The mere fact that Republicans are negotiating with the Obama Administration over legislation does not mean that critiques against the Administration are somehow invalidated. You weren’t making this claim about the supposed invalidity of Democratic critiques of George W. Bush when Democrats were negotiating with him over legislation, were you?
Wrong on both counts.
No one on the left doubted George W. Bush's cultural or biographical legitimacy as president. In the first term there were claims of illegitimacy - but on the, er, understandable and technical grounds that he won fewer votes than his opponent, and won via an extremely contentious court case. No one treated the son of a former president as some kind of anti-American or un-American alien, the way Palinites treat Obama. Nonetheless, several Democrats immediately supported his massive tax cut - while no Republicans, in the wake of an Obama landslide - supported a desperately needed stimulus. I do not recall states mulling secession or nullification of federal decisions under the last president.
As for "critiques", GOP cooperation does not invalidate them. But I'm not talking about good faith critiques of policy. I'm talking about the plain fact that Fox News, talk radio, the Pajamas Media network have not just criticized the president, but demonized him as beyond the American pale, lying about his belief in American exceptionalism, tying him to "Kenyan anti-colonialism" or other such Stanley-Kurtz style paranoia-for-pay. Check out the image above. Did it appear in some fringe Larouchian publication? Nope; it was right there in Forbes Magazine, next to a piece by Steve Forbes. Name one MSM publication that photo-shopped Bush in that way.
The level of bile against anything he has done, the loathing projected onto him - for doing what he clearly promised to do - is clearly beyond what happened to Bush. I remember. Because for the first two years of Bush in office, I defended him against those on the left who wouldn't give him the slightest benefit of any doubt. And the fury that crested against him was largely due to the Iraq war - a decision he implicitly ran against in 2000, when he promised a humble foreign policy and less defense spending than Gore.
No, my point stands. By simply rallying behind Obama against his liberal base, the GOP leadership has deeply damaged the grass-roots campaign to make Obama seem like a remote alien, who has taken over America, rather than a president who is trying to govern it. That's one big concession that cannot be measured in dollars and cents, and it will benefit Obama almost as much as the massive second stimulus the GOP just gave him for re-election.