Friday, February 13, 2009

Judd Gregg Fallout

Andy Sullivan loses it:

The GOP Has Declared War On Obama

This much is now clear. Their clear and open intent is to do all they can, however they can, to sabotage the new administration (and the economy to boot). They want failure. Even now. Even after the last eight years. Even in a recession as steeply dangerous as this one. There are legitimate debates to be had; and then there is the cynicism and surrealism of total political war. We now should have even less doubt about what kind of people they are. And the mountain of partisan vitriol Obama will have to climb every day of the next four or eight years.

And there are a half dozen other blog posts on his site just like it. And you know what? He's right. For those of us who've suspected this was the case from the beginning the question is: has the Obama team anticipated this also? Let's hope they've got a plan for dealing with an obstructionist opposition that openly seeks to model itself on the Taliban.

The Daily Kos opines:

When called to serve his country, Judd Gregg flinched, and revealed himself too beholden to the extremist views of a Republican party controlled by zealots.

Bipartisanship can only work when both parties put the national interest before everything. All but a few of the Republicans in Congress put their party before the good of the nation. Judd Gregg's refusal to serve in the Obama cabinet demonstrates' once again that the Republicans would rather obstruct progress than contribute to the good of the nation.

Again, it's hard to dispute this reading of the situation.

The American Prospect looks at the score and thinks things don't look good for Gregg:

Some may see Gregg's decision as yet another failure of bipartisanship, but the meme is becoming more and more that Obama reaches out and the GOP rejects the overture, so I call it a wash for the administration and for Gregg, who does look a bit silly. The winner here is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who gets to hold on to a smart and effective senator for the next two years -- I wouldn't count on Gregg winning reelection in 2010, given the political climate and the tenacious fundraising of Representative Paul Hodes. Another developing storyline: How Gregg and the White House work together on the new administration's forthcoming legislative agenda. Gregg's gracious statement promises a continued relationship on certain issues, so we'll have to see what that all amounts to; presumably he won't recuse himself from voting on the stimulus now, and presumably he'll vote no.

Wonkette jumps in the way that only Wonkette can:

JUDD GREGG IS DESTROYING OUR CONVERSATION: Only a few more hours until Jonah Goldberg steals the news by being named Commerce Secretary, so we better get all of our “Judge Dredd” posts in. We’ve entered the second phase of this nasty story, where the various anonymous partisans go crazy with the leaks: “WASHINGTON (CNN) — A Democratic source close to the Obama White House said Thursday that Judd Gregg ‘campaigned for the job’ — that the New Hampshire senator had asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to approach the president about the Commerce post.” A Republican source has responded that in fact Barack Obama kidnapped Judd Gregg’s children and threatened to feed them arugula until Gregg accepted the position.

My suspicions are that Gregg probably stepped up to commerce with the best of intentions, but faced a barrage of criticism from members of his own party. The excuses he's given for his withdrawl are essentially... well, let's face it: nonsensical. As Commerce Secretary Gregg's job would be largely to help negotiate trade agreements and open foreign markets to U.S. goods. The Obama stimulus plan is wholly tangential to that job. Also, let us not forget that Barack Obama has made much of the fact that he was appointing three Republicans to his cabinet. But, of course, this fact flies in the face of the recent GOP media offensive which seeks to spread the word that it is the Whitehouse, not Republicans, who are being partisan and intransigent. And so Gregg could not be allowed to join the administration. I suspect there was some pretty heavy arm-twisting from Gregg's GOP colleagues.

The GOP has been pretty good at getting th mainstream media to parrot their message that it's the Democrats, not the Republicans who are being partisan. It boggles the mind that TV news announcers are playing along with this ridiculous game, but given the average CNN host's spinelessness and lack of intellectual curiosity or acuity I guess it should not surprise us. However the American people are not so easily fooled. The GOP may be getting news anchors to tell us that the sky is pink, but it's not so easy so sell that message when everyone and his brother can see that it is, in fact, blue. That's why the GOP's poll numbers are in the toilet right now.

1 comment:

zencycle said...

I noted greggs partisanship immediately upon hearing that he would refuse to take the cabinet post unless a republican were appointed to take his seat. "Way to put the country ahead of your party" I thought. Now we see, days later, he doesn't have the stomach for bi-partisan legislating, withdrawing for a rather lame reason.