Tom Foreman | BIO
Reporter's Note: President Obama is steadily firing up the flamethrowers for the midterm vote in a few weeks, but as I note in my daily letter now one of his top advisers seems to be walking around with a fire extinguisher.
Dear Mr. President,
You’ve got to be kidding. For the past few weeks you and your most ardent Democratic pals from Congress have been laying into the Republicans like wheat threshers. You’ve accused them of everything from dishonesty to deceit to near treason over their resistance to your programs. Fair enough. That’s politics, especially when an election is coming up and your party is on the ropes.
But now here comes your senior adviser, David Axelrod, this past weekend saying he hopes if the Republicans make big gains this fall they’ll be more inclined to cooperate with your plans. Has he been locked in a closet or is he addled from pounding his head against the wall?
Now, I’ll grant that I was saying just the other day that you might want to be singing a few more verses of bipartisan “Kumbaya.” My reasoning was, “Hey, the GOP is going to gain some seats. No matter how many or how few, you’re going to need some friends on their side of the aisle or you may as well schedule a lot of golfing for the next two years.”
But this bad cop/good cop routine with you and Axelrod is not quite what I had in mind. Because frankly, you’re the only cop that really matters in White House land. And as long as you keep slapping the teeth out of the Republicans every time you get behind a podium, they’re not going to listen to one word from the ever-inspiring Mr. Axelrod.
And why should they? I’m not picking sides, but the political facts of life say if the Republicans snatch up a bunch of Dem seats they are going to use them to smash the planks of your platform into kindling. At the same time, if they get enough leverage, they are going to start dumping truckloads of their legislation onto your desk and just daring you to veto. Sure, you’ll have the power, but if you start doing it too much, they will turn that “Party of No” slogan against you so fast it will make your head swim.
Anyway, if you want to keep going the “take no prisoners” route, that’s your choice and certainly there is reason to doubt whether the GOP will go for anything else. But if you really want to take another stab at cooperation, you can’t just send your representative. You’re going to have to lead that delegation, or the other side will never believe it.
Speaking of things that are hard to believe, I hated seeing my Saints fold up to the Cardinals this weekend. Give it to the Cards that they played hard and with heart, while Drew and the Blessed Boys just couldn’t seem to get it all together. Still, it was hard to watch. Call if you want to get together for Monday Night Football.
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