In today’s Wall Street Journal, Will McGurn points us to three paragraph’s from President Obama’s “Audacity” book that are quite astonishing in light of how he and his party have governed in their first few weeks in office. McGurn wrote:
In a passage from his 2006 book, “The Audacity of Hope,” he sounds like a Republican complaining about the stimulus. “Genuine bipartisanship,” he wrote, “assumes an honest process of give-and-take, and that the quality of the compromise is measured by how well it serves some agreed-upon goal, whether better schools or lower deficits. This in turn assumes that the majority will be constrained — by an exacting press corps and ultimately an informed electorate — to negotiate in good faith.
“If these conditions do not hold — if nobody outside Washington is really paying attention to the substance of the bill, if the true costs . . . are buried in phony accounting and understated by a trillion dollars or so — the majority party can begin every negotiation by asking for 100% of what it wants, go on to concede 10%, and then accuse any member of the minority party who fails to support this ‘compromise’ of being ‘obstructionist.’
“For the minority party in such circumstances, ‘bipartisanship’ comes to mean getting chronically steamrolled, although individual senators may enjoy certain political rewards by consistently going along with the majority and hence gaining a reputation for being ‘moderate’ or ‘centrist.'”
Of course, these views were formed and expressed prior to the Democrats taking control of both houses of Congress in 2006. Some questions:
Is President Obama aware that he and his allies just committed every sin he decried above? If so, is he at all embarassed by this fact? And how to we reconcile these lofty sentiments with, “I won?”