Day: February 12, 2009

Withdrawal of Judd Gregg as Secretary of Commerce

It is a tremendous disappointment that after accepting the offer to become Secretary of Commerce, suddenly Judd Gregg withdraws before the confirmation hearings, supposedly on grounds of principle.

This situation does not make Senator Gregg look very good in the public eye.  If he had a problem originally with giving up his independence, he should have stated so at the outset, not leave President Obama in the lurch. 

On the other hand, being a strong fiscal conservative made Gregg, as it turns out, a bad choice for the cabinet post, particularly because he would be presiding over the operation of the Census Bureau, when the time comes in April 2010 to do an accurate, unbiased counting of the American people, something which will affect government policies and the political balance for the next ten years.

A good piece of advice is for Obama to forget about any further bipartisanship in the cabinet, as he already has Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense and Ray LaHood as Secretary of Transportation.  Let’s not forget that the Democrats won this last election, including substantial margins in both houses of Congress.  We need someone who is a loyal Democrat to control the Census Bureau.  The Republicans have benefited earlier from being in charge of the Census Bureau,  so now it is time that the Democrats promote what is good for them after more than a decade out of power.

Obstructionist Republicans

Here we are, 23 days into the Obama Administration, and all we see is Republican obstructionism.

The GOP fails to realize that they lost the election, and they seem unable to have the decency to give Barack Obama even a short "honeymoon" and show some bipartisanship.  IF the economic stimulus bill that now seems likely to be signed into law within a few days by President Obama fails to accomplish its goals, then the GOP will have excellent campaign fodder in the 2010 midterm elections and the Presidential election of 2012.    Could they not have common decency and allow Obama to establish his plan and see what happens, instead of the obstructionism that they are practicing in Congress, destroying any possibility of bipartisan action?  Is this not the proper time to unite, at least briefly, around an economic plan and see if it works?

IF the plan does work, the GOP will be remaining in the wilderness for the long haul.  They are so afraid that the plan MIGHT work that they seem ready to do everything to insure that it will not work!  Barack Obama is to be applauded for TRYING to promote a bipartisan atmosphere, but it seems that the Democrats will soon have to realize that it is them alone with the heroic support of three Republican senators who will have to do what is right for the nation at this time of crisis.  Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins and Arlen Specter are now being threatened by conservatives with challenges when they next come up for reelection, with only Specter immediately threatened in the 2010 midterm elections.  What a sad commentary that people of principle can be read out of a party that has marginalized itself constantly in recent years!  It seems to me the GOP has a death wish, and the likelihood is of their demise as a serious opposition force until and when they broaden their base and stop letting talk radio and its promoters of hate and division, including Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Schnitt, Joyce Kaufman, Bill O’Reilly, and Glenn Beck to have impact on the party direction.

The American people, a majority of governors and mayors of both political persuasions, and a vast majority of economists nationally support and believe that the Obama economic stimulus package, a mix of tax cuts and spending programs, and aid to education and to states strapped by falling revenues, WILL work.  The talk show hosts and the vast majority of Republicans in Congress need to get out of the way!