While appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Republican Senator and 2008 party nominee, John McCain said that Barack Obama is off to a bad beginning and has not kept his promises.
Host John King asked McCain if Republicans didn’t support the stimulus because they didn’t like the bill, or if this is the beginning of a partisan war. McCain said, “I don’t know the answer to that. I do say, in all candor, that it was a bad beginning. It was a bad beginning because it wasn’t what we promised the American people, what President Obama promised the American people, that we would sit down together. Look, I appreciate the fact that the president came over and talked to Republicans. That’s not how you negotiate a result. You sit down together in a room with competing proposals. Almost all of our proposals went down on a party line vote.”
McCain said that Obama has not lived up to his promise of new politics, “But, yes, the candidate Obama said that these conferences would be open to the public. He said that the American people would have five days to view it on the Internet. There was commitments made that are certainly not being kept now. And maybe it’s all because of their sense of emergency, but it’s not what they said they were going to do.”
Welcome to the new Republican strategy to bring Obama back to Earth. The latest tactic is exactly the same one McCain tried doing the 2008 campaign. They are trying to make Obama look like nothing special and politics as usual. The process was definitely politics as usual, but I don’t think Obama’s approach and actions can be considered politics as usual. Obama tried a different approach, and what he quickly discovered is that both the Democrats and Republicans in Congress don’t want to change the way they do business.
If McCain thinks that things would be any different if he was president, then he really is crazy. The only thing that would be different is that we would have gotten a stimulus package that would be nothing but upper class tax cuts. McCain wants to blame Obama, but the reality is that for Obama’s new politics to work, Republicans and Democrats have to want to compromise. If both parties don’t want to work together, there isn’t anything the president can do to bring them together. It is very cynical of McCain to whine about a lack of bipartisanship, while using partisanship as a political tool.