That trend toward partisanship in all things Washington bodes poorly for President Barack Obama's much-touted bipartisan approach -- particularly in regards his efforts to win Republican support for his health care reform proposal.
Republicans are clearly placing a big bet on the idea that standing in (near) unified opposition to Obama's priorities -- whether on Sotomayor or health care or the economic stimulus package -- gives them the best chance to begin rebuilding their party's electoral strength.
What Republicans seem set on doing is drawing a bright, broad line between how they see the direction of the country and how Obama and Democrats see it -- ensuring that the American people know there is a significant difference between the two sides.
The danger in placing all of their chips on the anti-Obama bet is that Republicans run the risk of losing big if the American public rejects that approach.
The White House has long believed that voters want to see Obama attempt to bring on Republican support but don't feel strongly about whether or not he is actually able to achieve that goal.
Republicans seem ready to put that theory to the test.
The last line is the clincher, and shows how stupid GOP strategists are. Betting electoral support based on whether Obama successfully woos Republicans or not is bizarre. Mock the intelligence of the average voter all you want, but everyone understands the concept of "the boy taking his bat and going home because the other boys won't let him pitch." Their strategy going forward is to convince the public that its Obama's fault that Repuglicans stood with there fingers in their ears going "nah. nah. nah we can't HEAR you!"
You'll have to excuse me for a moment:
"BWAH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! What a bunch of maroons!"
Reverse the logic a bit. Say Americans really do make bi-partisanship the central theme for the next election. After this performance, would a Republican candidate have any credibility on that issue? Can you see Sarah Palin reaching across the aisle and working with the Democrats?
I see Fidel Castro being hailed as a misunderstood hero in Washington before that happens.
The GOP, betting their future success by hoping Americans are completely stupid. To swallow this, they'd have to be certified cretins and institutionalized. There might be a problem counting on that vote.