I remember when the GOP suddenly metastasized all over the House and Senate in 1994 they were happy to say, "We're in charge, now," when asked if they would encourage input from Congressional Democrats. Then W attained - to be precise I avoid the term "won" - the Presidency only after the closest vote for the office in recent memory, followed by a stopped recount and Supreme Court-facilitated coup. His inaugural motorcade passed throngs of people protesting the seizure of their nation's highest office. Yet he had no compunction asserting a "mandate" and sufficient "political capital" to force his monstrous agenda down America's throat.
So it is with great pleasure that I relish the GOP's abrupt impotence in the face of the most voted-for President in the history of our country.
"President Obama listened to Republican gripes about his stimulus package during a meeting with congressional leaders Friday morning - but he also left no doubt about who's in charge of these negotiations. "I won," Obama noted matter-of-factly, according to sources familiar with the conversation."
Notes Jonathon Martin and Carol E. Lee at Politico.com
Yes, yes he did win. There are those who argue for Obama to reach across the aisle and enlist GOP support. To be sure, where there are rational members of the GOP in government - if such people could even be said to exist - the Obama administration should certainly try and work with them. But "working with them" means explaining to them what you are planning to do and why, and then asking for their support and helpful advice. "Working with them" does not mean capitulating to their failed, lunatic demands, or letting them pick nits and attempt to hamstring the nation's business. The GOP represents the dark side of human nature: hatred, greed, and fear. There should be no attempt to compromise with that. Instead Obama and the Democrats should try to work productively toward solving problems using practical, empirically-justified solutions that attempt to minimize human suffering. Hopefully by example it will become clear to undecided Americans that yes, actually there is a difference between the core philosophies of both major parties. The Democrats may dither too much sometimes, but at least they don't enshrine ignorance and boast of their cruelty.
Obama has a mandate. He won. Following their own history of example when in power, the GOP needs to either follow the lead of their betters, contribute productively, or shut up.