CRP Blog

Thursday, February 5, 2009

OVER: Obama's Honeymoon

Failed cabinet appointments. Questions over ethics standards. Flagship legislation languishing in the Senate. Promises of bipartisanship evaporating. And this is just after two weeks.

Barack Obama is learning that governing is much more difficult than campaigning, particularly when success hinges on Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid moving the agenda in Congress. In the House, any prospect of bi-partisanship has been blown up as Democrats forced through a bloated, wasteful spending bill packaged as "stimulus," drawing zero Republican votes.

Meanwhile, the bi-partisanship in the Senate comes in the form of both Republicans and Democrats opposing the same wasteful "stimulus" bill that will only "stimulate" further growth in government with more than three dozen new programs and billions in debt.

While the overspending/stimulus bill is bogged down in Congress, the wheels have come off one Cabinet-level appointee after another, raising serious questions about the vetting process which the White House communications hacks were touting as the greatest ever. Yup -- so great they didn't notice Tom Daschle's, Timothy Geitner's, or the Solis' family's array of tax problems.

Tough to argue that paying higher taxes is a "patriotic" duty, as Joe Biden did, when your own team doesn't step up to pay the taxes they already owe.

Finally there's the political decision to close the Guantanamo Bay terrorist prison without first determining where these killers are supposed to go (we nominate Alcatraz, right in the middle of Nancy Pelosi's district). One report shows 61 of the Guantanamo prisoners who have been released returned to their previous occupation of killing people. The remaining prisoners are even more hard core. In whose neighborhood should these killers be housed?

Yes, the honeymoon is certainly over. And now is the time for Republicans to offer a clear alternative to where Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid want to take the country. The comeback starts here.

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