Not one Republican vote! Not one! And that is the Republican Party's response to the American public who, as every poll indicates, are begging for less partisanship and more "just get the job done."
The Obama stimulus package passed in the House along strict party lines. So there it is America, we now know who to thank or blame. That being the case the Republicans just painted themselves into an obstructionist corner. They are betting on and praying for national failure. Like Rush Limbaugh, they are hoping the economic recovery fails. They have bet against our future, even against a president who reached out in an unprecedented way to them. Their answer to President Obama's extended hand? A clenched fist! Head in the sand! The "we won't play!" of perennial brats.
The Republican Party just doesn't get it. We are in trouble! And our country's fate and the success or failure of the Obama presidency is now one and the same.
The Republicans could have done a great thing for their party and the country: sent a message to the world -- we stand together! Imagine the impact on tomorrow's stock market, and our enemy's view of America and our standing in the world if instead of a partisan Republican "NO" vote the backing of the recovery plan had been unanimous approval!
If the Republicans weren't stuck in a white man's reactionary country club past -- and I speak here as white former life long Republican -- this momentous vote could have changed American history. It would have changed it not just on this issue but because of the symbolism. It would have told all Americans -- we are at war with our weaknesses, we will prevail, take heart help is on the way.
The Republicans might have then shared the credit, even won a few elections in the future. Now their fate is sealed. Obama will succeed. America won't forget who to thank.
The Republicans have made themselves the enemy of our recovery. They would rater take us all down than let our president have his day. While President Obama is blessed with a large vision, the Republicans are mired in a petty past, a small "victory" in unanimous obstruction passing for a moral "victory."
With this NO vote, the Republican Party sends us this message: we are a group of bad losers, don't entrust us with your future! And: We are betting against you America!
We Americans are wounded. President Obama has arrived with his ambulance as he promised he would. All the Republicans could think of doing was to try and let the air out of the tires. Shame!
Frank Schaeffer is the author of Crazy For God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back (Now in Paperback).