New tone? David Axelrod spoke with National Journal’s Beth Reinhard in a phone interview, excerpts of which were posted a few minutes ago. In the interview, Axelrod decried the “politics of obstruction” — and then compared Republicans to Robespierre:
NJ President Obama has been vague about what he would accomplish in his second term.
AXELROD The president believes you build a strong, sustainable economy by building a strong, viable growing middle class. You have to continue to upgrade our educational system and improve access to higher education and technical training. We have to invest in research and development and the kinds of things that will create high-end, advanced manufacturing jobs. We have to continue to open up markets all over the world for American products. We need to continue with an all-of-the-above energy policy and really push for the development of all sources of energy. Immigration reform is an unfinished piece of business. But the principal thing we need to be pursuing is a very aggressive strategy of putting people back to work.
NJ How would the president accomplish those goals with a Republican-controlled House and possibly Senate?
AXELROD They have had a policy of obstruction from the day the president arrived. When the president is reelected, it will be a rejection of the politics of obstruction. There’s this reign of terror going on in the Republican Party.
I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised to hear this kind of rhetoric from the flailing and failing Obama campaign. Axelrod and his cohorts have gotten outfought, outraised, and outclassed in two short months after having the field all to themselves for over a year. Yesterday, the campaign accused Mitt Romney of being a felon, which prompted a demand for an apology that will not be coming forthwith, almost assuredly.
Axelrod is not just a cheap demagogue, he’s also a cheap small-d democrat. Voters sent a Republican-controlled House to Washington specifically to force a change in policy, a message that Axelrod and Barack Obama ignored. The House, by the way, has passed budgets and more than a dozen jobs bills. It’s the Democratic-controlled Senate that has been the obstruction, refusing to pass budgets so that conference committees can resolve issues, and ignoring the House jobs bills altogether. Obama has shown zero leadership on this issue, griping about Republican dissent while ignoring completely that his own party has yet to cast one single supporting vote in three tries on his own budget proposals, and won’t even attempt to hold a vote on Obama’s tax proposals.
The actual “reign of terror,” for the sake of those as historically illiterate as Axelrod, took place during the French Revolution, when it turned bloody. The revolutionaries became as despotic as the monarchy they deposed, executing thousands for dissent and purported betrayal of the revolution. It’s actually the opposite of what Republicans are doing in Congress by opposing Obama’s agenda and attempting to push forward their own. That’s as ignorant an analogy as one might see in American politics.
The real terror for Axelrod is that he’s about to lose an election, and his campaign still hasn’t figured out what its theme is yet. The strong stench of desperation is in the air, as well as the even more pungent stench of demagoguery. Axelrod should be ashamed, but won’t be.