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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Partisan Warfare in the Past Week

The president was quite direct in his Saturday address, titled "Republicans Blocking Progress." From the text:
Unfortunately, the Republican leadership in the Senate won’t even allow this legislation to come up for a vote. And if this obstruction continues, unemployed Americans will see their benefits stop. Teachers and firefighters will lose their jobs. Families will pay more for their first home.

And as we speak today, 136 men and women who I’ve nominated for key positions in the federal government are awaiting a vote on the floor of the Senate. All are highly qualified. Very few are controversial. The vast majority already have support from both parties. But most of them are seeing their nominations intentionally delayed by Republican leaders, or even blocked altogether. They cannot get a vote. What this means is that, at a moment when our country is facing so many challenges – a time when we need all hands on deck – we cannot get the qualified people we need to start the jobs they were appointed to do.
And from Politico:

As the political aftershocks from Rep. Joe Barton’s expression of sympathy for British Petroleum continue, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel promised Sunday that President Barack Obama hopes to make sure that voters don’t forget the gaffe anytime soon.

Emanuel tore into the GOP over Barton’s apology for the government’s treatment of the company responsible for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, saying on ABC’s “This Week,” that “in case you forgot what Republican governance was like, Joe Barton reminded you.”

Read more:
At the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), strategists blasted out fundraising solicitations and searched for vulnerable GOP candidates to hang Barton’s comments around like a 50-pound weight. The fund-raising e-mail warned donors that “if the GOP wins back the House, Barton is the guy who could be in charge of regulating the oil industry.” Officials said the first national television ad featuring Barton would run on cable stations as soon as this weekend.
Politico also reports that the GOP started damage control soon after Barton's comment:

Republican leaders left the floor vote and huddled in Boehner’s second-floor Capitol suite. Boehner, Cantor and leadership aides discussed calling a meeting of the Republican Steering Committee to recommend Barton be summarily removed from his job.

They were “a hair away” from booting Barton outright, according to a Republican aide.

The private maneuverings by his colleagues to get rid of him were “news to me” Barton told POLITICO as he walked into the ambush. He said he planned to keep his job: “Damn straight,” he said.

The Texas machismo – or perhaps a basic ignorance of the peril at hand – was evident in the meeting, according to Republican sources. Barton didn’t get it.

He was offered an out: Apologize for the apology or lose his job.

Read more: