The Party of No: New Details on the GOP Plot to Obstruct Obama

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House Majority Leader and House Budget Committee Chair Rep. Eric Cantor answers questions from reporters after speaking at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event entitled Controlling Costs: The Price of Good Health July 12, 2011 in Washington, DC.

TIME just published “The Party of No,” an article adapted from my new book, The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era. It reveals some of my reporting on the Republican plot to obstruct President Obama before he even took office, including secret meetings led by House GOP whip Eric Cantor (in December 2008) and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (in early January 2009) in which they laid out their daring (though cynical and political) no-honeymoon strategy of all-out resistance to a popular President-elect during an economic emergency. “If he was for it,” former Ohio Senator George Voinovich explained, “we had to be against it.” The excerpt includes a special bonus nugget of Mitt Romney dissing the Tea Party.

But as we say in the sales world: There’s more! I’m going to be blogging some of the news and larger themes from the book here at TIME.com, and I’ll kick it off with more scenes from the early days of the Republican strategy of No. Read on to hear what Joe Biden’s sources in the Senate GOP were telling him, some candid pillow talk between a Republican staffer and an Obama aide, and a top Republican admitting his party didn’t want to “play.” I’ll start with a scene I consider a turning point in the Obama era, when the new President went to the Hill to extend his hand and the GOP spurned it.

On Jan. 27, 2009, House Republican leader John Boehner opened his weekly conference meeting with an announcement: Obama would make his first visit to the Capitol around noon, to meet exclusively with Republicans about his economic-recovery plan. “We’re looking forward to the President’s visit,” Boehner said.

The niceties ended there, as Boehner turned to the $815 billion stimulus bill that House Democrats had just unveiled. Boehner complained that it would spend too much, too late, on too many Democratic goodies. He urged his members to trash it on cable, on YouTube, on the House floor: “It’s another run-of-the-mill, undisciplined, cumbersome, wasteful Washington spending bill … I hope everyone here will join me in voting no!

Cantor’s whip staff had been planning a “walk-back” strategy in which they would start leaking that 50 Republicans might vote yes, then that they were down to 30 problem children, then that they might lose 20 or so. The idea was to convey momentum. “You want the members to feel like, Oh, the herd is moving. I’ve got to move with the herd,” explains Rob Collins, Cantor’s chief of staff at the time. That way, even if a dozen Republicans ultimately defected, it would look as if Obama failed to meet expectations.

But when he addressed the conference, Cantor adopted a different strategy. “We’re not going to lose any Republicans,” he declared. His staff was stunned.

“We’re like, Uhhhhh, we have to recalibrate,” Collins recalls.

Afterward, Cantor’s aides asked if he was sure he wanted to go that far out on a limb. Zero was a low number. Centrists and big-spending appropriators from Obama-friendly districts would be sorely tempted to break ranks. If Cantor promised unanimity and failed to deliver, the press would have the story it craved: Republicans divided, dysfunction junction, still clueless after two straight spankings.

But Cantor said yes, he meant zero. He was afraid that if the Democrats managed to pick off two or three Republicans, they’d be able to slap a “bipartisan” label on the bill. “We can get there,” he said. “If we don’t get there, we can try like hell to get there.”

Shortly before 11 a.m., the AP reported that Boehner had urged Republicans to oppose the stimulus. Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs handed Obama a copy of the story in the Oval Office, just before he left for the Hill to make his case for the stimulus, an unprecedented visit to the opposition after just a week in office. “You know, we still thought this was on the level,” Gibbs says. Obama political aide David Axelrod says that after the President left, White House aides were buzzing about the insult. And they didn’t even know that Cantor had vowed to whip a unanimous vote — which, ultimately, he did.

“It was stunning that we’d set this up and, before hearing from the President, they’d say they were going to oppose this,” Axelrod says. “Our feeling was, we were dealing with a potential disaster of epic proportions that demanded cooperation. If anything was a signal of what the next two years would be like, it was that.”

But that wasn’t the only signal. A few other examples:

• Vice President Biden told me that during the transition, he was warned not to expect any bipartisan cooperation on major votes. “I spoke to seven different Republican Senators who said, ‘Joe, I’m not going to be able to help you on anything,’ ” he recalled. His informants said McConnell had demanded unified resistance. “The way it was characterized to me was, ‘For the next two years, we can’t let you succeed in anything. That’s our ticket to coming back,’ ” Biden said. The Vice President said he hasn’t even told Obama who his sources were, but Bob Bennett of Utah and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania both confirmed they had conversations with Biden along those lines.

“So I promise you — and the President agreed with me — I never thought we were going to get Republican support,” Biden said.

• One Obama aide said he received a similar warning from a Republican Senate staffer he was seeing at the time. He remembered asking her one morning in bed, How do we get a stimulus deal? She replied, Baby, there’s no deal!

“This is how we get whole,” she said with a laugh. “We’re going to do to you what you did to us in 2006.”

• David Obey, then chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, met with his GOP counterpart, Jerry Lewis, to explain what Democrats had in mind for the stimulus and ask what Republicans wanted to include. “Jerry’s response was, ‘I’m sorry, but leadership tells us we can’t play,’ ” Obey told me. “Exact quote: ‘We can’t play.’ What they said right from the get-go was, It doesn’t matter what the hell you do, we ain’t going to help you. We’re going to stand on the sidelines and bitch.”

Lewis blames Obey and the Democrats for the committee’s turn toward extreme partisanship, but he doesn’t deny that GOP leaders made a decision not to play. “The leadership decided there was no play to be had,” he says. Republicans recognized that after Obama’s big promises about bipartisanship, they could break those promises by refusing to cooperate. In the words of Congressman Tom Cole, a deputy Republican whip: “We wanted the talking point: ‘The only thing bipartisan was the opposition.’ ”

Read more in this week’s issue of TIME or pick up a copy of The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era.

111 comments
bfburkejr
bfburkejr

By the way, I am not against all Republicans and all that they do. I believe that George Bush 1 was a true Patriot. He said "Read my lips, no new taxes ever." During his campaign I believe. but then he realized that the ONLY way for our country to get back on it's feet was to raise taxes and so he did. He did it know that by doing so he would never stand a chance of being re-elected. He led the way and enabled President Clinton to Balance the Budget for the first time since I have been voting for president and i am 53 years old. To "fall on the sword" in order to do the right thing for the country is a truly Patriotic Act. I was and still am proud to have had him lead our country and hold him as one of the best presidents of my era. Because of that huge gesture, Bill Clinton took the ball and didn't fumble it (economically) and balanced the budget with the help of the House and the Senate. I personally believe that it may have had something to do with the friendship that developed between Bush and Clinton after their Presidencies and they often toured the country and i think the world together. This is all just my personal feelings and may or may not be true, well the part about "no new taxes" and then raising them and Clinton Balancing the Budget are true. But it does show what can be done when steps are taken and things are done without personal gain in mind first and that of the American People as a whole first instead. Lets just hope we can get the budget under control, or well on it's way in my lifetime and if not in mine, in the life time of the children being born today and after. Lets hope for a Country Where the Generation voting for the first time can do so without being angry with the voters that came before because they left them with such a mess that there are no good choices at the ballot box for which to vote.

bfburkejr
bfburkejr

Brian Burke Jr. How sadly true, all the Republicans have done is to take everything that the Democrats try to do for the Country that is good for the people of the country, or at least the MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE, and fight as hard as they can and spend as much money as they have to make sure what the Democrats are doing fails or at very least make sure that it looks bad, or like a bad idea whether it takes lies, misrepresentations, whatever. They DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ONE IOTA. All they care about is getting total control of the House, Senate, and White House so they and there already wealthy friends can get Wealthier at the expense of the other 85% to 95% of the country. If they do get their way it will eventually lead to Rioting, Revolt, and Revolution that would make the Civil War look like a toy war between kids. It would mean the end of the U.S.A. as we know it and it would take them less than a century to completely destroy and dismantle the country. The Republicans care nothing about the Founding Fathers Ideals of having a Country where the Class Structure is NOT what rules the country as it did in the England/Europe that they left when they came here and decided to fight the Revolutionary War against the ways of the Aristocratic/Class Structured World they had left back at the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, but the Aristocrats and Class Structure Based Government/Society people came with them and have slowly been infecting the New World Order with the Old World Order. We must ABSOLUTELY not allow them to succeed with their agenda. The U.S.A. has slowly shipped it's manufacturing off of home shores to third world and economically poor countries where labor is cheap causing our Country to loose it's base of income and it's ability to manufacture goods to export in order to be able to compete in the World Market. We must fight to get our manufacturing abilities and our Factories back on home soil. We have the best technology in the world and can figure out how to manufacture goods using robots Etc. to be competitive with the rest of the world. Although robots take fewer people to run them they still take people and they must be designed and they must themselves be manufactured and maintained and programed and the raw materials made to a superior U.S.A. standard as in the past when we made the best. Remember the little oval Made in the U.S.A. stickers that were on goods? That can happen again and people from around the world will want to own them too as they will be the best made on the planet or at least be quality competitive with Countries like Germany, England, Sweden, and all the other Countries know for manufacturing quality goods. This can't happen overnight and we will have to pay a tax increase to fund it and to fund the rebuilding of our infrastructure. But the longer we wait the greater the tax increase will be when it inevitably happens. Most if not all Americans have balanced a check book and/or owned a credit card so people know how it works when you go into debt by promising more goods and services and not increasing taxes in order to pay for them. The interest is the worst part of it all. Paying interest does nothing positive for the Country unless you are a Money Lender, as many of the rich are. So it is time for tough decisions. Once we are back on our feet taxes will drop, slowly at first, but then faster and faster. And Finally don't forget NOT TO ADD TO THE POPULATION AT AN IRRESPONSIBLE RATE and to CURB MILITARY SPENDING TO A RESPONSIBLE RATE. Those are the basics...who will have the strength and foresight to put those issues at the forefront of Economic Policy

BillPayne1
BillPayne1

This article really distorts reality in an effort to smear the GOP. From 2008 to 2010, Pres Obama had a super majority in both chambers and simply ignored the GOP. 257 to 178 in house and 58 to 41 in senate. In that term, the GOP had no ability to stop anything and did not even have enough votes to filibuster. The president simply dismissed the concerns of the minority party. He did not need a single vote from any GOP elected official for anything that he wanted to do. In fact, in that term, he was a king. How does a minority party with no power seek to influence the political climate? It offers an alternative view and presents itself in stark contrast to the ruling junta. The strategy worked and Obama's policies did not work. As such, the country elected a GOP congress. For some reason, Time does not like that. I think it prefers a democratic king to a split government that gives voice to all the people.

BillPayne1
BillPayne1

@AndrewMunson You are so partisan that you are blind. Did you even read what I wrote and how my response completely destroyed the premise of the article? I think not. By the way, do you think that the democrats went along with anything that Pres. Bush proposed? No. But they were not obstructionists. Rather, they were patriots because you agreed with their end goals. In other words, you are merely another partisan who does not think for himself. Go to school and practice critical thinking then come back and engage me with substance and not opinion. 

SimonSi
SimonSi

@BillPayne1 @AndrewMunson  I think the republicans are scumbags, but I kinda agree with Bill Payne, the republicans had no power to stop anything. Instead it was white democrats from right-leaning districts and states who represented the biggest problem to the administration during the first two years. So, the article is somewhat misleading.

ChristopherBBarnes
ChristopherBBarnes

@BillPayne1 @AndrewMunson There was no true super majority and you know it...Blue dog Democrats kept that from happening.  The minority in the House has no power whatsoever, but the minority party in Senate can wreak havoc if that is their goal, which it was for the GOP.

BenjaminRodriguez
BenjaminRodriguez

We voted for a Republican congress? Lol.

That's why it was one of the lowest turnouts in history for voters right? The only people who did were right winged old people who had a break from knitting anti-Obama sweaters.

The problem wasn't that we wanted a GOP congress, the problem is people don't vote. If it was a requirement to vote it would be a very different congress.

PaulBeattie
PaulBeattie

@BillPayne1 @AndrewMunson The D's never supported Bush? You just totally discredited yourself, ever heard of the Iraq war, the Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind to name a few...

AndrewMunson
AndrewMunson

It doesn't distort anything. We don't even need this article to know for a fact that the GOP has chosen power and politics above the American people. Republican obstructionism started on day 1. You don't need to filibuster to get in the way of things. Get your head out of the sand.

MIKELA
MIKELA

@SimonSi @BillPayne1 @AndrewMunson Um...no.  The biggest problem has been a well funded conservative political and media machine to obstruct every bit of policy making presented by this administration. Many of the "white democrats" to whom your refer, voted in lock-step and propelled the signature piece of legislation called the Affordable Care Act into law in December of 2009. A breathtaking victory that had been elusive in American politics forever.The President and Nancy Pelosi used every bit of political capital to make that happen. All with the knowledge that these Democratic legislators would be pillared back at home and were likely to lose their seats in Congress the next election cycle. With every vote many of these Congressional members committed political suicidal and and did so for the benefit of the country and this President. Rather than dissing Democrats regardless of their race, you should be thanking them for putting their country first above their own political interest. They served their country and this President well and paid a heavy price.

GlennHoward
GlennHoward

@BillPayne1  The article doesnt distort anything.


You bring up the democrat's super majority. That refers to only the senate's filibuster proof majority of 60 or more. The dems only had that for a few months  at the end of 2009. That's it.  Not for 2 years aas you claim.


Dont be ignorant.

KittyMcCabe
KittyMcCabe

I did not need to read a magazine to realize there was a concerted effort to block any legislation presented by Obama. The haters just keep on hating.

MandyDoll
MandyDoll

This is disgusting, but so expected and typical of the bones of AmeriKKKa.

CynthiaHoldcraft
CynthiaHoldcraft

I think we just need to throw them all out and start fresh with a new slate that will actually work for the good of the country and NOT just their political party!

AnitaBrokaw
AnitaBrokaw

@CynthiaHoldcraft President Obama offered the option to clean the slate and start fresh,they refused. Which meant that their political special interest agendas were more important however,they may not have realized that by pushing their agendas for congressional approval which means they were seeking taxpayers funding. However,the fact that all voters are to have a say in how congressional approval of projects that are fundedb by the American people. Not just political parties who won't allow non affiliate independent voters to participate in primary election. When in fact regardless of their exclusive agenda all parties should be present when project and proposals are being submitted. Its impossible to assume that all votes are included or divided between these two political parties,yet those who are not affiliated are excluded from congressional approval for their projects or special interests. However,Congress doesn't need approval from any political  nor non affiliate independent parties,to appropriate allocate or fund any political agenda..There job is to ensure that the needs of the American voters are being addressed. That includes all American's not just those who are opposed to one political agenda just to gain favor for their special interest. We should not assume that political parties are what represents all American's. It clear that both parties have done what they could we have to understand that they to were being deceived. This reminds me of the story "The Thief in the Temple". When you  review the history of the paths that have been taken their is evidence that thievery along with other forms of corruption have played major rolls within the administration. So we can not focus solely upon political parties while ignoring our country.. We have millions of American's and others who hold interests among us. Also we should look at the tact that or officials have been holding their postions far longer than any other previous administration officials. Retirement has always been apart of the American Dream. We are living longer and have pulled and tugged through it all, we should feel blessed beyond measure to still be alive and well. The past will always be their. Its the future that holds promises. Its God's Kingdom that we seek and his Will for our life. When we get lost or go astray our hearts and mind are play grounds for the adversary. However,politicians and political parties are not in charge of the life's of the American people.  Every vote counts to the welfare of all American's, families and loved ones. Not  for political parties to decide or interfere with the domestic agendas they are opposed to. Please stop allowing hidden special interest agendas to take presidence over our domestic agenda. Piggybacking and out right mismanagement of our domestic agenda. These are the area where our vote counts regardless of political parties. Were are our Accountants and legal counsel for the American agenda?.



DanielTadesse
DanielTadesse

Good! that is why we are where we are know. People said yes to Obama and pulled the rug under the republicans.

RudyTejano
RudyTejano

The Republican party of Lincoln has morphed into the TEA party of today! Today's TEA party wants to privatize Social Security! The Republican party of Lincoln turned into the Southern Democrats and KKK of old! Boehner said there was no difference! Today's TEA party limits voter access at the local or state level! Today's TEA party limits women's medical decisions at the local or state level! Today's TEA party limits infrastructure repairs at the federal/national level! Today's TEA party wants to eliminate public funding of schools! Today's TEA party wants to eliminate Medicare and Medicaid! And they want to eliminate Obamacare! Today's TEA party limits budgetary financing at the federal/national level! Today's TEA party interfere's with Social Security at the federal/national level! Today's TEA party wants to send troops into battle while limiting access to medical care after they return from the war zone! Today's TEA party still supports the old Confederate flag, the symbol of bigotry and hatred!

MichaelGault
MichaelGault

@RudyTejano What you have written is so untrue I can't believe you actually believe what you wrote. If so, I will pray for you, because you have truth issues.  Please learn your history.  The "Tea Party" is not the Republican party. The KKK was founded by the Democratic party of which the esteemed Sen. Robert Byrd of WV (D) was a card carrying member.  Not in the long ago past - but in our lifetime. The Republican party passed the civil rights act of 1964 over the objections of the Democratic party.  The Tea party does NOT support the old confederate flag and it is definitely NOT a symbol of bigotry and hatred. The flag that everyone refers to as the "confederate" flag was from one regiment in northern VA.  Please learn your history. BTW..your common core school curriculum may have misinformed you that the civil war was over slavery.  It was not.  Please learn your history. And Lincoln was not saint.  He actually acted against the constitution and should have been tried as a traitor.  Not a hero at all.

Sarabas
Sarabas

History lesson. The Republican party used to be the liberal one, but became the conservative party when the Dixiecrats left the Democratic party in the 60s for supporting civil rights. The Democrats have been liberal since then. The battle flag of the South does represent racism, as well as treason, oppression, and separatism. States rights was only a minor reason to engage in war, and that was only because the states wanted the right to continue slavery since their economy was dependent upon it. You can find numerous quotations from contemporaries that state exactly that. There is no reason why this flag should fly over any state office. Lincoln had a record number of executive actions he put in action, mostly because of the war. They were controversial at the time and angered many in the South in particular, but he was not a traitor.


AndrewMunson
AndrewMunson

Are you kidding, Michael? The KKK was started in the 1800s, not "in our lifetime." Nobody alive now was alive then. The Civil Rights Act was first proposed by Kennedy, a democrat, and introduced by Emmanuel Celler, another democrat. The objections to the CRA came not from "the Democratic Party," but from the southern bloc of legislators - both republican and democratic. It was a bipartisan bill with bipartisan opposition coming from the old confederacy.

Oh and yes, that flag IS a symbol of bigotry and hatred. And the South DID secede over slavery. Read any given Secession document published by any southern state and they say right there that the whole reason they're doing it is because of Lincoln and the north's hostility towards slavery. You can't argue with the very people who made the decision to leave the Union, no matter what your revisionist Southern history textbooks taught you. The Civil War was fought by racists for racism.

AnitaBrokaw
AnitaBrokaw

@AndrewMunson No one from that era,is alive today is true however,the decisions and action they made are directly impacting and affect how we are living today. The 1800 in with in our life time. Who's to say that they would not be here with us  today?, death is not the ultimate destination in life. The reality therefore becomes a very different situation and theory doesn't apply in reality once the competition begins. Trying  to out do or engage  opponent's.As a way to pervent  interfere or influence to bring about opposite or negative consequences or outcomes. We well always need the assurance that out position and purpose in life,remains in God's will. That is what we live for. 

DanielGuillot
DanielGuillot

The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President

Obama to be a one-term president.­” ~Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority
Leader, (R-Ky.), October 2010,, NOT GOVERNING,,OR JOBS,, OR THE ECONOMY ,,,
  McConnell vows obstructionism will continue into Obama´s 2nd term. He has filibustered everything.His directive to all GOP senators is to block every initiative regardless of merit. What bills has the GOP filibustered?
H.R. 12 - Paycheck Fairness Act
H.R. 448 -- Elder Abuse Victims Act
H.R. 466 - Wounded Veteran Job Security Act
H.R. 515 - Radioactive Import Deterrence Act
H.R. 549 -- National Bombing Prevention Act
H.R. 577 - Vision Care for Kids Act
H.R. 626 - Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act
H.R. 1029 - Alien Smuggling and Terrorism Prevention Act
H.R. 1168 -- Veterans Retraining Act
H.R. 1171 - Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization
H.R. 1293 -- Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act
H.R. 1429 -- Stop AIDS in Prison Act
H.R.5281 -- DREAM Act
S.3985 -- Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act
S.3816 -- Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act
S.3369 -- A bill to provide for additional disclosure requirements for corporations, labor organizations, Super PACs and other entities
S.2237 -- Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act
S.2343 -- Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act
S.1660 -- American Jobs Act of 2011
S.3457 -- Veterans Jobs Corps Act
and  we can now add sequestion and gun issues along with a SHUTDOWN and the countries downgrade in credit

as we all already know the Republicans will GUT THEM until they are ineffective and then complain that they are ineffective

MichaelGault
MichaelGault

@RichardFlynn @DanielGuillot Sweet.  Its called politics.  and the above was taken out of context for "political" purposes.  Please reference Sen. Harry Reid's "no vote obstructionism tactics"  http://www.nationalreview.com/article/368369/harry-reids-obstructionism-andrew-stiles

Oh..I guess both sides play the same stupid game.  When will we get representatives in Washington that care about us and not themselves first?????  Term limits. Term limits...Term limits for everyone!!!!!!!

RichardFlynn
RichardFlynn

@DanielGuillot  What kind of hatred could make people ignore facts like this? It must be hate because no one could be that stupid. Could they?

JoAnneSimson
JoAnneSimson

This is SO pathetic, but I knew it was happening from about a month or two after Obama took office. The two-party system should go down in infamy. We need at least one other functional political party, and then folks would be forced to cooperate.

NickMeinzer
NickMeinzer

annnd there surely will be no investigation and people removed from office for obstructing democracy...

GeneTenery
GeneTenery

The GO/Tea would rather the Country go down in "flames" rather than give Obama (Black Man in the White House) any help!  We all knew it ... now the info comes out of the mouths of the Traitors of the American People!  Discusting! 

KateMoore
KateMoore

I do not understand why some of these guys are not prosecuted for seditio.

JCarra
JCarra

@KateMoore They know too much. Too many skeletons. One such prosecution would lead to another, and then the whole edifice falls.

JCarra
JCarra

The permanent modifier to "Republican" should be "dirtbag."

RalphGardner
RalphGardner

Bill Griffin...whatever the Dems did in 2006 was somewhat of a reaction to the 12 years of Repub reign during the Newt years and obvious corruption with the 2 wars lingering. The Repubs had the opportunity to show up and help the recovery but were literally treasonous in their actions against the President and ultimately against the country; they failed in the office in which they were charged with more than any other previous Senate/Congress. 

BillGriffin
BillGriffin

“This is how we get whole,” she said with a laugh. “We’re going to do to you what you did to us in 2006.”

Care to explain that comment? Did the Democrats, in fact, employ the same strategy against Bush? If so, why the complaining about having it done back to them in return? Too often one side or the other does something detrimental to the other party, not considering that when the other party has the opportunity, the favor will be returned. 

PaulEdwardB
PaulEdwardB

@JohnLentini @BillGriffin There was also the long standing tradition of giving a new President a honeymoon of sorts where Congress would be willing to work with him.  This was a display of unity to the people that the government had made the transition to a new President.   The Republicans, sore losers, took that away.  I fear now the precedent will be the next time the Democrats are in Congress, and there is a Republican president, that the gridlock will continue.

JohnLentini
JohnLentini

@BillGriffin  2006 was six years into the Bush presidency.  2008 was before the Obama presidency even started.  This is a false equivalence.

Cheyenne743
Cheyenne743

This was all part of the republican strategy to make Obama a one-term president, and we know how well that worked out.

AnitaBrokaw
AnitaBrokaw

@Cheyenne743 yes we do its really disgusting how they played upon the intelligencen of not only the American people but in the eyes of the world. However,there needs to be an awakening to the fact that our senior officials are apart of our elderly populations ,that is what I see as being part of the problems contributing to the dysfunctions that are clearly being abused and exploited. Something needs to be done to address this issue. Aging is an issue that we all must face. Regardless of our station in life. Our elderly seniors represent and contribute their knowledge and wisdom to assist the young to honor and respect life and each other. Be tthankful for the things we have, a gift is something that you my receive never realizing the difference You made in someone's life. 

LocksleyHall
LocksleyHall

Losing your minds much? The Democrats had absolute majorities in both houses and a president newly (and smashingly) elected. The GOP had just been annihilated in both houses, the Senate and the Presidency. The Democrats could (and were planning to) put together legislation significantly to the left of anything that the GOP could have reasonably supported, and the feeling in the GOP leadership was that since the majority could do exactly what they wanted, then the Democrats ought to own it. Lock, stock, and barrel. Cynical? Perhaps. But that, more than anything, put the mid-terms within GOP reach. The Democrats put together two years of left wing governance, then lost seats in the Senate and resoundingly lost the House.


So, tell me. In an instance when any "compromise" would be essentially the same thing as letting the other side do exactly what it wanted because they HAD the votes and didn't NEED the GOP (or look for any votes in the House), what the hell would be the point of cooperation? As the president pointed out several times...he won. His way or the highway. So. Fine. His way. And the credit was his (if there had been any), but the blame was also his...and his party's...which is how it worked out. 


Be honest. None of you people screaming "treason" would give the slightest damn how the Republicans voted if the House and Senate had remained in Democratic control. Because it didn't, because the voters repudiated Congress and the GOP refused to provide cover, THAT'S what pisses you off. 


Now THAT'S cynical, right there. And shameful as hell. Your team sowed the wind; then they reaped the whirlwind.  Own it.

nerdonword
nerdonword

@LocksleyHall  No, what pisses people off is that GOP congressmen aren't doing their jobs. Hence the 90% disapproval rating of the Republican controlled Congress.

But to respond to some of your other remarks: The legislation pushed through by the Democratic super majority was rather tame as related to what it could have been. If Obama wanted a one-payer solution to the health care system, he could have gotten it. If he wanted to dramatically re-shape our environmental regulations to address climate change, he could have gotten it. If he wanted to radically expand our social safety net in terms of food stamps, housing assistance, etc, etc, he could have gotten it. Democrats really could have pushed through any left of center agenda. Instead they attempted to extend the olive branch with compromise legislation such as Romney-care, err, Obamacare. The ACA was modeled after legislation that Republicans had supported as an alternative to a one-payer solution in the 90's, as well as the health care system Romney modeled in his time as Massachussetts governor.

The end point analysis here is that the Republican party has swung radically rightward (read: extremism), and they have justly earned the label "The Party of No." They are so disinterested in governing, or moderate solutions, that they were willing to tank the economy (on several occasions) just to spite Obama. So... to whatever point you think you are making re: this, I am here to disagree (read: point out the facts).


AmandaWard
AmandaWard

Yes. Nice segue. But your tangential discussion of results doesn't change the plan, the actual admissions which are the focus of the article.

AmandaWard
AmandaWard

The result is not the issue at hand right now. The plan and the actual admissions are.

BruceBasile
BruceBasile

@LocksleyHall Your premise that the dems had control of the government  at the start of his term has 2 big problems. The Minnesota race was not decided for months keeping the dems from a fillibuster proof majority and soon after it was decided that the Dem won the Minnesota race, Ted Kennedy passed away again taking away the 60 vote majority needed in the senate. So stop with the misleading info you rethugs are famous for. Another line of baloney is that the president said I won my way or the highway. You buddy are typical of the RIGHT who must always lie because you have NOTHING new in the arena of ideas!!! The only thing shameful is you and your party. Own that buddy boy!!!

avngangel
avngangel

@RalphGardner @LocksleyHall I'm sorry you don't understand how the Congress works.  ONE Senator can indefinitely table a bill without even identifying himself.  Many votes require a supermajority. You don't need to speak constantly during a filibuster.  When Reid changed the rules to end the non-speaking filibuster for judicial and executive-appointment nominees that the GOP refused to vote on, they called that the nuclear option.  


Thinking that any party with 50.1% of either chamber has free reign is absolutely wrong.

CynthiaHoldcraft
CynthiaHoldcraft

Filibuster -- a device used to rook the American people out of the representation that this government was designed to provide. When are politicians going to start representing the people again?

RalphGardner
RalphGardner

@LocksleyHall Here we go with that "absolute majorities" crap. To have that Al Franken had to finish his runoff with (whoever) and the majority didn't come into being until late August and ended by end of September. Franken was sworn in August 7, but Ted Kennedy due to illness couldn't vote (missed 261 times out of 270 votes) as he stopped by March and the interim successor was named on Sept 24th was the FIRST time the Dems had 60 votes. Robert Byrd from West Virginia was in frail health.  During the last 6 months of 2009, Byrd missed 128 of a possible 183 votes in the Senate.  Byrd passed away on June 28, 2010 at the age of 92. 


During those four months and one week, Congress was in session for a total of 72 days.  So for 72 days the Democrats held a 60 seat, filibuster-proof supermajority in the United States Senate. Even in this window Obama’s ‘control’ of the Senate was incomplete and highly adulterated due to the balkiness of the so-called Blue Dog conservative and moderate Democratic Senators such as Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Evan Bayh of Indiana, and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. The claim that Obama ruled like a monarch over Congress for two years — endlessly intoned as a talking point by Republicans — is more than just a misremembering of recent history or excited overstatement. It’s a lie.


Nice try there Locksley. Yes, the Dems lost badly in 2010, largely do to the treasonous actions of your Repub friends in the Congress and Senate. The voters repudiated because they BELIEVED the BS, but it will come back on them. The Dems are catching up given the current strategies employed to rally their base which includes movements to right the "gerrymandering" BS that's been the worst ever witnessed. Just watch 2016 and 2018 and you'll see what I mean...your boys, far more than the Dems, will pay dearly for their liaisons with people like the Koch brothers...


So, you see, facts do help to clarify what the reality actually was, not your BS talking point crap...

DaveSNJ
DaveSNJ

@RalphGardner @LocksleyHall   I remember that the DEMS were able to pass the debacle (you'll know what's in it after it's passed) called ObamaCare.     


Incidentally, are you surprised that the opposition party would actually oppose the ruling party? 

CynthiaHoldcraft
CynthiaHoldcraft

Why does there have to be a ruling party and an opposing party? Shouldn't our government be based on a spirit of cooperation rather than being adversarial. Don't get me wrong...I know it's not all picnics and fun runs running a government and a good debate is necessary to the decision making process. But deliberately blocking the process is just harming the American people and that's unforgivable of these people who were placed in office to represent the PEOPLE not the PARTY!

tshire
tshire

Actually, as Ralph Gardner so ably pointed out in his comment, Obama couldn't get whatever he wanted due to the fact that Democrats only had a 60-vote supermajority for a matter of weeks, and Republicans used the filibuster to oppose anything and everything. Also, conservative Democrats weren't about to go along with a truly progressive agenda. Just one defection is all it would take to bring things to a screeching halt.

But you are absolutely correct about the Republican Party's radical shift rightward and collective decision to spurn Obama's attempts at dialogue and negotiation. It is disheartening to see what has become of the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. The Republican base now primarily consists of anti-government, anti-tax, anti-environment, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-union haters that they are blind to the fact that they are acting as foot soldiers for powerful corporate interests.

avngangel
avngangel

@tshire Agreed.  The problem is not a two-party system.  The problem is that one of those parties is willing to drive the country into a ditch to keep and retain power.

AnitaBrokaw
AnitaBrokaw

@NickMeinzer @LocksleyHall Nor the Republican party had control over everything either. That is definitely a very good example of how the political parties are creating their own agendas using our votes. 

DanWilson
DanWilson

@LocksleyHall Guess you didn't read this post from above...


"DanielGuillot

Jul 6, 2015

The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President

Obama to be a one-term president.­” ~Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority
Leader, (R-Ky.), October 2010,, NOT GOVERNING,,OR JOBS,, OR THE ECONOMY ,,,  McConnell vows obstructionism will continue into Obama´s 2nd term. He has filibustered everything.His directive to all GOP senators is to block every initiative regardless of merit. What bills has the GOP filibustered? 
H.R. 12 - Paycheck Fairness Act
H.R. 448 -- Elder Abuse Victims Act
H.R. 466 - Wounded Veteran Job Security Act
H.R. 515 - Radioactive Import Deterrence Act
H.R. 549 -- National Bombing Prevention Act
H.R. 577 - Vision Care for Kids Act
H.R. 626 - Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act
H.R. 1029 - Alien Smuggling and Terrorism Prevention Act
H.R. 1168 -- Veterans Retraining Act
H.R. 1171 - Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization
H.R. 1293 -- Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act
H.R. 1429 -- Stop AIDS in Prison Act
H.R.5281 -- DREAM Act
S.3985 -- Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act
S.3816 -- Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act
S.3369 -- A bill to provide for additional disclosure requirements for corporations, labor organizations, Super PACs and other entities
S.2237 -- Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act
S.2343 -- Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act
S.1660 -- American Jobs Act of 2011
S.3457 -- Veterans Jobs Corps Act
and  we can now add sequestion and gun issues along with a SHUTDOWN and the countries downgrade in credit

as we all already know the Republicans will GUT THEM until they are ineffective and then complain that they are ineffective