Well, it had to come to this. A party with as much history and pride as the Republican party does not simply wither away and die in silence. 

Republican Judd Gregg withdrew today as Obama’s chosen Commerce Secretary. And in case you were stuck in No-TV-No-Radio-No-Internet-No-Newspaper-land, Obama has had significant difficulties getting his stimulus package passed in the Senate with Republican opposition. Seen from a distance this would appear to simply be Washington working in as partisan a manner as Washington usually does. But an alternate explanation could also be proposed here. It could be argued that Republicans have strategically decided to go to war with Obama and have bet many re-elections on this stance. The goal of this approach could be to run on an  anti-Obama, anti-Pelosi, anti-Harry Reid platform in the mid-term elections then gain enough ground in 2010 to reconstruct themselves along some sort of coherent set of policies that would have, by then been crystalized.

This can be deduced from the following:

1-Rush Limbaugh goes on air to say he wants Obama to fail. Now regardless of party affiliation, it would be normal to assume that citizens want their president to succeed, especially in difficult economic times when the economic welfare of the nation is what he has at heart. So to clearly take the opposite stance means one only cares to protect the purity of their ideology. Because success for Obama (and for the nation as a result) would mean success for his ideas, liberal ideas and therefore defeat for the opposite propositions. Limbaugh and his ilk want none of that, even if the country goes up in flames in the process.

2-No Republicans vote for the Stimulus in congress and only 3 usually “convincable” ones in the Senate.

After 8 years of  G. W. Bush tax cuts for the rich, over-inflated federal government, a country endebted to China for possibly a generation, 2 wars and many unresolved conflicts around the world, one would assume that the Republicans would accept that some of their stalwart propositions have failed and should be retired. Tax cuts alone do not stimulate an economy, especially when they are targetted at the upper class that does not need the help. Financial industries need regulations. A state cannot rely on the self-interest of bankers to protect the national economic interest. Self-interest has a way of being very selfish.  Perpetual war-making as a way of taming foreign populations cannot be a substitute for real diplomacy, that is, talking to others.

But apparently that message has not gotten through yet. Dick Cheney even out of office is still metaphorically shooting people in the face. Senate and house Republicans continue to push for tax cuts and small governement as THE solutions.

3-The timing of Judd Gregg’s withdrawal. More here…

So what should Obama do?

Don’t fight back. You only end up covered in mud which is what Republicans want. Obama has campaigned on “Change” and bipartisanship. He should stick to his current approach as long as he has an advantage in the house and some room to maneuvre in the Senate. Mid-term elections will dictate in which direction the citizenry wants him to take the nation.