Time to Punish Republicans:
They need to be punished. It's really about the only thing Americans as a whole understand. You try to fuck up someone's shit, you gotta pay.
The Obama administration is, to some extent, misreading the zeitgeist of the election. When many, many people voted for "hope" and "change," what they were voting for was to punish those fuckers who fucked it all up. Americans like to punish. For good or ill, it's one of those things we're particularly skilled at. Take the economic crisis. What David Axelrod understood and what Tim Geithner misread was that the vast majority of Americans don't want the president of Wells Fargo handed a shitload of cash and be told to keep it above the waist. No, they want him set on fire on the steps of the Federal Reserve.
This idea of punishment is not a simple thing. Remember: the election in November was not the revenge. It was a vote to set up the comeuppance. Truly, if it were a different era and we were a different people, the Bush administration would have been hanged in toto sometime in 2006 or 2007. We're not that far removed from that savagery. At the end of the day, there's gotta be consequences for people's actions or there's gonna be chaos.
Which brings us around to the Republicans in the wake of their behavior during the economic stimulus debate and passage. They have violated almost every rule of negotiating in good faith. They smiled in Barack Obama's face and then headed back to the cloakroom to giggle at what clever little liars they were. They decided that the path to relevance was irrelevance. As expected, they threatened to cut out the kidneys of anyone in the caucus who was veering towards voting for the bill, so that, no matter how much good it might do for, say, a hurricane devastated district, they would vote "no." And then some of the fuckers end up praising the thing they voted against because of all the cash money that's going to their constituents.
Which brings us back, in a roundabout way, to torture and other Bush administration crimes and ethical reamings. See, when the Obama administration was sending out signals that it would be willing to forgo serious inquiries into who-authorized-what as it relates to the various -gates from the previous administration, that was an olive branch to Republicans, a way of saying, "You give us some shit we need, we won't spank you for being accomplices to crimes" (by the way, Democrats don't get away clean on this). It was, in terms of the DC circle jerk of power, a pretty fuckin' big concession. Republicans took that olive branch, broke it, shit on it, and flung it back at the White House.
So this is where you get to punishment, which has gotta be far more subversive than a good ol' crops-burning. As more and more comes out about how very fucked things were, especially in the Justice Department, it becomes easier to sell and less divisive to a public that is unified behind President Obama that a full investigation of Bush-era scandals is a must, with the possibility of a few prosecutions (because, let's face it, no matter how much immunity you grant Karl Rove, that cockmonger ain't gonna talk).
Then Republicans will be faced with having to support disgraced criminals and incompetent lackeys or with turning on the leaders they previously supported. Implosion, motherfuckers, careers made and lost on that decision. Now that's how you punish.
And as for the chimera of bipartisanship? What Obama is doing now is redefining it. Fuck the Republicans in Congress. Who needs them when you can say that GOP governors are on your side?