The White House cocktail party was a lovely symbol of Obama's commitment to bipartisanship, but it looks like Obama's reaching across the aisle with a bottle of gin in one hand and a knife in the other. According to Greg Sargent's new Plum Line blog at the Washington Post, the Obama administration is overseeing the massive third-party campaign now getting underway to go after recalcitrant Congressional Republicans who dare to obstruct the president's agenda.
Senior White House advisers are quietly beginning to put a system in place to ensure coordination between the White House and outside liberal groups and unions that are ramping up to push the Obama administration’s agenda and target its foes, a senior Dem operative who regularly advises the White House and is involved in these discussions tells me....
According to the operative, the White House was quietly informed in advance about the new ad campaign that several major unions are running with the pro-stimulus group Americans United for Change that pressures Republican Senators to back Obama’s stimulus package. As Ben Smith reports, the size of the ad campaign was just dramatically expanded to target Republican Senators in around 10 states. Obama aides were okay with the ad campaign’s message.
When the House Republicans voted unanimously against the stimulus bill last week, New York Times reporter and unofficial Democratic flak Jackie Calmes closed her piece by quoting a press release sent out by Brad Woodhouse, who she described as "president of the union-supported, pro-Democratic group Americans United for Change." The release called the Republican vote against the bill "political suicide." It turns out that view is more than just pro-Democratic -- it's official administration propaganda (not that that would stop Calmes from quoting it approvingly).
Elsewhere in the new bipartisan utopia of Washington, D.C., Mike Allen reported today that the DSCC is running an entirely different line of attack against obstreperous Republicans with a new ad called "Putting Families First." The ad attacks Republicans for spending money on schools in Iraq instead of here in the United States. So how long until the Democrats follow Juan Cole's advice and set up an America First PAC with the explicit goal of reviving the great isolationist tradition of Charles Lindbergh, Father Coughlin, and, in the modern era, Pat Buchanan?