Thursday, January 29, 2009

What Republican cooperation? Maybe, President Obama, you should abandon “bipartisan” appeasement and try some fiercer tactics.

Not one — not a single, solitary one! — of the House Republicans voted in favor of President Obama’s bailout package.

The Republicans got some compromises from the Democrats. More tax cutting than common sense calls for. Less money plowed directly into some projects and segments of the economy than common sense would seem to demand. All because Republicans said they wanted it that way and the President was encouraging a conciliatory mood.

And then the Republicans turned around and stabbed President Obama, and the electorate, in the back.

The President’s a good guy. But it’s time to get away from the good guy bi-partisan approach. Instead of appeasing Republicans, President Obama should do what the voters asked for when they elected him. He should roll right over them and start undoing the last eight years of Bush incompetence, idiocy and thuggery.

This is about much more than pouring money into the economy. The taxpayers need to make certain the money they’ve poured into banks and automobile manufacturers produces a return, not executive bonuses for the greedy thugs who run the banks.

If that means temporary seizure of some of the banks, then seize the damn things. And while we're at it, break 'em up into smaller banks so that no bank will be "too big to fail" in the future.

We also need investigations and, if warranted, prosecutions for torture, civil rights violations and corruption and cronyism under the Bush Administration. We need them not only to punish the guilty, but to show the world and our own citizens that the United States will no longer conduct or condone such behavior, or accept the damage that it does to constitutional law, America's reputation abroad, or the health and safety of our citizens.

Hell, when laissez-faire government gets all the way down to allowing disease-carrying peanut butter into the food chain, we know the right wing has raised hell with the life and health of Americans. Justice demands a powerful precedent to discourage such behavior.

The time to start is now. We’ve just seen that cooperating with the right wing gets you nothing but a finger in the eye.

Turn the dogs loose on ‘em.

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