Of all the liberal notions about Barack Obama, perhaps the most specious is that of his bipartisanship. When House Democrats crafted his “stimulus,” they didn’t consult with Republicans. Indeed, when one Republican objected to some of its provisions, he rebuked him by saying simply, “I won.”
[P]erhaps we are being too literal in believing that “hope” and bipartisanship are things that Obama naively believes are present and possible, when in fact they are a tactic…
One way to deal with that kind of bad-faith [conservative] opposition is to draw the person in, treat them as if they were operating in good faith, and draw them into a conversation about how they actually would solve the problem. If they have nothing, it shows.
Is this guy kidding himself? It’s members of this conservative opposition who are putting forward solutions to our nation’s problem, as per this post today on Hot Air about a proposal to reform Medicare authored by Republicans Sens. Tom Coburn (Okla.) and Richard Burr (N.C.):
Coburn said it best when he explained to The Washington Times why they decided to release the plan in an election year, when it’s unlikely to actually go anywhere: “All of us in Congress are running around fixing everything except our biggest problem. If you don’t start fixing Medicare, you can’t save it.”
If the president were truly interesting in seeking bipartisan solutions, he would call these two men to his office and talk to them about their proposal. He and Coburn became friends while serving together in the Senate. And he would have called Paul Ryan last year when he put forward a plan to reform Medicare as part of a budget proposal to scale back federal spending.
But, as Michael Barone reports, though he wondered if his aides had looked at the proposals, he didn’t make any effort to contact the Republican leader himself:
At one point Lizza does quote Obama writing on a memo, “Have we looked at any of the other GOP recommendations (e.g., Paul Ryan’s) to see if they make any sense?” Another president might have looked at Ryan’s proposals himself, or might even have called him on the phone.
A man interested in bipartisanship would have made the call — and like a Democratic Senator from Oregon worked with the Wisconsin Republican to craft a bipartisan plan.