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Does Gregg Withdrawal End Era of Bipartisanship Before it Began?

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Senator Judd Gregg’s sudden withdrawal as the Commerce Secretary nominee raises some disturbing questions. If, as reports indicate, he was soured by the stimulus bill, we have to ask whether President Obama has killed his hopes for bipartisanship before his presidency is even a month old.

By allowing the Democrats, particularly the House Democrats, to all but brush aside Republican concerns, has Obama ruined his chance to work across the aisle? Losing a cabinet nominee over the issue proves the hard feelings about the stimulus package are no small matter. Even if Gregg quit for a variety of reasons, the fact he chose to mention the stimulus has to be concerning for all of us who’ve hoped for a less partisan Washington.

For better or worse, Obama and the Democrats decided their version of the stimulus was too important to delay until a bipartisan bill could be reached. Maybe they’re right. Maybe this was an “act now or die” moment and the Republicans were putting the future of the nation at risk with their obstinacy. But, right or wrong, it looks like Obama will have to work hard on the next few big issues to give his dream of unity a fighting chance. Cut out the Republicans again and it’s going to be a long four years.