Posts Tagged ‘House Republicans’

As what looks to be an historic mid-term shellacing of the Democrats looms, we’re already beginning to hear voices–both within and without the Republican Party–calling for “compromise” between the new Congress and the President. Many of the usual suspects in the media will take it upon themselves to “warn the Republicans” that they’d better get on board with the Obama agenda, or else they’ll be thrown out of the offices they won precisely by campaigning against said agenda.   With that in mind, let’s take a brief stroll down memory lane and recall just what “compromise” means when on the lips of the Left.

Remember that magical year of 2001 when “Jumpin’ Jim” Jeffords of VT decided he was done with the Republican Party and elected to declare himself an independent caucusing with the Democrats?  Despite the fact that the Democrats seized control of one branch of the Legislature without even winning an election, that didn’t stop them from becoming “the party of ‘no'” with regards to President Bush’s judicial nominees.  The power of their newfound single-vote majority was acted upon as if they had received an overwhelming electoral mandate.

Not only did the newly-Democratic Senate not seem in a particularly conciliatory mood, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) had no problem asserting his expectation that, “We expect them [i.e., the Bush Administration] to rethink, to recalibrate their political calculations when they send up nominees to us.

Fellow senator, Patrick Leahy (D-VT) seemed no more interested in compromising with Bush when he warned: “I made it clear to the White House and to the White House counsel that we are not going to be a rubber stamp.”

Following his own election to the Presidency, Obama’s talk of “changing the tone in Washington” shifted rather dramatically.  He told legislators of his own party, “Americans did not vote for the status quo–they sent us here to bring change.”

A question then, Mr. President:  If those same voters toss out the majority of your legislators in two days, will that too be a repudiation of the status quo?  Will it too be a mandate for a change of direction?

The President’s defenders, of course, will accuse me of oversimplifying the case.  (Facts and direct quotations are rather inconvenient things, aren’t they?) They will say that the President’s efforts at compromise have been far more “nuanced” (which is to say, “nonexistent”) than my analysis allows for.  Very well, perhaps we should give ear to the analysis of Democratic pollsters Doug Schoen:

Ideally [President Obama] wants bipartisanship. If that doesn’t work, ‘We won, you lost. You’re discredited. We’re not.’ That’s kind of his fallback position.

Nor was this carpe diem attitude of “now-it’s-our-turn-so-we’re-gonna-ram-through-everything-we-can” restricted to the elected politicians.  Recall this even-handed commentary from fair-and-balanced journalist, Chris Matthews:

You’re quite right, Mr. Matthews, we shouldn’t “pussyfoot” around, apologize for winning, or worry about getting along with the President.  Thank you very much for endorsing, in advance, the opposition of the newly conservative House.