Looks like President Barack Obama may be ready to post a little sign on the Oval Office door, saying something like this:
The appeasement stops here.
Barack Obama held a meeting with Congressional leaders Friday morning, and listened to leading Republicans voice their complaints about his proposed stimulus package. President Obama strikes me as a very good listener, I would imagine he made certain that Republican concerns were heard in full. And then, according to sources, Obama made sure he was heard. With two simple words he spelled out very clearly the way things were going to work around Washington from now on. He said, "I won."
I'm all for cooperation between the two parties. In order for our government to function effectively, it's vital that members of both parties work together. But I've also been concerned that the calls for bipartisanship might drown out the loud and clear message sent this past November, that Republicans had their chance and now change is required. I was also concerned Republicans would continue on as if they still were in control, business as usual. I wasn't sure Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would stop them.
I'm not worried anymore.
Nobody needs to be reminded that we're facing serious problems right now, but so far the actions taken by Republican leadership shows a party less interested in finding solutions and more interested in grandstanding and obstructionism. This isn't just politics as usual; in a time of crisis such as we're facing, this is dangerous and foolhardy. Republicans like Senator Jon Kyl seem to think scoring points with their base is more important than getting to work on the challenges we face both here and abroad.
Republicans need to remember. They need to remember that President Obama's predecessor left office with an approval rating among the lowest in history. They need to re-read recent polls showing that a majority of U.S. citizens believe their country was heading in the wrong direction. They should post those same polls in their offices, so they remember how an overwhelming number of Americans believe that the new president can turning things around.
Republican leadership needs to be reminded of these figures, often. And it sounds like there's a guy in the Oval Office willing to do just that.