Post-Partisan Depression

This afternoon’s news that the American stimulus bill passed without a single Republican vote in the US House of Representatives seems to validate Paul Krugman’s skepticism of bipartisanship. The Democratic effort to compromise with Republicans limited the amount of stimulus spending (as opposed to questionable tax cuts) in the package. If this constrained package proves insufficient, the Republicans will be able to say that they were against it all along.  In effect, Republicans have been able to influence the policy without assuming any responsibility for its outcome.


  • Indeed. After a few decades of Republicans promoting their only idea – tax cuts, especially for the wealthy – and following a resounding collision with reality, wherein the idea has landed a large and bold “F”, it is amazing that anyone should want to work with these turkeys at all.

  • It was important for Obama to attempt bipartisanship; what his attempts have shown is the small-mindedness and vicious partisanship of his opponents. I don’t begrudge him the attempt if he now just takes over and does what needs to be done. He has tried. They have failed.

  • It would be nice if Republicans, rather than supposedly intransigent “Capitol Hill Democrats,” got some blame for this apparent failure of bipartisanship. I guess bipartisanship was modestly more successful and substantially more important in the Senate. This morning’s New York Times has a good report.

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