One Party State

by digby

The minute I read this, this morning, I knew the fix was in. Corporate whore Tom Carper giving Holy Joe a good public scolding could be nothing more than kabuki. A deal had been reached and Joe was going to keep his gavel. They'd slap him with some kind of superficial "sanction" and maybe he'd apologize, but that's the end of that. That appears to be the case.

But then readers of this blog know that I never thought for a minute that he'd lose it. The current fetish for bipartisanship makes "party discipline" oxymoronic.

Speaking of which, Tweety referred to this on his show earlier and it is an interesting insight into just how far the administration plans to go with this bipartisanship and how they hope to keep everyone on the same page. Evidently, it's all about Obama's personal abilities:

Obama has made clear that he wants a bipartisan look and cast to his administration. The transition team has been told to hire Republicans at all levels of government, not just as token cabinet appointments. " 'Team of Rivals' has become a term of art here," says a senior Obama staffer, who refused to be identified discussing strategy. "It's less about Lincoln than a reinforcement of his theme that we need to move forward and get beyond the old partisan politics." This staffer says that Obama and his top aides are wary of over-hyping the Lincoln comparison. He also says that Obama believes he can—by force of character—bring Republicans into the fold without sacrificing Democratic principles. "I don't think he looks at this and says, 'Because I appoint Republicans, I have to compromise my positions'," says the aide.

It sounds like he really means to have a real bipartisan government from top to bottom. Combined with the Republican operatives the Bush administration salted throughout the civil service, there will be many, many Republicans still running things, so the villagers should be able to relax a little bit and enjoy their holidays. (Too bad for all you Democrats who thought you'd be getting jobs in a Democratic government, though. Maybe when the Republicans take over again, they'll hire you as a gesture of similar good will. They're very fair that way.)

Obama is going to have his hands full if he expects to keep Republicans in line purely by "force of character," however. I'm not sure what that means exactly, but it sounds exhausting.