A Valentine’s Day cartoon from Rob Rogers says it all—President Obama down on one knee with flowers in one hand and a heart-shaped box marked “Bipartisanship” in the other. The courted, a suited GOP elephant, has arms folded and its back to Obama. A passerby utters “Give it up…. He’s just not that into you.”

How true, how true. The GOP has neither the desire nor the incentive to be bipartisan. One might think that the good of the nation would provide both, but let’s face it: if Obama rights the economy the GOP is dead in the water for years to come. Republicans’ best hope is to keep the economy spiraling downward through the 2010 Congressional elections and pray that voters will forget that they were the ones who screwed it up in the first place.

As the Judd Gregg fiasco also showed, Obama is making a rookie mistake in his bipartisan appeals. It’s time to put down the flowers and ask “What would Lyndon Baines Johnson do?” When LBJ wanted the Civil Rights Act passed, he called Congress to session during its recess and told members he’d veto every bill that came across his desk until they passed it. He knew where Congressional skeletons were buried and he dug them up and invited them to public teas.

Obama needs to play some LBJ-style hardball. It’s amazing what can be accomplished by insinuating that you’re contemplating consolidation of a few defense contracts by moving work from Georgia to Oregon, or that the government needs to upgrade facilities by closing an outmoded NORAD station in Wyoming. For the good of the nation let’s hope that President Obama stops being such a nice guy.

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