Or at least the NY Times thinks so. The Wash Post isn't so sure, however. As regular followers of our Media Comparisons know, there is no "truth" ... just different news sources interpretations of "truth."
The White House on Thursday signaled the outlines of its strategy for breaking the partisan logjam holding up President Obama’s agenda, saying Democrats would move quickly to underline their commitment to fixing the broken economy and to build an election-year case against Republicans if they do not cooperate.
With Mr. Obama’s health care overhaul stalled on Capitol Hill, Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, said in an interview that Democrats would try to act first on job creation, reducing the deficit and imposing tighter regulation on banks before returning to the health measure, the president’s top priority from last year.
But Mr. Obama quickly got a taste of how difficult it would be to bring the opposition party on board.
One day after the president upbraided Congress in his State of the Union address for excessive partisanship, Senate Republicans voted en masse against a plan to require that new spending not add to the deficit (it passed anyway as all 60 members of the Democratic caucus hung together). And some Republicans peremptorily dismissed Mr. Obama’s main job-creating proposal, expressing no interest in using $30 billion in bank bailout money for business tax credits.
“I think there is a right way and a wrong way to do it, and that is not the right way,” said Senator John Cornyn, the Texas Republican heading the effort to elect more Republicans to the Senate.
On Friday, Mr. Obama will travel to Baltimore to announce specifics of his jobs plan, including a proposed $5,000 tax credit for small businesses for each new employee they hire in 2010. While there, he will address House Republicans at a retreat they are holding.
The instant Republican resistance to the jobs plan — coupled with a vote this week to kill a deficit-reduction panel that had been initiated with high bipartisan hopes — illustrated the chasm between the two parties and the difficulties Mr. Obama faces if he is serious about trying to work with an energized opposition.
Increasingly confident of their prospects after the Massachusetts Senate victory, Republicans are disinclined to give ground in policy debates and appear willing to stick with their near-unanimous opposition to major initiatives unless Democrats offer significant concessions.
“House Republicans will seize the opportunity in respectful terms, but candid and frank terms, and make it clear to the president that we have better solutions,” said Representative Mike Pence of Indiana, the chairman of the House Republican Conference.
The administration showed no signs of capitulating either, with officials saying the White House will pursue a strategy of trying to shame Republicans whenever they stand in lock-step against Mr. Obama. In an interview Thursday, Mr. Emanuel warned that Republicans would suffer politically for their opposition to the pay-as-you-go plan.
“One party was for fiscal discipline, the other party wasn’t,” he said, previewing a message that Democrats could use in this year’s midterm elections.
Officials said they were pressing ahead with one of the more controversial items Mr. Obama laid out Wednesday night: repealing the policy barring gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military.
Senior Pentagon officials said Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had been in close discussions with Mr. Obama on the issue and would present the Pentagon’s initial plans for carrying out the new policy at a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.
Changing the policy requires an act of Congress, and the officials signaled that Mr. Gates would go slowly, and that repeal of the ban was not imminent. And it could be a hard sell for the president, even among Democrats; Representative Ike Skelton of Missouri, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, on Thursday restated his opposition to repealing the ban.
Mr. Emanuel, the chief of staff, said he hoped Congressional Democrats would take up the jobs bill next week. Then, in his view, Congress would move to the president’s plan to impose a fee on banks to help offset losses to the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the fund used to bail out banks and automakers.
Lawmakers would next deal with a financial regulatory overhaul, and then pick up where they left off on health care. “All these things start and lead to one place: J-O-B-S,” Mr. Emanuel said.
The execution, of course, will be much easier said than done. Democrats are about to lose their 60-vote supermajority in the Senate, after the recent Republican victory by Scott Brown in a special election to fill the seat held by the late Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts. In the Senate, Republicans have come under intense pressure from their colleagues to stay in the fold.
Even some of Mr. Obama’s allies said that given united Republican opposition, the goal of more cooperation might be out of reach. “In order to dance, you need a dance partner and there ain’t no partner out there,” Senator Bernard Sanders, a Vermont independent, noted.