April 9, 2009

THE THING TO KEEP IN MIND...:

The President Has Become a Divisive Figure: Compare his start with George W. Bush's. (KARL ROVE, 4/08/09, WS Journal)

His campaign promised post-partisanship, but since taking office Mr. Obama has frozen Republicans out of the deliberative process, and his response to their suggestions has been a brusque dismissal that "I won."

Compare this with Mr. Bush's actions in the aftermath of his election. Among his first appointments were Democratic judicial nominees who had been blocked by Republicans under President Bill Clinton. The Bush White House joined with Democratic and Republican leaders to draft education reform legislation. And Mr. Bush worked with Republican Chuck Grassley to cut a deal with Democrat Max Baucus to win bipartisan passage of a big tax cut in a Senate split 50-50 after the 2000 election.

Mr. Obama has hastened the decline of Republican support with petty attacks on his critics and predecessor. For a person who promised hope and civility in politics, Mr. Obama has shown a borderline obsessiveness in blaming Mr. Bush. Starting with his inaugural address and continuing through this week's overseas trip, the new president's jabs at Mr. Bush have been unceasing, unfair and unhelpful. They have also diminished Mr. Obama by showing him to be another conventional politician. Rather than ending "the blame game," he is personifying it.

The question that will worry the Obama West Wing is whether the views of independents come to look more like Democrats or Republicans. Recent opinion surveys show that support for his policies among independents is slipping.


...is that W had certain political beliefs, but understood that not all shared them, whereas the UR believes only in himself and, therefore, if you don't share that belief you de facto oppose him. Thus all disagreements must be personal for him and the pettiness follows.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 9, 2009 9:13 AM
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