Republicans are shocked--SHOCKED!-- that they are being accused of trying to take down Obama at the expense of the country:
It is difficult to overstate how offensive elected Republicans find the sabotage accusation, which Obama himself has come very close to making. During the run-up to the midterm election, the president said at a town hall meeting in Racine, Wis.: "Before I was even inaugurated, there were leaders on the other side of the aisle who got together and they made the calculation that if Obama fails, then we win." Some Republican leaders naturally took this as an attack on their motives. Was the president really contending that Republican representatives want their constituents to be unemployed in order to gain a political benefit for themselves?
"If we’re able to stop Obama on this it will be his Waterloo. It will break him."
“It was absolutely critical that everybody be together because if the proponents of the bill were able to say it was bipartisan, it tended to convey to the public that this is O.K., they must have figured it out,” Mr. McConnell said about the health legislation in an interview, suggesting that even minimal Republican support could sway the public. “It’s either bipartisan or it isn’t.”
Mr. McConnell said the unity was essential in dealing with Democrats on “things like the budget, national security and then ultimately, obviously, health care.”
In an interview today on MSNBC's "Morning Meeting with Dylan Ratigan," Senate Finance Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R) said he'd vote against any health-care reform bill coming out of the committee unless it has wide support from Republicans -- even if the legislation contains EVERYTHING Grassley wants.
"I am negotiating for Republicans," he said. "If I can't negotiate something that gets more than four Republicans, I'm not a good negotiator."
One can make the argument that bipartisanship does not produce desirable outcomes. No Child Left Behind and the Iraq War certainly give credence to that idea. But that's not the argument being made.
To say the Republicans aren't doing everything they can to be uncooperative obstructionists, with the nation's wellbeing as collateral damage--from withholding approval of numerous and important cabinet appointees to delaying renewal unemployment benefits three times to ransoming middle-class tax cuts to withdrawing support for the vital START treaty--is disingenuous in the extreme.