Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lovely Republicans

This post was passed along to me today: Frank Schaeffer's "An Open Letter to President Obama About the Republicans (From a Former Republican)." It's about the depth of opposition from Republicans to Obama and this former Republican stalwart questions Obama's strategy of reaching out to them in light of it. It's worth a look to get a sense of what's behind the opposition that we've seen thus far, which is remarkable given Obama's impressive November victory. It goes hand in hand with Frank Rich's column, linked to in my earlier post. What is a common strand in both is an appeal to Obama to essentially do more of the opposite, take on the Republicans. From Schaeffer:
The good news is that most Americans support you. And if you will just get in the face of the Republican Party and call their bluff you'll be surprised how many individual ordinary Republicans will support you, not to mention the rest of us. America is sick of the Republicans.
From Rich:
Republicans will also be judged by the voters. If they want to obstruct and filibuster while the economy is in free fall, the president should call their bluff and let them go at it. In the first four years after F.D.R. took over from Hoover, the already decimated ranks of Republicans in Congress fell from 36 to 16 in the Senate and from 117 to 88 in the House. (emphasis added)
Both columnists probably articulating the mood fairly well, little appetite for overt partisanship and a desire to be done with the silliness. Something to keep in mind as we watch the Harper Conservatives going forward, as they're struggling to date with their ability to keep their own instincts under cover.