Twenty years ago, when he was trying to persuade Bill and Hillary Clinton that universal health care was a politically unrealistic goal, the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (a Democrat) repeated one insistent warning:
Sweeping, historic laws don’t pass barely. “They pass 70-to-30, or they fail.”
Four years ago, when he was trying to persuade Barack Obama that he would pay a terrible price for jamming health care reform through a reluctant Congress on a partisan vote, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel begged his boss to settle for a vastly scaled-down plan.
We now know what happened: Obama’s bill made history — and caused all-out political war. For this president, that’s the price of doing business in a hyper-partisan culture.
Therein lies the essence of the battle. Think about it: what has Barack Obama accomplished in nearly five years in a bipartisan manner? Immigration “reform”? Tax “reform”? His unilateral decision to suspend welfare-to-work requirements? His attempt to ram through gun-control legislation by exploiting Sandy Hook victims?
Daniel Patrick Moynihan was right. So was Rahm Emanuel. Both Democrats. Who’da thunk it?
The facts are these: For the most part, Obama’s “victories” have been pyrrhic. He has “won” either through partisan party-line vote – accompanied by the blaming and ridiculing Republicans along the way – or by executive order. Yet – astonishingly – he blames Republicans for partisanship.
As has been pointed out by numerous Republicans over the last couple of days, this president has no problem negotiating with Russians, Syrians or Iranians, but when it comes to working with Republicans in Congress, not so much – choosing instead to continue his never-ending campaign of bus tours and speeches before adoring college students.
But hey, what better venue could he choose to ridicule and blame Republicans for all that ails America?