I woke up this morning to read about conservative Democrats not wanting to govern without empowering the Republican Party (read my earlier thoughts about this group of Democrats), and to this delightful high-pitched whine from Judd Gregg:
"That would be the Chicago approach to governing: Strong-arm it through. You're talking about the exact opposite of bipartisan. You're talking about running over the minority, putting them in cement and throwing them in the Chicago River."
That is just the kind of whining we want to see out of Republicans right now.
Okay, as one of the original people who suggested the whole post-partisan thing wasn't going to work out so well, I will never be surprised, or be shedding any tears, about such a quote. What the Democrats who-don't-want-too-much-power in the Senate don't understand is that the Obama White House is doing exactly what it should be: telling the Republicans that if they want a seat at the table, that's fine, come along, bring your ideas, we will work with you constructively. But, if all you are going to do is oppose real progress and transformative change on the important issues, we are fully prepared to use our majority to do what needs to be done.
It is in fact that threat, not the silly "we don't really want the power that has been given to us by voters to really change things" act that the anti-change Democrats are pushing, which is exactly what will bring some Republicans to the table. If they know they can block anything that really matters by just saying no, they will just say no. If they realize, though, that important legislation is going to pass without any impact from them no matter what, they will come to the table.
And not to beat a dead horse or anything, but the same iron-fisted approach ought to be exactly how we are dealing with the AIG and the big banks: you guys don't want to do the right thing to save this country in our own time of crisis, we will roll you, so get on board or get thrown from the train.
Lincoln, FDR, and LBJ all did what they had to do, played the hardball that had to be played, to change the country. Their opponents whined about it like crazy, but those Presidents made big change happen at times when the country desperately needed it. Obama should follow their example, and the Democrats outraged that we are not giving Republicans all the power should follow his lead.
Cross-posted at OpenLeft.com