"And why the Senate has got to be fixed immediately" is the sub-lede.
I just got done reading Greg Sargent's roundup tonight, and there are a handful of articles that in more or less no uncertain terms paint a very bleak and frustrating picture of what next year is going to look like for the President and the Democrats if they don't heed the warning signs right now.
Mitch McConnell makes crystal clear just what the Republican version of Bi-partisanship actually is. He is only interested in doing "center-right" things, not "center-left" and he says Obama needs to become a "born again moderate" to get their cooperation.
Translation: "Do what we want or we'll pitch a bitch and give you zero cooperation."
Indeed, Mitch McConnell literally promises "more of the same"; More of the same filibustering, stalling tactics explicitly designed to slow down the President's agenda.
Obama made "more of the same" a great campaign slogan in 2008. If he can't reproduce it here with his own party, something is dreadfully wrong.
But wait! Mitch says that there's definitely some area for agreement next year. Totally. Really.
Face. Meet palm. Hard.
In this same piece, McConnell claims that there is "wide Republican support" for trade agreements with Colombia or whatever.
But you know what? I'm so cynical about the Republican game plan right now that I'll call bullshit on that right this second.
The Republicans do not want to give even the slightest formal modicum of respect to the President, nor do they want to appear to legitimize his Presidency for half a second, lest the Teabagging wing decide they aren't insane enough to be their politicians.
The thing is, there have been a lot of more or less "meta" diaries running around here lately. Someone comes and plays "bad cop" and talks about how Obama hasn't done enough...then a couple more diaries pop up playing "good cop" reminding us of the good he's done in his first not-quite-two-years.
But that's not what this diary is about. I am simply here to point out that the battle lines have been drawn into marble, not sand. The GOP does not plan to do anything different. This is literally, to a "T", "more of the same" being peddled.
I would like to think that our President and his companions in the Democratic Party are smart enough to actually not get taken by this again. Maybe they legitimately misread 2009. Okay. Everyone can have a mulligan, I'm down with that.
But like a boxer over-relying on his favorite punch, the Republicans are actually giving away their strategy going forward. They are convinced it will succeed, probably because they don't think anything will change on the opposite side of the aisle.
It has to.
Because if it does not, 2011 will turn into a meaningless year. And if 2011 is a meaningless year for any sort of legislative activity, then 2012 will only be worse as the campaign to re-elect Barack Obama kicks off with a furor.
2011 is going to be a make-or-break year for the President. Republicans are doing all they can to give the Democrats opportunities with crazy candidates this year and a complete transparency about their plans next year.
Can "The Professor" school the Republicans, make some strong policy statements, and ride a big fat wave into Term 2 after the Republicans go Full Teabag and get a repeat of 1964 in their faces?
I sure hope so.