I did not like the compromises made to obtain Republican votes, like additional tax breaks, compromises that harmed the nation's ability to recover from the Second Great Depression and that obtained no Republican votes in the House. Some see this great Machiavellian plan by Obama, and maybe it is, but the results to date are not very good.
Obama first offered carrots, now it's time for the sticks.
Pushing back against the unanimous House Republican vote against President Obama’s stimulus plan, the White House plans to release state-by-state job figures "so we can put a number on what folks voted for an against," an administration aide said.
"It’s clear the Republicans who voted against the stimulus represent constituents who will be stunned to learn their member of Congress voted against [saving or] creating 4 million jobs," the aide said.
More, after the fold.
"I do believe that there will be people in districts all over the country that will wonder why, when there’s a good bill to get the economy moving again, why we still seem to be playing political gotcha," [President Obama's Press Secretary Robert] Gibbs said.
And a Democratic official added: "We will run campaigns in their districts."
We will run campaigns in their districts. Yes. There must be a political cost to voting against recovery. We gave them carrots. Now it's time for sticks.
How many jobs did a Republican Congressperson vote against in his or her district? Apparently, the White House will let people know. Good!
Meanwhile, working people are fighting back. Americans United For Change, MoveOn.org Political Action, AFSCME and SEIU announced a robust television advertising campaign today as part of the Campaign for Jobs and Economic Recovery.
For Maine's two Republican Senators, Tell Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe to Support President Obama's Economic Recovery Plan
Tell Senator Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) to Support President Obama's Economic Recovery Plan
Tell Senator Charles Grassley (Iowa) to Support President Obama's Economic Recovery Plan
Tell Senator Gregg to Support President Obama's Economic Recovery Plan
Time for sticks. Obama can wine and dine these people, but Republicans only respond to fear of their jobs. If they cared about America, we would not be facing the Second Great Depression.
John Podesta led the transition team for President Obama. Today on Think Progress, he addressed a key question by Progressives:
"Why is President Obama giving up so much to try to appease the conservatives?" Podesta offered this response:
I think he was willing to have a dialogue with Republicans. So far, that dialogue has been largely one in which it’s good-natured but the Republicans don’t seem to really want to come to the table and talk seriously about what needs to be done for the country. So be it — that’s their choice. But I think he did want to change the tone in Washington. He wanted to talk to people across the political spectrum. He wanted to open up the government to people from all perspectives around the country. That’s what WhiteHouse.gov is about. That’s what the transition — change.gov — was about, to try to solicit ideas from across the political spectrum to meet the big challenges.
But I would not confuse that with an idea that he’s compromising on his big goals of trying to deal with the very difficult economic circumstances we face and deal with the big challenges this country faces on energy, education, health care, and the other things.
I think/hope Podesta is right. The refusal to compromise further with House Republicans was good. See Obama: No compromise on more tax cuts or tax relief for working poor. This move by the White House and Democrats to let constituents know what the Republican House members voted against also is a good move.
No compromise on core values and core goals. We will not harm America and its economic recovery to bow to the Republican "God" of tax cuts. Their day is over.
The Republicans were given carrots; now it's time for sticks.
Update I: Republicans Squeal:
House Republicans are reacting strongly to reports that the White House plans a political onslaught to pressure Republicans into supporting the stimulus package and to punish those who don't.
House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) will soon issue a statement contending that Obama's promise to "put an end to petty politics" is "threatened" as the White House and their allies "are making political threats rather than crafting a bipartisan economic stimulus plan."
He'll call on Obama to "immediately disavow" plans by liberal interest groups who have announced their intention to run attack ads against the Republicans. These groups, organized under the Americans United for Change umbrella, coordinate regularly with Congressional Democrats and are in touch with White House officials.
You've all seen the ads. These don't seem like attack ads, but maybe there's something even better coming! Or Republicans view anything that does not kiss Rush Limbaugh's ass as an attack ad.