If Obama signs new laws, it will be interpreted as him beating the other team. That only happens if Republicans cooperate. And Republicans don’t want to lose!
Yesterday, Sargent highlighted a revealing statement on the failure of the background check bill from Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) that ought to put a stop to all the magical thinking about Obama and leadership
“In the end it didn’t pass because we’re so politicized. There were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it,” Toomey said.
In his 2012 book “The New New Deal,” Michael Grunwald writes that Vice President Biden told him that during the transition, “seven different Republican Senators” told him that “McConnell had demanded unified resistance.” Biden said, “The way it was characterized to me was: ‘For the next two years, we can’t let you succeed in anything. That’s our ticket to coming back.’ ”
That was after Obama and Biden were elected in 2008 but before they were inaugurated in 2009. Grunwald’s revelation was on top of what we learned in Robert Drapers’s 2012 book “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives.” During a four-hour dinner the night before Obama’s first swearing-in, the Republican leadership met to plot their multi-year recalcitrance.
So, if folks are going to talk about Obama’s “inability to lead” they need to be fully mindful of just how responsible the Republican Party is for it.
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