunately, that describes most voters. Obama has a window of goodwill, Bush never did.
There is a list of six or so Republicans being targeted on the Senate side by groups like MoveOn and unions, like the Service Employee International Union. Senators Gregg, Snowe, Collins, Murkowski, and Grassley are on the list. Commercials will be run in their states to pressure them to vote in favor of the bill in the Senate. "Tell Senator ..... to support the Obama plan for jobs, not the failed policies of the past," the announcer says. The bill is not a job creator and the 'failed' policies of the past produced 52 consecutive months of job growth and creation in this country. After the financial devastation of 9/11, that is a true legacy of the Bush administration. It has been good to hear today that most Republicans are firmly on board to vote down the bill. I hope they all will.
The new administration would be better served to call off the attack dogs still consumed with Bush derangement syndrome and realize that angry doom and gloom messages don't sell ideas to voters. Counting on nervous everyday people to support the spending schemes in the bill has fallen short.
Robert Gibbs should watch old press conferences when Dana Perino or Tony Snow conducted them. He stands to learn much.