President Obama might have criticized how House Republicans rolled over for President Bush, but likely expected something similar from Democrats. But Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already shown she won’t hew to Obama’s agenda, reports Time. They’re out of step on the auto bailout, tax cuts, and most prominently, the stimulus package: Obama, seeking GOP votes, wanted less spending and more tax cuts than Pelosi delivered.
Pelosi wanted to give Obama a lesson about bipartisanship, says a staffer close to her: “They’re all going to vote against you and then come to your cocktail party that night.” And Republicans are seeking to exploit the division. Says one, “We’d encourage the House leadership to emulate the president.” But, one political scientist suggests, it’s just good cop/bad cop.