While the tone of Robert Kuttner’s piece in the Huffington Post breathes contempt for Republicans and betrays a great misunderstanding of popular opinion, particularly in the Bay State, his title gives the game away about the real modus operandi of the Obami: Obama Rejects Bipartisan Bank Deal.
Yup, they’re the ones rejecting bipartisanship.
The Democrat’s campaign rhetoric notwithstanding, he’s not interesting in working with Republicans. President Obama never was, provided such work meant incorporating Republican ideas into the overall structure of his legislative initiatives. Yeah, sure, just like his rhetoric, he’ll throw in a few minor Republican ideas as window-dressing to call it bipartisan, but when he works out his deals, he works with the most hyperpartisan Democrats in Congress, those known for their contempt for conservatives and their commitment to big government policies.
Although Senate Banking Committee Chair Chris Dodd and his sometime Republican ally Richard Shelby continued to make noises on the Sunday talk shows about a possible bipartisan deal, both President Obama and House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank have personally urged Dodd not to cut a deal with Republicans. I asked Frank point blank why Dodd would want such a deal, and he said–on the record–“I have no idea, but both President Obama and I have urged him not to.”
This is a welcome sign that Obama realizes that public opinion is moving in the direction of tougher banking reform, and that he learned from the health debate that bipartisan compromise on key reform issues is a snare and a delusion.
Yeah, of course, Barney doesn’t want to cut a deal with Republicans. Barney doesn’t like Republicans. You know, he kind of blames them for everything.
And this snare and delusion? It’s all in Obama’s rhetoric, trying to trap Republicans by pretending he’s some magnanimous figure while obscuring his liberal record and beliefs. Kuttner can spin it however he wants, but he does admit at least that the Democrat is the one putting the kibosh on bipartisan reform. Just like he did with health care.
David Frum, are you paying attention?