Saturday, February 13, 2010


Bipartisanship as a concept is something I'd think anyone can get behind.  In addition to the messaging bonus of being able to say you reached across the aisle, it also provides political cover if there's a perception that both parties supported an idea.  All that notwithstanding, bipartisanship in execution has emerged as an albatross dangling around the president's neck, threatening to strangle off his entire agenda.

Even more frustrating than the opposition living up to its calling is Obama's fruitless crusade to win them over, even when it results in watered down legislation that doesn't garner their support anyway.   Whichever metaphor you like, whether Don Quixote and the windmills or Charlie Brown and the football, at some point you'd think common sense would kick in and he'd try to find another way to get things done rather than risk scuttling his entire presidency on the shores of mythical compromise.

In that sense (and I never thought I'd say this), I find myself wishing he was more like his predecessor, who was able to consistently get more of the minority with less of a majority. The New Republic's Noam Schreiber agrees, and offers some thoughts on what Obama can learn from Bush.

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