Yesterday Republican Sen. Judd Gregg (NH) unceremoniously withdrew himself from consideration for Secretary of Commerce, citing irreconcilable differences.
I'm not surprised. Gregg actually voted in favor of shutting down Commerce a while back, and I was dumbfounded that out of all the Republicans our President could have chosen, he went with Gregg. It shows how far Barack Obama is willing to go in the spirit of bipartisan cooperation.
So what does Gregg do? He accepts the position, and then well into the vetting process he suddenly withdraws. Now, there's a couple ways to look at this:
1) Something came up during the vetting that he doesn't want publicized (maybe taxes, hookers, payoffs, you name it) so he took himself out of the running.
2) He hadn't been paying the slightest bit of attention to the policies of the new administration and waited until very recently to review them, and discovered that they're not simply going to continue Bush's failed policies.
3) The GOP wanted to either embarrass or weaken the administration, and had no intention of letting Gregg accept the position.
I'm leaning towards 1) right now, but I'm sure more facts will come out over the coming weeks. But what it does indicate is that the Republicans aren't willing to work with the Democrats to do anything constructive for our nation. They're much more concerned with playing partisan games and doing whatever they can to diminish the good will and potential of the administration.
It annoys me to no end to hear Republicans complaining about all the "earmarks" in the stimulus package. It's obvious when you examine the individual items, most (but not all) of them will directly create or save jobs. And while the idea of earmarks is a terrible way to govern, the way the system is currently set up makes them a necessary evil.
According to the most recently available figures, Connecticut receives only 69 cents back out of every dollar we pay in Federal taxes. And if it wasn't for earmarks, we wouldn't even get THAT! John McCain has made much of how he supposedly hates earmarks, but his home state of Arizona receives $1.19 (!) back on every dollar they pay, so of COURSE he'd be against earmarks!
You don't need earmarks when you can simply back up the Brinks truck to the Treasury!
Shit, I'd LOVE to get a 19% return on my investments right now! The sad fact is, my 401K is earning roughly what Connecticut earns on its money, about minus 30%. At this rate when I retire I'll OWE money!
Uh...I seem to have gotten off the track here. I started out by bitching about Judd Gregg's stupid move and ended up retired and broke! Jesus, I hope that isn't the way it's really gonna go!
Anyway, the original point I was making is that Judd Gregg is a dope, and he exemplifies exactly WHY those stubborn fools in the GOP will never easily work with an Obama administration. It's only been a month and already they've succeeded in setting the tone for the next eight years. Fine, if that's what they want, they'll become even more insignificant in the future.
In other words, the GOP is saying:
"Take your bipartisanship and shove it!"