May
12
2013

Even the Left is admitting that Barack Obama has fatally hurt future bipartisanship efforts.

John Dickerson took perhaps too long to get to this paragraph, and he wrote it through gritted teeth, but he does put a finger on the central problem for the Obama administration right now:

The substantive differences between the president and Republicans on the budget may be insurmountable, but now it seems like even if the pipe dream of a substantive budget agreement could be reached it wouldn’t be enough. Even if Republican senators can engage in a trust-building exercise with the White House, how can they convince their constituents that the president is offering them a fair deal on the budget? A poisoned well is now roiling. Any Republican who tries to convince their constituents about a deal will now likely get funny looks. Their constituents would wonder why they were engaged in negotiations with an administration that has told evolving stories about its response to the attack in Benghazi and that houses an IRS targeting conservative groups.

And here’s the thing: their constituents would be right.  The IRS thing is the really bad one, actually, given that it’s really really easy to explain that one in terms that everybody gets intuitively.  As Joe Klein (absolutely no friend at all of the GOP) notes,”they[*] have violated one of the more sacred rules of our democracy: you do not use the tax code to punish your opponents.”  And what will compound the problem is that I have precisely zero confidence that the Obama administration will have the good sense to beat the IRS until it’s howling for mercy AND conduct a public and messy internal purge of White House staffers.  The former is likely; the latter is not.  And it’s the latter that’s going to have to happen if the Obama administration wants to stand down from the current situation.

:pause:

The Obama administration really should want to stand down from the current situation.  They don’t want to, but they should want to.

(Links via RCP)

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*”They,” to Joe Klein, means “political hacks populating the mid-reaches of this Administration.” “They,” to me, means “the whole darn executive branch, top to bottom.”  I’ll let my readers decide for themselves which is the more accurate meaning.

2 Comments

  • Brian Swisher says:

    Mmm…I’d seed the “howling for mercy” bit as possible, but not probable…but that’s just me.

  • tnfriendofcoal101368 says:

    This administration’s ability to sustain itself is approaching a mutant ability. Off the top of my head, I can come up with four scandals that should have had Obama on a plane to Hawaii in the Richard Nixon pose:

    1) Fast and Furious – Administration actually gets American citizens killed (border patrol officers no less) as well as untold thousands of Mexican citizens caught in the cross fire of a drug war.

    2) Solyndra/Alternative Energy – Administration uses tax payer money as kickbacks to big donors. If a publically traded company had done the same thing, the CEO would be a cellmate with Jeffrey Skilling.

    3) IRS targeting conservatives

    4) Benghazi

    Last two speak for themselves. I am not sure I have seen this level of corruption in a political machine in my lifetime. Clearly, the media’s emotional investment in the administration has clouded their better judgements (or a key administration “official” got lucky his brother runs a major news organization, there is that too).

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