January 27, 2009

President Obama has created a lot of talk with his bipartisan outreach, but so far the results have been predictable: nada.

These kinds of huddles are clearly not going to do any good in the short run. The Republican Party has been in the thrall of rigid ideologues -- men who would rather see the nation's economy go down in flames than either admit they were wrong or even let themselves be proven so -- for so long it will take eons to cure them of the habit.

In the long term, though, they will serve the very useful function of giving Obama cover when he finally gives up on his outreach and just pushes a progressive agenda through.

At some point he's going to realize that all the compromises made in the spirit of "bipartisanship" haven't yielded any results at all, particularly not in winning Republican votes. So at that point it won't make sense to keep making any compromises and just proceed without them.

When that happens, he may actually find Republicans finally willing to shed their ideological blinkers. But he shouldn't count on it before then.

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