I’m pretty sure this is the New Civility in action, right? David Plouffe was one of the chief architects of Hope and Change, where naked partisanship would give way to Team Obama’s sense of cool leadership, where the bitterness of the past would be eclipsed by pragmatic, ideology-free competence. More than four years in, how close has Barack Obama and Plouffe come?
Oh, who are we kidding? This is pure Chicago sur le Potomac. Appreciate it for what it is:
President Barack Obama’s senior White House adviser and former campaign manager David Plouffe accused House Republicans of “committing economic treason” during the partial government shutdown on Thursday.
In a snarky tweet about Republicans’ attempts to negotiate an end to the government shutdown, Plouffe dredged up the “birther” issue in order to discredit the GOP:
Maybe throw in a Special Counsel to investigate the President's birthplace and the House GOP will stop committing economic treason.
— David Plouffe (@davidplouffe) October 10, 2013
If nothing else, consider this a measuring stick of White House desperation. With Obama’s popularity unexpectedly dropping like a rock (along with the GOP’s), obviously it’s no longer enough to call Republicans obstructionists, hostage takers, and terrorists — while adamantly declaring that the President shouldn’t have to negotiate until his opponents give up all their legitimate political leverage. Plouffe and Obama’s team now need to escalate a fight over deficits to Benedict Arnold levels, along with the now-laughable gripe about the birthers that the White House likes far more than Republicans do, for just this purpose.
This is a perfect time to include an interview conducted by our great friend Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday with CNN’s Jake Tapper, via Mediate. Tapper tries to steer clear of political conclusions, but pointedly notes that he’s not hearing any terrorist/hostage-taker/traitor rhetoric coming from Republicans:
“Do you think the President and the Democrats’ rhetoric is qualitatively different than the Speaker and the Republicans’ rhetoric?” Hewitt asked.
Tapper’s response: “Well, I haven’t heard the Republicans, we’re just talking about insults now, not anything else. I haven’t heard Republicans comparing the Democrats to suicide bombers or to kidnappers or to arsonists. But it’s possible that I’m not paying close enough attention.” …
Ultimately, he said, “none of it is helpful,” especially after the president’s senior adviser Dan Pfeifferwent on CNN and perform the “hat trick of comparing the Republicans to suicide bombers, arsonists and kidnappers all in one interview.”
Just in case you’re not keeping score, Investors Business Daily is:
Remember when President Obama was showered with kudos for his 2011 speech calling for “more civility in our public discourse”?… [A]s a sample of his recent words used to attack Republicans proves, he hasn’t followed his own advice:
• “Putting a gun to the American people’s head.”
• “One party in Congress might blow the whole thing up if they don’t get their way.”
• “Demand ransom.”
• “Burn down your house.”
• “Hold people hostage or engage in ransom-taking to get a hundred percent of your way.” …
On CNN last week, moreover, senior Obama aide Dan Pfeiffer called Republicans “people with a bomb strapped to their chest.” Yet at the Tuesday press conference, Obama actually quipped that “what the American people, I think, expect is just civility.”
Maybe it should start with you, Mr. President.