This kind of reminds me of that terrifyingly honest “I will transmit this information to Vladimir” hot-mic scene with President Obama and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev a while back, except that in Axelrod’s case, I think he is grossly misjudging the situation. President Obama may indeed be planning on unleashing his true policy desires (such as being more “flexible” with Russia, oh goody) if/when his reelection concerns are assuaged; but if Axelrod thinks Republicans are going to be more flexible after Obama is reelected because some of their policies are actually secretly aligned with Obama’s, or something… I think he’s got another thing coming.
In an interview with C-SPAN, Axelrod said there are plenty of Republicans who would like to work with Obama but have been unable to because of a “kind of reign of terror” in which any act of cooperation with the president was seen as a betrayal.
Yet Axelrod insisted there are Republicans “of good will” would would like to work with Obama.
“My belief is that when the president wins in November, we’re going to liberate these Republicans of good will,” Axelrod said.
He added that those Republicans will “blink into the light of a new day and they’re going to turn to the Grover Norquists of the world, frankly as Jeb Bush has recently, and say, ‘You know we did it your way, and frankly that was a failure for the country, and also for the Republican Party, and now we’re going to work together.’”
What is it going to take for President Obama and his minions to understand that all of these “do-nothing Congress” and “partisan gridlock” shenanigans have nothing to do with “good will” in and of itself? It has to do with the fact that Republicans fundamentally disagree with President Obama’s policies, and this is the way our system of governance was specifically designed to work.
The American people swept the Democrats through the 2008 elections, decided they didn’t like the result, and reversed course by electing a Republican House in the 2010 elections. We have two very different parties in power, and our Founders didn’t want either party to be able to trump the other. If President Obama does get reelected but we maintain the Congressional status quo, are things going to drastically change and President Obama suddenly find himself able to magically push through a bunch more liberal legislation? I wouldn’t bet on it.
Axelrod and his ilk are constantly suggesting that Republicans are just cutting their nose off to spite their collective face, but conservatives aren’t being extremists: They’re just blocking a bunch of Keynesian, big-government, big-spending policies from making it through. Which, by the way, is exactly what they were elected to do.
A quite dispiriting spectacle. And more than a bit confusing. Why, just this week the estimable Jeb Bush averred that the Republican Party had become so rigidly right-wing that today it couldn’t even nominate Ronald Reagan.
Huh? It’s about to nominate Mitt Romney, who lives a good 14 nautical miles to the left of Ronald Reagan.