[Obama]... made concessions to the House GOP during the stimulus debate and he got absolutely nothing in return. In essence, he folded a good hand and lost a pot that rightfully belonged to him. The Republicans had been bluffing about bipartisanship. He's not about to trust them again over the signature domestic issue of his campaign: health care reform.
Ahh, what a difference community organizing and a spine and soul make. Steve Perry in Minnesota did a great analysis in 2002 about the Democratic Party - that they were in it to lose it. They didn't care. There needed to be two parties and they would take that role, with some jobs, some positions, some perks, and no control of the process. Keep things quiet.
Frankly, Bill Clinton was like that, at least as far as Wall Street and the military-industrial complex were concerned. Want some spending? Let's do some bombing. Want some deregulation? Here, and here's some more. NAFTA? No problem.
Barack Obama is in it to win it. The order of major bills is important and the order has been thought out and determined. Start like Roosevelt did - one for the banks, keep Wall Street happy. Then buy some votes AND do some good with the second one, some Big Old Federal Pork, Just What the Economy Ordered (I am very supportive overall of the stimulus bill, even if larded with corporate crap) keep the cities and states happy. And he opened the process and gave some to the Republicans and got nothing, and nothing again.
So now he has set the narrative, and can legitimately roll all over them on something that's very popular.
Obama's claiming power. While the USA may be a relative 'change of government is orderly' country, the assholes who were just in there are, well, assholes, and vindictive, and anti-democratic, and, well, neo-fascist. (OK, not EVERY one was a neo-fascist, but Cheney in the Undisclosed Location with a DOJ Memo sounds like the end of the Clue game on who killed the Constitution.) Anyway - ugh, and those dudes won't give up easy.
But Obama's chipping away. Got the northern banks vote to split the Republicans on the bank bailout, and got the stimulus through. Yes, the Republicans are filibustering EVERYTHING, which, of course, used to be anathema but is now best patriotic practice. And yes, Obama hasn't moved against the intelligence community (actually, he's setting up the opening steps of that dance) but he had a meeting with the credit card companies the other day about being jerks, and the meeting with the auto industry CEOs was not a love-athon (although not as dramatic, perhaps, as Ozymandius's meeting with the auto and oil CEOs in Watchmen. At about 1:50 in this video)
The corporate media is a problem. The world and the rest of the country are, statistically, in hot infatuation with Obama so far, as far as polling data goes. Really it is. But not if you watch cable news, where there is still a strong Republican bias. Not just Fox, mind you, but the rest of the news is acting as a Republican propaganda vehicle. (Fox is just off-the-edge, pure lies part of the machine. The kook who legitamizes the right-wing agends.) There is some MSNBC, but the heart of most of the networks and cable news departments are broadcasting a very biased political narrative. This will be a problem for Obama, but the existance of SOME outposts, and the great lefty Internet, help mitigate that.
This, actually, gives me hope for the labor bill. If Obama succeeds in getting a just plain policy / new program bill like the health care bill through, that'll grease the wheels for the Free Choice Act.
The only drawback to calling the Republicans bluff is that they're threatening civil war if they don't get their way. Or succession, or federal non-compliance, or whatever you want to call it. Their electoral base IS the south, after all. Nice to have a Yankee negro in charge to put down the War Between the States - the Rematch.