The GOP of 2009 is quite different than the Party we have become accustomed to over the last decade or so. As odd as it may seem, today's Republican Party is a highly concentrated form of the 2000 through 2004 Gang that brought us Iraq, a trillion dollar deficit, and Freedom Fries. While the Democrats were trouncing the Republicans in both 2006 and 2008, few seemed to notice that the Republicans who were ousted were those who made up the moderate voice of the GOP. Those Republicans who were in districts with an ideologically diverse constituency were nearly all replaced when the Country began trending blue. As the GOP loses it's moderate voice it becomes more conservative which ultimately drives away the remaining moderates and guess what, the Party becomes even more conservative. A political trend which, if it continues, will ultimately leave a small, angry, and powerless group of White Protestant Southerners commiserating about how the minorities, Yankees, and Hippies are bringing this country to ruin.
The 2009 GOP is made up of mostly Southern and Western hard core right wingers who answer to bright red districts. Regardless of the ideological moderation which seems to have blanketed America, their home town voters are the true believers. The Sarah Palin supporters who spent the general election convinced that Barack Obama was a Muslim who sat in a Church for 20 years listening to a radical Christian preacher.
President Obama began his Presidency attempting to cross Party lines to compromise, and maybe even synergize, with his opposition. He quickly found out that the crew he faces now will not be bargained with. They will fight him on every issue and put the future at risk to win a battle against him today. The recent appearances of Jim Imhoff and Lindsey Graham spitting anger and venom on MSNBC painted a grim picture for those hoping for bi-partisan governance.
President Obama will need to consolidate power within his own Party in order to push through many of the initiatives he proposed during his Campaign. The dozen or so Democrats who opposed the stimulus bill in the house must be brought back in line, and it may be necessary to unleash Rahm Emanuel to get the job done.