Very early in his term, President Barack Obama says he knew that Republicans were going to oppose him at every turn.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Obama explained that it was first apparent to him while attempting to negotiate the stimulus bill.
I still remember going over to the Republican caucus to meet with them and present our ideas, and to solicit ideas from them before we presented the final package. And on the way over, the caucus essentially released a statement that said, "We're going to all vote 'No' as a caucus." And this was before we'd even had the conversation. At that point, we realized that we weren't going to get the kind of cooperation we'd anticipated. The strategy the Republicans were going to pursue was one of sitting on the sidelines, trying to gum up the works, based on the assumption that given the scope and size of the recovery, the economy probably wouldn't be very good, even in 2010, and that they were better off being able to assign the blame to us than work with us to try to solve the problem.
But even with that clear signal, the White House continued to try to make compromises with their opponents. The Obama administration took single-payer off the table and offered little support for the public option when campaigning for the health care bill. The final bill -- which contained neither -- had almost no Republican support.
In March, the president adopted a conservative call to open more waters to offshore oil drilling but got little in return. In the end, partisan bickering led to the climate bill being pulled in the Senate. Republicans have vowed to block legislation in the next Congress.
Politics Daily columnist David Corn thinks there is one fact that Obama should have been aware of: Republicans are zombies.
"If on the eighth day of the administration, if the president knew the GOP has been anti-everything, why has he been negotiating with them as if he could get a yes from them?" MSNBC's Keith Olbermann asked Corn Tuesday.
"Because the president doesn't watch zombie movies," answered Corn. "And you can't negotiate with zombies, you can't trust zombies."
"After getting that big no from them on stimulus spending, he ran into it again and again on the energy front, on health care, on Wall Street reform, and each time he was, you know, he spent a lot of effort and a lot of political capital trying to work with the zombie party," said Corn.
"And he kept hitting his head against the same wall. Maybe if he'd come to that conclusion earlier, things would look a little different today," he said.
"These zombies, though, don't eat brains, clearly," joked Olbermann.
While Corn doesn't explain exactly why Republicans are the "zombie party," he may be giving a nod to philosophical zombies. Wikipedia states:
A philosophical zombie, p-zombie or p-zed is a hypothetical being that is indistinguishable from a normal human being except that it lacks conscious experience, qualia, or sentience. When a zombie is poked with a sharp object, for example, it does not feel any pain. While it behaves exactly as if it does feel pain (it may say "ouch" and recoil from the stimulus, or tell us that it is in intense pain), it does not actually have the experience of pain as a putative 'normal' person does.
One liberal blogger postulated that Republicans are zombie-like because of their mob mentality. Jason N wrote:
If you say anything that indicates you're open to discussing alternatives to the status quo, the Republican zombies attack. They hurl accusations of socialist, liberal or some other simplistic insult.
This angry mob is intent on arguing not with what you say but with the straw man they created prior to your discussion. It's not that some liberal groups don't have much the same reaction to their hot button topics. I just find this new wave of Republican imbecility a particularly anti-Republican movement.
RL Miller of Grist explains that many Republicans were zombies when it came to their constant denial of man's role in climate change.
Meet the Climate Zombies.
Their stupid is contagious.
And if they win, humanity loses.
"Climate zombies like [Alaska's] Joe Miller mindlessly replicate. If you listen carefully, you can hear them moan: 'caaaash!' Or maybe they cry 'kooooch!'" wrote Miller.