President Obama won praise from some of the House’s most conservative lawmakers as “engaging” and “respectful” during his meeting with congressional Republicans Tuesday.
Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) said that Obama was sincere and “impressive” during his meeting with Republicans Tuesday afternoon.
“There’s real desire in this room to figure a way back to prosperity,” Inglis wrote on Twitter. “[The president] and Republicans here [are] expressing deep concern about unemployment.”
“If [the] President carries this on it does open door for a new tone!” Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) exclaimed.
“Sharp differences are muted,” Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) Twittered.
Inglis said that a comment by Obama that he would rather be a one-term president who addressed the economy than a two-term president who did not went particularly well.
“President Obama is speaking to House Republicans right now on Democratic stimulus bill,” wrote Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) on Twitter. “Good sales man, bad product.”
The article went on to note that some of those same Republicans offered mild criticisms of our new President.
There’s nothing wrong with getting along with the opposition, and even compromising with them from time to time (as long as you can get at the very least 50% of what you argued for on the House/Senate floor on any given issue), but there is something wrong when and if our representatives act like they’ve fallen for the Obama-celebrity trap and start voting accordingly. The GOP needs to remember that he’s just a man, not a messiah, that he’s duplicitous on a number of issues (like his “rules” on lobbyists, for example) and – all in all – is not that much different than your average politico, except for the number of radical ties. The problem with some in the GOP is that they’re scared out of their wits that they’re going to be viewed as racists for criticizing Barack Obama. And even if it weren’t for the race issue, some of them are terrifed they’ll be seen as opposing the very popular Obama just for the sake of opposing him and, in essence “getting in the way” (which, in actuality, they’re supposed to do when they disagree with the opposition). The end result is leaving principles behind and in the long term, creating new and prolonging old problems that will only get harder to resolve as a result of your abandoning those principles.
Luckily, not all GOPers in the House and Senate are sitting back and taking it. In fact, I suspect most of them won’t. Unfortunately, there will be just enough of them for Barack Obama to be able to claim “bipartisan success” on a vote that might have had 5% more GOP “yay” votes than it would have had under the Bush admin.
An advanced warning to Still-Finding-Their-Way-Republicans: Praising the President for his eloquence most of us can handle. But if you start going along with him more often than not just because you’re awestruck and want to be a part of history – and you claim to be a conservative – you’ll be held accountable for it at the ballot box, and the result will be that you indeed will be a part of history, but not the way you’d hoped to be.
As the old saying goes, if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.