…so you all are stuck with me for the next few weeks. Posts will be intermittent as my schedule these days is not especially conducive to blogging. Expect less Republican-bashing and more douchebag-Democrat-bashing.
Yesterday the Douchebag-in-Chief hosted some of the more popular bloggers who are critical of him for a discussion on the many ways he is blowing it. From what I can tell, AmericaBlog, Crooks & Liars, and Atrios were there, but none are identified in the transcript. I wanted to flag this portion for opvious reasons:
Q: Mr. President, you’ve said that you want to work with Republicans after the election, but there’s probably a pretty good chance that they’re not going to advance with you. Is there sort of a breaking point you have of where you try to work with them and they just refuse to budge, which they’ve indicated so far? Is there a breaking point for you just like you’re going to have to go off on your own and find a way around them?
THE PRESIDENT:Look, the — I’m a pretty stubborn guy when it comes to, on the one hand, trying to get cooperation. I don’t give up just because I didn’t get cooperation on this issue; I’ll try the next issue. If the Republicans don’t agree with me on fiscal policy, maybe they’ll agree with me on infrastructure. If they don’t agree with me on infrastructure, I’ll try to see if they agree with me on education.
So I’m just going to keep on trying to see where they want to move the country forward.
In that sense, there’s not a breaking point for me. There are some core principles that I think are important for not just me to stick with but for the country to stick with. So if the Republicans say we need to cut our investments in education, at a time when we know that our success as a nation is largely going to depend on how well trained our workforce is, I’m going to say no. And there are going to be areas where, after working very hard, we just can’t find compromise and I’m going to be standing my ground, then essentially we debate it before the American people.
But I don’t go into the next two years assuming that there’s just going to be gridlock. We’re going to keep on working to make sure that we can get as much done as possible because folks are hurting out there. What they’re looking for is help on jobs, help on keeping their homes, help on sending their kids to college. And if I can find ways for us to work with Republicans to advance those issues, then that’s going to be my priority.
I’ve been banging this drum from literally Obama’s first speech on the national scene, his keynote at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. As the Republican party has become more and more radicalized, Obama’s strategy has been exactly the same. I wrote the following in May of 2007:
The main theme of Obama’s campaign is of course, compromise. And that sounds great, and has obviously sent legions of impressionable young voters swooning, but none, not even Obama himself has been able to explain why, in practical terms this is desirable, or even provide a substantive example where compromise would yield a more desirable outcome than the ideas the Democratic party already espouses. I’ve been over this here many times, and my questions have always been “What is there to compromise on?” and “Who is there to compromise with?” These aren’t rhetorical questions, and despite an audience numbered in the mid-four digits, no one has made much of an effort to answer either one. While I’d be more than happy to hear thoughts on this from Obama supporters, who probably constitute more than 1,000 of the people reading this, I’m going to assume for a moment that I’ll be waiting in vain because deep down, even the most fervent Obamaniacs know that there’s no compromise with Mitch McConnell and Trent Lott in the Senate, John Boehner and Roy Blunt in the House, and large swaths of the constituents they and their ilk represent.
Yes, Trent Lott is not in the Senate anymore, but then again, Trent Lott is a moderate Republican by today’s standards. Roy Blunt is set to win a Senate seat in Missouri. And Mitch McConnell. Mitchy. Mitchy, mitchy, Mitchy. Here’s what Mitchy said earlier this week:
If Republicans are to enjoy a midterm triumph in 2010 as they did in 1994, McConnell said his party should say: “Those of you who helped make this a good day, you need to go out and help us finish the job.”
Asked what that “job” was, McConnell explained that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
Yeah, there’s a lot of common ground there, Obama. Have fun
UPDATE 8:00am PDT:
Incoming Speaker of the House John Boehner:
“This is not a time for compromise, and I can tell you that we will not compromise on our principles,” Boehner said during an appearance on conservative Sean Hannity’s radio show.
And conference chairman Mike Pence:
“Look, the time to go along and get along is over,” said Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.), the chairman of the House Republican Conference. “House Republicans know that. We’ve taken firm and principled stands against their big government plans throughout this Congress, and we’ve got, if the American people will send them, we’ve got a cavalry of men and women headed to Washington, D.C. that are going to stand with us.”
Pence said his party wouldn’t compromise on issues like spending or healthcare reform, two of the weightiest items on Congress’s agenda next year, when the Republicans could control one or both chambers.