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Obama And Bipartisanship: No Sacred Caos

Whenever President Obama discusses "bipartisanship," is sounds good. Until you hear his idea of what "bipartisanship" means to him.

Recently, he's extended his "country as car" metaphor, saying that Republicans are welcome back in the car -- as long as they remember their place and sit in the back and shut up.

For a more specific example, let's look at how being "bipartisan" worked for one Republican -- more specifically, the one Republican who broke ranks in the House of Representatives and voted for ObamaCare, freshman Joseph Cao of Louisiana.

Cao, who succeeded Democrat William Jefferson Clinton after "Cold Cash" was convicted of corruption and sent to prison, succumbed to Obama's charms and provided the fig leaf the Democrats needed to say that ObamaCare was truly "bipartisan" -- they actually got one Republican in the House to cross party lines and vote for it!

Just what sort of reward or consideration for his lending his support for ObamaCare? How did Obama repay Cao's efforts?

Well, he could have discouraged local Democrats from running against Cao. While it's sometimes improper for presidents to get too involved in local politics, Obama is also the leader of the Democratic Party. He could have said "give this guy a break -- he did us a solid." But he didn't do that.

He could have stayed out of that decision, but declined to lend his endorsement to Cao's opponent. He could have said that he doesn't have anything against the Democrat, but he wouldn't put his influence behind the efforts to unseat Cao. But he didn't do that.

He could have endorsed Cao's opponent, but not made a big deal out of it. He could have put Cedric Richmond's name on the list of candidates he endorsed, but left it there -- he wasn't obligated to put in campaign appearances for Richmond and personally asked the people of Louisiana's 2nd District to toss out Cao.

But he did that anyway.

No, to Obama, Cao's history of backing him is irrelevant. All that matters is that Cao is a Republican, and seen as a particularly vulnerable one. So everything else goes out the window, and Cao has to go.

Winston Churchill once said that "an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last." They don't have crocodiles in Louisiana, but they do have their cousins, the alligators.

One would think that a Louisianan would know about such things, but it appears that Cao doesn't.

Personally, I'm not concerned whether or not Cao wins re-election. If he does, he will have done so despite President Obama's efforts, and -- hopefully -- have learned that "bipartisanship" with Obama is a strictly one-way street. If he loses, then he will serve as a "poster child" of how little Obama values actual "bipartisanship" and rewards those who do cross party lines to lend him support.

One weak Congressman, from one small district. One lone House seat, that in the big picture doesn't really mean a hell of a lot.

But as a symbol of how Obama treats the man who holds it -- it could be the single most important seats on Capitol Hill.


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Comments (16)

Jay, you ig****** **ut... *... (Below threshold)

Jay, you ig****** **ut... *

Cao didn't vote for Obamacare because of bipartisanship, he did so because he represents a heavily Democratic district which favored Obamacare and voting against it would have been killed his re-election chances.

* typed with love.

Cao is a good guy. He won ... (Below threshold)

Cao is a good guy. He won his seat from a corrupt bastard, "Cold Cash" Jefferson, in an overwhelmingly Democratic district.

That said, Cao voted the way he did out of his own interest, the same way Scott Brown, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe do. It wasn't enough to turn the voters around to him.

Steve is right.

Obama does not own any loyalty to Cao. As Truman said, "if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog."

Yes! Brilliant! Of course ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Yes! Brilliant! Of course obama endorses and actively supports Cao's opponents. Why wouldn't he? Cao, as a Republican, will always be a vote that Barry has to cajole to cross over. With a dem in the seat there is nothing to worry about.

Cao is a fool to suppose that obama would in any way give him a break. And if he thought that by voting with dems he would immunize himself in a liberal district he is twice the fool and deserves to lose. All he has succeeded in doing is alienating his base who will refuse to vote for him. Better to get him out and run someone else who can represent them properly.

Frankly this doesn't say much about obama, but it speaks endless volumes of the naivete and outright duplicity of Cao.

Hey Steve, galoob, if Cao '... (Below threshold)

Hey Steve, galoob, if Cao 'represented' the interests of the folks in his district by voting for ObamaCare, WHY IS HE LOSING?

Because in almost all cases... (Below threshold)

Because in almost all cases, a Democrat will win in heavily Democratic districts. Why settle for a Republican who you have to worry about when you can get a 100% Democrat who you don't have to worry about voting for a GOP speaker. Cao won only because his predecessor was corrupt, and so much so that it became too much even for that district, and not because the voters in the district were open to GOP ideas. He was a caretaker of the seat, just holding it until the Dems could get someone else.

So Steve (#5), we all agree... (Below threshold)

So Steve (#5), we all agree that "bi-partisanship" doesn't get you anywhere. So we should all stop doing it?

You'll be valued by Obama a... (Below threshold)

You'll be valued by Obama and the Democrats until your usefulness is over - and not one moment longer.

At that point, better have your location reserved under the bus!

"He was a caretaker of the ... (Below threshold)

"He was a caretaker of the seat, just holding it until the Dems could get someone else."


If they are 100% in the bag for Democrats, what was to stop them from voting for another Democrat to take Cash's place?

"what was to stop them f... (Below threshold)

"what was to stop them from voting for another Democrat?" Because Jefferson won the Democratic nomination, that's why, he was the only Democrat on the ticket in 08. And now they are voting for another Democrat.

we all agree that "bi-partisanship" doesn't get you anywhere. So we should all stop doing it? Yes, we should... not that we're doing it anyway.

Bipartisan (in my book) is one of those things that sound good in the abstract but breaks down when looked at in any detail. It means working with the other side, accepting some of their stuff in return for some of yours... but if the other side is as dogmatic as are the liberals, working with them invariably means sacrificing our principles. Once upon a time, the Congressional GOP was known as Dem-lite... in favor of the same stuff, but with a tad less spending. Not any longer, at least if they want to keep their seats.

I wouldn't have supported Obamacare even if it came in at half the cost. The same with the stimulus. The same with cap and trade and the financial reform.

Nor am I willing to trade issues, for example, letting them raise taxes in return for more support for fighting terrorists. (BTW, that is what got Bush II in trouble, he stood silently while Congress went crazy on spending in return for their including funding for his adventure in Iraq.. and see what that got him? And us?).

The GOP never wins being De... (Below threshold)

The GOP never wins being Democrat lite for the most part

Cao is getting what he deserves.

This election is not just a... (Below threshold)

This election is not just about going against Obama's failed policies and leadership (don't forget his saying his opponents are enemies, nice leadership there) it is a message to all congress that government has to stop meddling in all our affairs. Protect us and stimulate businesses so they will hire us. Except for that, don't do anything. ww

Yeah, Cao is getting what h... (Below threshold)

Yeah, Cao is getting what he deserves. But that wasn't the main point. The point was Obama's demands for loyalty without ever being the lease bit inclined to reciprocate.

I'm beginning to think he's equal parts sociopath and socialist. The only thing that tempers the former is his ability to mimic those who actually do feel empathy.

On top of all of this---Ced... (Below threshold)
Ya Hump:

On top of all of this---Cedric Richmond is as big a crook as William Jefferson. Check out this website detailing his criminal activity and his crooked friends---http://richmondwatch.com/

The problem in this distric... (Below threshold)

The problem in this district is that it's very typical for the democrat to win. The handful of conservatives there are split between Cao and Marquize. The "smart" voters will vote for Cao since the polls show that he and Richmond are the only two real competitors in this race. The "conscience" vote will go to Marquize. Unfortunately, the conscience vote is going to put Richmond in office. At least with Cao, the Repubs have their numbers and can oust Pelosi and pass their tax cuts.

Robin's statement is right ... (Below threshold)

Robin's statement is right on. I and my wife are split on how to handle this issue. That crook Richmond will just possibly be my next rep. I'm just hoping that some more of his sleaze shows for the feds and we can boot his butt out like dollar-bill Jeff. Not the best plan but if the people of this district will ever wake up from the Katrina coma and wash the grease from their plams, yea right that"ll happen.. then that is all we can hope for in a predom. dem district.

Is Bi-Partisanship possible... (Below threshold)

Is Bi-Partisanship possible in modern political America? Watch documentary SPLIT: A DIVDED AMERICA http://bit.ly/SPliT






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