House Democrats stopped flailing against the tax bill long enough Thursday night to pass it, sending the measure to President Obama for a signing ceremony today that should be preceded by a victory dance at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater.
President Clinton and Dick Morris sent telegrams to the president early Friday morning congratulating him on his first significant success at triangulating his fellow Democrats.
Obama is gambling that he can win back the independents who deserted him during the 2010 midterms while keeping the left enthusiastic enough to win in 2012.
The new strategy is being thrown into relief by the planned White House overuse of one word: compromise. It’s a word independents love to hear. It’s what they are about.
After ramming bills down the GOP’s throat during his first two years, Obama now uses his shiny new word every chance he gets. Here he was Monday:
I recognize that folks on both sides of the political spectrum are unhappy with certain parts of the package, and I understand those concerns. I share some of them. But that’s the nature of compromise — sacrificing something that each of us cares about to move forward on what matters to all of us.
David Axelrod, senior adviser and message guru, went on a bunch of the talk shows last Sunday and used the word “compromise” about 87 times. The Sunday shows, less ideological than much of what’s out there, are the perfect place to get your message across to independents.
You will hear so much about compromise during the next two years, that you may become hypnotized, and start compromising with your children, even the pets. Video games, dog biscuits, and catnip toys may start piling up around the house. You will accept a smaller salary increase and fewer personal days.
When Obama entered office in 2009, love was in the air, as the candidate of change professed his fondness for the GOP. But that was all bullshit.
By now, the love is gone forever. But today, compromise is in the air. It’s essential for Obama’s reelection. It’s for real.
Republicans face a perilous path. They were sent by their base on a mission to destroy Obama. But if they overdo the obstruction, the risk handing Obama the independents.
Republicans, like Obama, need to show they can get something done while also demonstrating they can block the spread of Obamaism.
But the bar for moderation is lower for GOP. Just elected, their base if fired up, and everyone expects them to behave like Republicans. They can’t shut down the government, but they their main imperative is not to sell out conservative voters.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell led the way last night by blocking the pork-rich omnibus spending bill after stiffening the spines of a group of Republicans tempted to support it. This, not the tax bill – which is necessary for the economy – was the test of whether Republicans heard their base. They passed.