Face The Nation had an interesting "power panel round table" where bipartisanship ruled the day and all the parties involved could agree on one thing for sure: President Obama is being a real meanie to Republicans. Bob Woodward, Dee Dee Myers, Peggy Noonan and Condoleezza Rice all made the same vapid points to Bob Schieffer. See, all this obstructionism by the Republicans ever since Obama moved into the Oval Office has never been about them. It's all about the mean and nasty Obama is not being sensitive to their needs. Here's how Beltway sage Bob Woodward framed the last four years:
Woodward: ...governing is a collaboration between the White House and the Congress and let's face it, it's a collaboration that is not working. It is broken and the President has not found a way to close the deal with the leaders of the Republicans and quite frankly, with his own party.
I remember Katharine Graham, the publisher of the Washington Post, used to always say 'it's hard to not like someone who says they like you.' You talk to senators and congressmen, as you know, and they feel Barack Obama doesn't like them or is at least indifferent to them. And so you have all of these conflicts in negotiations and they end... Look, the President has the upper hand now and will for some time, but you know in any... Condi Rice knows so well, any any negotiation you need to leave the opponent with their dignity and the president is going out and sticking his finger in their eye.
Has any analysis by a politico who's supposed to have been following this day to day been more bombastically wrong of our current political situation? My God, I know Obama is about to start his second term with higher popularity rates than anyone else in the Beltway, but this is the best narrative Villagers could come up with?
The only thing that makes sense is that they are trying to force Obama to cut Social Security and Medicare.
Schieffer goes farther and says Obama doesn't even like the process of governing or 'getting his hands dirty', which is a quiet way to frame him as just being detached and lazy. Dee Dee Myers chimes in:
He's a politician who doesn't love politics---right, I mean I'm not sure if he even likes the art of politics and that's a problem. He hasn't built the kinds of relationships that sustained other politicans in tough times...
At this point, Myers takes a moment to pay homage to Woodward:
You have to let the other guys leave the table saying they got something for their side, because they're going to give up something big if it's going to be an important deal. I think this White House has not done this as successfully as they need to 'cause you end up with Versailles...
How can Obama negotiate in good faith with a party that has been fractured by their own extremism? Speaker John Boehner is constantly forced to withdraw from negotiations because the tea party refuses to be a grown up caucus. But this is left unmentioned. It's all Obama's fault, dontchaknow?
Bob then turns to Peggy Noonan, (who should probably be given a breathalyzer before she goes on any TV panel) to really get a grip on what's happening in Washington.
Noonan: Hmmmm....well, it's true on the Hill speakers and such don't quite control their conferences and caucuses as they have, but what's different for the last few weeks say, since the President was re-elected is that he's playing it in a way differently than previous presidents. Previous presidents get a win, whether it's close or not, and then they try to sort of put their arms around everybody and summon them in. We're essentially a 50-50 country still. Instead of 'let's all be together,' he's been very sharply definitively 'us guys' vs. 'you guys' by going at the Republicans on the Hill. By speaking in a way that is very...sour about why Republicans take the stands they take, he, I think... it's a new way to play it, a tough way to play it and dicey way to play it.
Do you remember George Bush rallying the Democrats after he won? I don't. He did say he now had new political capital that he was going to spend and spend it big time. He stuck a fork in the eyes of Democrats on the Hill by trying to destroy Social Security. But why bring up real facts?
I also recall that after Bush won re-election in 2004, all the Villagers were heralding in the idea that America is a center-right nation while pimping Fox News' all red map of the United States. This circle jerk meme of Obama's mean behavior swept all the other networks, including CBS.
When Republicans act like meanies, they are thought to be tough negotiators and skilled politicians, when President Obama become tough, he's really just aloof and politically lazy and mean to the poor, misunderstood Republicans, just trying to get along. I'm not shocked the teabaggers threaten to blow up the debt ceiling; because they won't be blamed by the Villagers. I can see it now, Obama was mean to them so he deserved whatever the GOP do to him.