Regarding Ed’s post this morning: While I am happy to be in such good company, I don’t think my frustration with Republicans has much to do with a disregard for voters or an idealization of Barack Obama. I can think of plenty of reasons to vote against Obama. What I have a harder time doing is thinking of reasons to vote for Mitt Romney or to excuse some Republicans’ excessive partisanship. Yesterday I cited clear examples where Republicans changed their minds fundamentally on policy relating to health care, the environment and job-creating stimulus. These flip-flops coincided with Obama’s presidency, and I can’t think of any explanation for them other than seeking to limit the president’s success and damage him politically. The infamous statement of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), just months into Obama’s presidency, that the main goal for Republicans was to make the president a one-termer is more proof positive.
I am also in agreement with Ornstein and Mann who believe that partisanship has reached a new degree of zealotry in some Republican circles, expressed best by Indiana Republican senate candidate Richard Mourdock who said, “I have a mind-set that says bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view.” Mitt Romney is having to march to this tune, moving far right on the budget and immigration, to cite two examples.
Finally, I don’t know whether Obama will win. But if he doesn’t, I won’t blame the voters or him. I’ve been in politics long enough to become forgiving. What I will be interested in then is what message the victors heard from the electorate. Was it that voters want extremists who force their minority views on the country? I doubt it. Voters are smarter than that.