Stephen Colbert: The Audacity of Nope

I love him so.

There are quite a few people upset at the House of Representatives’ Republican behavior with respect to the bill. All that wasted talk and compromise from Obama, seems to be the general thought on the left side of the line.

But I’m not upset, despite liking the bill.

First of all, it’s the House of Representatives. The House is like the LiveJournal community of the U.S. Government. I’d have been deeply impressed if the Stimulus Package vote had gone down without some kind of high school melodrama.

Secondly, the Republicans seem to have forgotten the rules to the blood sport of Washington. Yes, you can indeed ignore the rules of reciprocation and trust when you’re in the clear majority. But when you aren’t the majority, it’s easier to accumulate political debt than political interest.

Put plainly: Obama, by visiting the Hill rather than staying put in the White House, and having all of these successful talks with the Republicans, more or less invested his available political coinage (of which he has quite a bit of, being as popular as he is with the country right now). He gave the opportunity to the Republicans to do the same. But instead of investing, they decided to spend what little coinage they had left in cock-blocking the bill (and especially the way they spun it to the media).

This might have been worth something were they able to actually get something in return, like actually blocking the bill; but they didn’t and indeed they couldn’t. Obama’s investment, on the other hand, paid him dividends. He had little risk, which is not the same as having little to risk, which is what the House Republicans have. And thus Obama played his hand well, much better than most Presidents would have done, I think.

So, House Republicans: they’ve effectively blown their political brokerage account. They didn’t actually incur debt, because Obama came to them; they just cleaned themselves out with little leverage left to actually build up their accounts again. Such accounts do eventually gain interest as the memory of the public fades, but for the near future, Obama has them dead to rights.

And, you know. It wouldn’t be LiveJournal the House of Representatives without a little soap opera floating around.

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