If you’ve been following the news lately, you’ve probably heard, seen, or read that President Obama has nominated Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) to his cabinet as Secretary of Commerce.
In a word: Why?
This simply makes no sense, either pragmatically or politically. Here’s why:
1. Gregg’s economic ideas and policies as a senator are diametrically opposed to those of President Obama, the Democratic Party, and the majority of Americans. He is pro-corporations and anti-labor. There is no indication that he will moderate his positions in his role as Commerce Secretary.
2. The Democratic governor of New Hampshire, John Lynch, has said that he will appoint a Republican to fill Gregg’s seat in the senate to avoid altering the partisan balance of that deliberative body. This was one of Sen. Gregg’s conditions for accepting the appointment.
3. The Republican Party, its public mouthpieces, and its constituents have so far shown absolutely no regard whatsoever for Obama’s gestures at bipartisanship. All they do is cackle about how gullible he and the Democrats are for kowtowing to a party that has no other agenda right now but to obstruct the Democrats’ legislation and cabinet appointments.
So what the hell is the Obama administration doing? They won’t win any points with the Republicans, because the GOP isn’t playing the bipartisanship game; they won’t gain the filibuster-proof supermajority in the Senate, because Gov. Lynch has pussied out and is covering his ass with New Hampshire’s conservatives by vowing to keep Gregg’s seat in GOP hands; and the administration is placing an ideological opponent into a key position of influence.
Please, Mister President, wake up and smell the coffee: this is politics, not a campfire round of “Kumbaya.” If you, your administration, your party, and the people collectively gain nothing from a given option, choose another option. The time for offering olive branches to the GOP is over. Start playing to win, or the GOP will drink your fucking milkshake in 2010.