Bill Kristol pretends the Republicans ever had any desire for bipartisanship and recites the tired old talking point that there was no outreach to Republicans on the stimulus bill, even though the bill included tax cuts put in to appease Republicans. And as our own Jon Perr noted this week, the Republicans have absolutely no desire for bipartisanship.
So what does Bill Kristol turn to as proof that the Republicans care about bipartisanship? They supported the troop surge in Afghanistan. What a great example Bill -- being willing to send more troops for cannon fodder. I guess Bill forgot about their recent stunt where they were willing to delay defense spending to hold up the health care bill.
WALLACE: Bill, do you think Republicans bear any responsibility for the -- I must say, I think the tone of this town is as bad, if not worse, than ever. Do Republicans bear any responsibility? Or is this all on the president?
KRISTOL: I think it's mostly on him and on his top aides, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod. And it goes back to the stimulus. They could have had -- believe me, they could have split the Republican Party and they could have split conservatives on the stimulus. Everyone agreed the government had to do something.
I would have supported a moderate stimulus. And you know, 25 -- when I talked to Mitch McConnell before the year began, I said, "What do you expect to happen in the stimulus?" He said, "I assume Obama will get 80 votes. The country's -- the economy's falling off a cliff. We're not going to stand in the way of a package of tax cuts and infrastructure improvements if it's reasonable."
He let Pelosi and Reid and the Democratic Congress write the stimulus package. It made it easy for Republicans to oppose it. As Laura correctly says, Republicans feel they were right to oppose it substantively, and they certainly haven't paid a price politically.
I think that was the sort of the mistake he made at the beginning that made it very easy for Republicans to decide both substantively and politically it's right to oppose Obama.
But Republicans have been bipartisan. What have they supported the president on? On Afghanistan, one of his toughest decisions, increasing troops there. And Republicans, to their credit, have not played politics with that and have supported him.