On the way home from his trip around the world, the President had this exchange with a reporter:
Q Mr. President, you said it right after the election in the news conference that you were going to do some reflecting about what it meant. And now you’ve had this 10 days away, seeing a lot of different people. Can you reflect at all for us about how you might change your agenda, change your style, and how these travels might have affected your thinking?
THE PRESIDENT: As I said in the press conference the day after the election, I spent the first two years trying to get policy right based on my best judgment about how we were going to deal with the short-term crisis and how we were going to retool to compete in this new global economy.
In that obsessive focus on policy, I neglected some things that matter a lot to people, and rightly so: maintaining a bipartisan tone in Washington…
Yes, you read that right. Obama apparently doesn’t think he’s been bipartisan enough. And, I’d argue he didn’t get a lot of the policy right either.
Of course the White House is misreading the results of the election. Of course they are. Their first response is to compromise more (as if that’s possible). Their other instinct is to blame the liberal base. For the past two years, it’s been pretty clear that the crew at the White House think they are the smartest people in the world. They’re not. Not even close:
Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) and an outspoken critic of the White House, said liberal anger has less to do with fears of a Clintonian move to the middle by Obama and more with a misreading of the election results by the administration.
“It’s less ‘Oh no, they’re triangulating,’ and more ‘Boy, their political instincts are really stupid,’ ” said Green, who along with other liberals has blasted the White House for suggesting it would compromise with Republicans on expiring tax cuts.
The White House “fundamentally” doesn’t get that “the only way to get Republicans to deal in good faith is to fight them, crush them and teach a lesson that if Republicans are on the wrong side of an issue there will be consequences … so it makes sense to negotiate,” Green said.
“Right now, every time Republicans are on the opposite side of an issue from the public, it’s the Democrats who cave and talk about ‘compromise.’ It’s ridiculous.”
It’s completely ridiculous.