Obama challenged Democrats and Republicans alike to put aside their short-term electoral concerns and instead deal with the many problems that face the nation in a non-partisan way. Not much is expected to change. Democrats facing re-election are more concerned about protecting their seats than showing leadership. They will be studying the public opinion polls before doing anything and will go with what will get them elected. The Republicans have little to offer other than opposition to anything that would seem to give Obama a win, even if the people suffer. They lack leadership and ideas, except for those "bogeymen" (death squads, socialised medicine, liberal big spender, Obama is not an American etc,) that they trot out every time anything is proposed. They have paralysed the Senate, with their filibuster and the paralysis is such that
(as in the case of Shelby), important appointments are held up for
'pet earmarks". This is not only Republican pork but political blackmail.
Obama took them by surprise when he faced them directly in a televised question and answer session the day after. Other than complaining that Obama is not really serious about real dialogue with them (what a scream!!), and bitching about being labelled as the party of "just say no", they offered little else. No surprise here. They lack leadership. relevant ideas and direrction. All they are concerned about are the elections in November. They are in for a shock, if they think that voters, especially independents are going to come out in droves and support them. Every government must be held accountable, if it is to govern responsibly. Criticisms are the lifeblood of a democracy, but they have to be constructive not destructive, relevant not fatuous, incisive not obtrusive. This is the great lament of governmental democracy. Too much grandstanding and not enough standing up. Too much activity and not enough action.Too much heat and too little light.