The GOP is far from "relevant." Check back in a few years.
The Republican party can throw monkey wrenches everywhere they go. They can even keep trying to embarrass or frustrate Obama and the Democrats as much as they want, but it's not going to help them, and it sure won't help the country. The tactics the GOP has been employing are only going to make people even more bitter about the political climate in the U.S.-- and against both parties. With a young, optimistic President trying to get us through a crisis, all this monkeying around will do a lot more harm to the Republicans than it will to Obama.
This is already starting to remind me of Gingrich's government shutdown in 1995, when he eventually lost his game of Chicken to Clinton-- who emerged from that battle stronger than ever. Naturally, Obama needs to be able to build a coalition around this legislation, but voters are going to give him the benefit of the doubt for a while, no matter what this particular bill looks like in the end. Voters do not trust the Republican Party. As the President has pointed out-- he won the election; the overwhelming majority of American who elected him are in no hurry to run back to the GOP just because they found a litany of a little things they don't like in this bill.
"The historic young President with the political wind at his back has quickly turned testy toward those who disagree with him. Despite promises to the contrary, he's been so rigid that the defeated Republicans are relevant again."
That's Michael Goodwin in the New York Daily News yesterday. I'm sorry, but you can't have your assessment of this new administration taken seriously if in the next breath you label the Republican Party as "relevant." They're playing a valuable watchdog role against the Democrats' excesses, but they have nothing to offer the country right now.