Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I suppose we ought to mark yesterday on a calendar, because we may find ourselves looking back on it fondly, as a frustratingly brief taste of what might have been. First, there was Barack Obama's contentious meeting with Republican senators, in which he apparently got up the noses of self-serving, whiny, petulant SOBs such as John McCain, Bob Corker, and Pat Roberts, the latter of whom responded with pot-meets-kettle sniveling. ("He needs to take a Valium before he comes in and talks to Republicans," Sen. Pat Roberts (Kan.) told reporters. "He's pretty thin-skinned.")

That was followed by this at a San Francisco fund-raiser last night:

President Barack Obama ... deliver[ed] some of his harshest criticism yet of the Republican Party....

Noting that sometimes conservative activists portray him with a Hitler moustache, Obama seemed to put to rest any notion that there could be broad-based bipartisan cooperation....

"There are members of their base who think if somebody even smiles at me, they think, 'You're a traitor. You smiled at Obama,'" the president said at fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). "The day has passed when I expected this to be a full partnership."

...By the end of the night, Obama had thoroughly torn into Republicans on bipartisanship, even as he said he doesn't need more than 10 of them to pass his key priorities.

... Obama put the blame for a lack of bipartisanship in Washington squarely on Republicans....

Wouldn't it be nice if this were a permanent change in Obama's approach? Wouldn't it be terrific if he's learned his lesson?

But that's not the way it's going to go. I'd love to be proved wrong, but that's just not in Obama's nature -- even now he's responding to Jan Brewer's effort to shift the immigration middle ground rightward by shipping National Guard troops to the border and hoping it'll quiet demands for a teabaggish approach to the issue. (It won't.) Obama got angry yesterday, but if he continues in this vein he'll be told, first by faux-concerned prominent Republicans, then by centrist pundits, that this just won't do and he'd better make greater efforts to seek bipartisan consensus if he's knows what's good for him, and for the Repubhlic. And, unless he really has changed, that's just what he'll do. And we'll look back on yesterday as the day Obama, like William Shatner in that Saturday Night Live sketch, told his antagonist partners off, only to be informed that that just isn't done:

William Shatner: Of course, that speech was a "re-creation" of the "Evil Captain Kirk" from um... Episode, um... [ Emcee whispers ] THIRTY-SEVEN... uhh... called... [ another whisper ] "The Enemy Within."

[ Trekkies get happy, applaud ]

William Shatner: Yuh, Yuh, so thank you... and, and... Live Long and Prosper...

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