Obama on Republicans: "I Won"

by: Chris Bowers

Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 16:22

Ha! Just when I was criticizing Obama for the position he forced himself into via bipartisan rhetoric, he comes out and changes his tune:

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.

The exchange arose as top House and Senate Republicans expressed concern to the president about the amount of spending in the package. They also raised red flags about a refundable tax credit that returns money to those who don't pay income taxes, the sources said.

Good. This is the sort of language that disarms Republicans, and there won't ever be a better time to adopt it. I would perfer if he talked like this in the open, but President Obama still deserves credit for this. Here's to hoping that this signals the end of watering down the stimulus in order to appease Republicans for aesthetic purposes, and the start to a new era where we just don't give a damn what Republican leaders think.

Chris Bowers :: Obama on Republicans: "I Won"

Tags: , , , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email

also I like this bit (4.00 / 4)
Some Republican plans were clearly non-starters with the new president, he [Cantor] said - including GOP calls to put off tax hikes during the recession. "He rejected that out of hand and said we couldn't have any hard and fast rules like that," said Cantor.

New Jersey politics at Blue Jersey.

he left something out...... (4.00 / 6)

Is Barack Obama gonna hafta choke a (4.00 / 8)
OK, I'll stop there.

My response to Republicans who told me to leave the US if I didn't like the 2004 Election results:
"To hell with that, we're taking this place back!"

[ Parent ]
That's Change We've Been Waiting For!!! (4.00 / 7)
A Democrat with cojones?!?!  Love it!!!!!

"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - SCOTUS Justice Louis Brandeis

Hell yeah. (4.00 / 2)

Montani semper liberi

At risk of ascribing too much genius to Obama... (4.00 / 5)
At least this way he can say "Gee, I think everybody can agree I tried to work with Republicans and produce a compromise they could support, but they just wouldn't play ball. I did what I could, it's just too bad." Then he can just go do whatever he wants and completely ignore the Republicans who'll just look stubborn and obstructionist at a time when quick action is required.

It's a too cute by half to suggest that it was his plan all along, but if it works out that way, I guess it's fine.

Conduct your own interview of Sarah Palin!

It isn't too cute by half (4.00 / 7)
In fact, it strikes me as painfully obvious that this was his plan all along.  By developing a narrative of post-partisanship over the last two years, and by visibly making nice with Republicans (calling every single Republican member of Congress, dining with Republican columnists, extravagantly praising McCain, etc.), Obama boxes in the Republicans.  A few will go along; some (Cornyn, DeMint, Vitter, e.g.) won't get that the game has changed, and will further marginalize themselves with their gratuitous partisan nastiness; and as for the rest, the worst they can say is that Obama rejected their ideas after giving them a thorough hearing.  

[ Parent ]
Little of each (4.00 / 2)
Each Republican is different.  Obama's stated goal of getting Republican votes for his bill is probably still real.  Some will, some won't.  My guess is we will see this back and forth dynamic for quite a while.  At some point, someone might adapt and change, but I suspect this is the basic process we will see for a while.

[ Parent ]
Obama Plans Very Well (4.00 / 1)
I have learned that Obama does almost nothing without thinking it through.  He is like a coach who is thinking 3 plays down the road.  I think he knew this one possibility of how things would play out and he was prepared for it.  I suspect the few moderate Rs left in the Senate will largely play ball with him if he throws them a few bones.

[ Parent ]
Why do you want to hear this publicly? (4.00 / 1)
I maintain that the best approach is to send these kinds of messages privately, while keeping up the smiley-face, feel good bipartisan talk in public.

to disarm Democrats? (4.00 / 3)
and all others (like the public) who are pissed that he's already giving in to them way too much?

He carefully crafted the stimulus -- and put in -- and left out -- way too many important things that are needed that would help us right away -- to appeal to Republicans.

Having this statement made public intentionally reassures only those who feel he's already given away too much. It's belied by the actual legislation, and by the bipartisan meeting itself, too.

The GOP knows he values their votes way too much to actually mean it.

[ Parent ]
re: Why do you want to hear this publicly? (4.00 / 1)
to fire up the progressive troops?

[ Parent ]
Wow... (4.00 / 3)
I took quite a different take.  I understood him as saying "I hear you, and will hear you, but at the end of the day, the people elected me and gave me the mandate - not you."  Which is still bipartisan - in short, the essence of true bipartisan leadership.  LEADING, and not just looking for equivalence.


Visit the Obama Project


is there a deal? entitlement "reform" for the stimulus? -- (0.00 / 0)
McConnell today -- http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes...

-- Republican Senate Leader Sings Bipartisan Tune --

... The Kentucky Republican also said he planned to work with the Obama administration to blunt the influence of special interest groups and to reform Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, programs that he said were largely behind a looming "entitlements crisis." ...

Grover Norquist -- "a strategy of fake-cooperation with the Obama administration" (4.00 / 1)


... Grover Norquist spoke at the Republican Study Committee's counter-stimulus event last week and outlined a strategy of fake-cooperation with the Obama administration on the measure. Dave Weigel reports:

   "We should not treat Obama, Reid, and Pelosi, the way that the Bush administration treated Iran-'You're a bad person and we don't want to talk to you,'" said Norquist. "We engage the Democrats by being cheerful and pleasant and open to conversation. They say they want 10 ideas? OK, here are 10 ideas. The next time they say they want 10 ideas, we say that they asked before, and, just for the record, they rejected our ideas. When you get to May, who's the obstructionist and who's the collaborator?" ...

Great catch thanks amberglow (0.00 / 0)


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

[ Parent ]
Awesome! (4.00 / 1)
Lay down the law Barack!

Yub Chris (0.00 / 0)
Check out this video on his style of negotiations from 2007!
Rope a dope classic.


number 44 (0.00 / 0)
put the bastards where they belong, in the back of the bus, if it was good enough for your peeps its good enough for the con gop.

Bring it on, 'Grover' (0.00 / 0)
Nice name, BTW.  Grover, your 'philosophy' and expertise has led your party to two straight crushing landslide defeats.  So keep it up!  As for Obama ... I agree with Tom the poster above who said this is a plan -- keep saying hey, I want to consider your ideas and would like your votes  ... BUT, I won, you didn't.  So if you want to play ball and accept your deserved (small) level of input, fine.  If not, kiss my ass.  And the country will be on his side.  


Open Left Campaigns



Advanced Search

Powered by: SoapBlox