Greg Sargent confuses Obama with Elizabeth Warren. Or with Harry Reid. While Obama confuses the congressional Republicans with Michelle.
Presuming Republicans win the Upper Chamber, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will claim a new era of constructive governance has arrived, while simultaneously claiming a mandate to chip away at President Obama’s already achieved policy gains. (Those who profess a love for bipartisan cooperation will politely ignore this absurdity.) But McConnell’s only way to re-litigate Obama’s policies will remain budgetary guerrilla warfare that will only work if Obama allows it to work, which he won’t, which he won’t. This election won’t resolve any of the larger arguments of the Obama era — whether backward looking or forward looking — and while compromises may be possible here and there, the big picture will mostly be more stalemate.
— Morning Plum: Get ready for more gridlock and dysfunction, Greg Sargent, this morning
McConnell’s only way to re-litigate Obama’s policies will remain budgetary guerrilla warfare that will only work if Obama allows it to work. Which, if past is prologue, he will. And with Obama, past is always prologue.
Obama spent the first three years of his presidency, and, intensely, 2011, waving the budgetary white flag so desperately that it was only the farthest-right contingent of House members that prevented significant changes to Social Security, Medicare and other major safety-net programs. The House contingent that blocked the deal did so because it didn’t go far enough, in their opinion. But it went very far.
What I remember most strikingly from that period, and what Sargent apparently has forgotten, is Obama’s angry public response to the death of this Republican-dream legislation. Always one to invoke some stunningly stupid family-is-like-government analogy, however clearly the analogy adopts the Republicans’ factually erroneous and very harmful policy mantras (“Families are tightening their belts, so the government should tighten its belt, too.”), Obama said he was willing to give the Republicans 90% of what they wanted if they would give him 10% of what he wanted, because that’s his arrangement with Michelle.
His party controlled the executive branch and one-half of the legislative branch. But he was willing to give the one-half of the legislative branch controlled by the Republicans 90% of what they wanted. If only they would stop looking that gift horse in the mouth.
Biden said yesterday that “we’re willing to compromise.” Read: “We’re willing to cave.” And the Dems’ standard-bearer-apparent—who’s aggressively blocking anyone else from running for the presidential nomination—couldn’t explain Keynesian economics, or cite healthcare coverage or healthcare-cost-reduction specifics, to save her life, yet she’s what will pass for the Dems’ fallback voice.