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Obama Still Doesn’t Get the Republicans

October 20th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

A must-read article recently appeared in the New York Times magazine which provides a great deal of insight into the mindset of the Obama administration as it anticipates significant losses in the upcoming mid-term elections.

The article is eight pages long and covers a wide range of topics, but what struck me most was this passage at the end:

Obama expressed optimism to me that he could make common cause with Republicans after the midterm elections. “It may be that regardless of what happens after this election, they feel more responsible,” he said, “either because they didn’t do as well as they anticipated, and so the strategy of just saying no to everything and sitting on the sidelines and throwing bombs didn’t work for them, or they did reasonably well, in which case the American people are going to be looking to them to offer serious proposals and work with me in a serious way.”

*heavy sigh*

Really?

Really, Barack? You think the republicans are going to start acting responsibly after the elections? That they’re going to start working with you to pass bi-partisan legislation to improve the lives of the American people?

I would ask you if you’ve been paying any attention at all to the Republican Party over the last two years if I hadn’t just read eight pages indicating quite clearly that you have. So how is it that you think this same Republican Party that has opposed you at every turn to the point where they stop supporting legislation they’ve always favored just because you support it too is going to suddenly start working with you after the mid-terms?

Even if they wanted to, the Tea Party wouldn’t stand for it. Any compromise, any cooperation whatsoever will be met with cries of treason.

You might think that the obstructionist strategy might be abandoned if it results in a failure to take control of the House, but the conservative base these days is not results-oriented. They’d rather have a minority of ideologically pure conservatives than a majority of moderates willing to work with an evil Kenyan-socialist-Muslim-terrorist-sympathizer.

You might think that if the republicans do take control they’ll feel some sense of responsibility to make the economy better, but that’s an idiotic notion as well. Not only would they see their obstruct-everything strategy as having paid off and thus decide to double-down in preparation for 2012, but they’ll still have a vested interest in making sure the American people (except the very rich) are suffering financially because all of the blame can be laid at the feet of the Democratic president. Even now they blame the economic crisis not on Bush but on the democrats in congress. They never take responsibility for anything, and they sure as hell aren’t going to start if they win back the House.

No, if republicans take control of the House as everyone expects they will, we can expect an endless slew of investigations into bullshit accusations against democrats and quite possibly an effort to impeach Obama for whatever ridiculous charge they can come up with. They’ve found that political success on the right is as easy as making Obama into Public Enemy #1 and fighting him as forcefully as possible.

The rest of the article suggests that Obama plans to spend the next two years treading softly and not pushing for anything too big. Great. That’s just what we need. Now that we’ve dealt with this country’s massive, blood-spurting wounds by slapping a few band-aids on them, we can focus our attention on the little cuts and bruises and hope everyone just forgets about the missing limbs.

And while we’re at it, let’s invite the people responsible for chopping off those limbs and making sure the wounds stay open to help us out with the little things. Maybe they will. Obama seems to think so.

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