FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Talking about bipartisanship makes a nice soundbite; but at the end of the day, it's just that: Talk.
President Obama went into the enemy camp today - going head-to-head for more than an hour at a meeting of House Republicans.
For the most part, it was polite and cordial - how much good it did is an open question.
The President chastised Republicans for opposing him on taxes, health care and the economic stimulus plan. Of the attacks on health care, the president said, "You'd think that this thing was some Bolshevik plot," and "I am not an ideologue."
The Republicans accused Mr. Obama of ignoring their ideas and driving up the debt.
This all follows the State of the Union speech, where President Obama renewed calls for bipartisanship.
The number two House leader, Congressman Eric Cantor, says the president's address to Congress was full of "rhetoric and lecturing." Cantor says he appreciated the offer of bipartisanship, but that Republicans have heard this before.
But after today's meeting, Cantor said this is the kind of discussion they need to have more of.
Cantor has accused the administration of showing "arrogance in ignoring public opinion," and that Congressional Democrats have been no better when it comes to bipartisanship. He insists the Republicans are open to talking and working with the other party.
Sadly, the current political strategy in Washington for both parties seems to be: "I win if I can make the other guy lose."
Here’s my question to you: President Obama has renewed his call for bipartisanship. Is he dreaming?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Kris from Ohio writes:
I don't think he's dreaming. He believes that if he just calls for bipartisanship enough times he can make the Republicans look bad without actually having to be bipartisan. It's all gamesmanship.
Even if President Obama is serious about bipartisanship, which it is too early to tell, I don't think Pelosi and Reid are the slightest bit inclined to work with anyone.
Brian from Denver writes:
Yes, of course he is dreaming. The GOP made the decision to scuttle Obama's main domestic priority (health care) to win points for the next election and they did this by arguing that it was a socialist plot to take over the country and kill your grandparents. It has been very effective; Obama's numbers have plummeted inside just a year. Other than doing the right thing for our country, what incentives would the GOP have to not continue doing what they are doing? It's working.
Obama is the one who refused to allow Republican input on the health care bill, directed that negotiations occur in secret closed-door meetings so Republicans couldn't even see the bill as it was drafted, and directed congressional leadership to avoid a conference committee so that Republicans couldn't have a say on the merged Senate-House bill.
Ken from North Carolina writes:
It's more a nightmare than a dream. The president just doesn't get it. He should have gotten the message at the State of the Union when he called for tax cuts for businesses and Republicans (who get high and happy on the scent of tax cuts for businesses) neither acknowledged nor applauded.
Carol from Northampton, Massachusetts writes:
I thought it was a dream until today, Jack. Obama took questions at the Republican retreat. I was riveted to CNN. Each side made valid arguments in a reasoned civil manner. It was compelling and refreshing. More of this please!