A highly revealing book, The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era, authored by Michael Grunwald, gives the public a glaring glimpse into the Republican Party’s agenda. New excerpts have just been published which highlight the clandestine meeting with Republican leaders in attendance, led by GOP Whip Eric Cantor in 2008. Paul Ryan, the ideological rock star of the right and newly minted veep choice for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, also attended — each swore to obstruct anything, everything the President tries to accomplish — in lockstep, partisan-style.
“If he was for it,” former Ohio senator George Voinovich explained, “we had to be against it.” The excerpt includes a special bonus nugget of Mitt Romney dissing the Tea Party. Read more: Leader Mitch McConnell (in early January 2009) where they laid out their daring (though cynical and political) no-honeymoon strategy of all-out resistance to a popular president-elect during an economic emergency. “If he was for it,” former Ohio senator George Voinovich explained, “we had to be against it.” The excerpt includes a special bonus nugget of Mitt Romney dissing the Tea Party.
There were clues to their strategy — but voters were not privy to the betrayal — most of us were astounded by the extreme hyper-politics we were witnessing, but never dreamed it was a commanded order to be so extreme. After a complete shutdown on the stimulus:
“It was stunning that we’d set this up and before hearing from the President, they’d say they were going to oppose this,” Axelrod says. “Our feeling was, we were dealing with a potential disaster of epic proportions that demanded cooperation. If anything was a signal of what the next two years would be like, it was that.”
But that wasn’t the only signal. A few examples:
*Vice President Biden told me that during the transition, he was warned not to expect any bipartisan cooperation on major votes. “I spoke to seven different Republican senators who said: ‘Joe, I’m not going to be able to help you on anything,’” he recalled. His informants said McConnell had demanded unified resistance. “The way it was characterized to me was: ‘For the next two years, we can’t let you succeed in anything. That’s our ticket to coming back,’” Biden said. The vice president said he hasn’t even told Obama who his sources were, but Bob Bennett of Utah and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania both confirmed they had conversations with Biden along those lines.
“So I promise you—and the President agreed with me—I never thought we were going to get Republican support,” Biden said.
* One Obama aide said he received a similar warning from a Republican Senate staffer he was seeing at the time. He remembered asking her one morning in bed: How do we get a stimulus deal. She replied: Baby, there’s no deal!
“This is how we get whole,” she said with a laugh. “We’re going to do to you what you did to us in 2006.”
David Obey, then-chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, met with his GOP counterpart, Jerry Lewis, to explain what Democrats had in mind for the stimulus and ask what Republicans wanted to include. “Jerry’s response was: ‘I’m sorry, but leadership tells us we can’t play,’” Obey told me. “Exact quote: ‘We can’t play.’ What they said right from the get-go was: It doesn’t matter what the hell you do, we ain’t going to help you. We’re going to stand on the sidelines and bitch.”
And bitch they did. After the last few years, the public could easily be diagnosed with battle fatigue after the monotonous political bickering and mind-numbing obstinate politicians, spewing bullshit rhetoric — straight from our do-nothing Congress. Oh pardon me — they did do something. The Repubican leaders betrayed our country and in that case, job well done!
For the Tea Party, who strongly support Mitt Romney — the man they detested only months ago — the man that used to be against everything they stood for — a final exceprt. Of course, that was previous to the hijacking of their group — which left them dangling like puppets on the Koch brothers string:
Bennett says his friend Romney commiserated with him about the Tea Party’s ingratitude, telling a presumably apocryphal story about getting bitten by a ferret he had tried to rescue from a dishwasher. “Mitt said the Tea Party people are like that ferret in the dishwasher,” he says. “They’re so frightened and angry, they’ll even bite Bob Bennett, who’s trying to get the country out of this mess.”
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