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Erza Klein sadly observes that Mitch McConnell's and John Boehner’s strategy worked, when they announced “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”  They intentionally obstructed our President's every agenda and brought our nation to our knees, as they obstructed any possible progress to advance their political advantage.  

Klein notes that instead of holding these crass political opportunists responsible for holding our nation hostage to their destructive political agenda, the newspapers and columnists who site  breaking congressional gridlock as their primary reason for endorsing Mitt Romney, such as the Des Moines Register, the Orlando Sentinel, and David Brook are getting it backwards, and giving their endorsement to such tactics:

In endorsement after endorsement, the basic argument is that President Obama hasn’t been able to persuade House or Senate Republicans to work with him. If Obama is reelected, it’s a safe bet that they’ll continue to refuse to work with him. So vote Romney!

Erza Klein gets the logic right, but doesn't sufficiently call out these Republicans for holding our nation hostage, and calling them out for the equivalent to political terrorists that they have been acting like. They dishonored the last election, and will do it again if we reward them for it. Or, perhaps, the Democrats, or future political parties will learn this lesson, if rewarded, and not punished?

Probably Klein figures people will think he's an extremist if he compares Congress people to terrorists.  But, I think, as a nation, we err if we tacitly "bless" the unpatriotic extremism of Mitch McConnel and John Boehner as "moderate," or mainstream, or even go so far as look the other way as the same newspapers who denounce "negotiating with terrorists" as betraying out country suddenly use the same logic to endorse Republican control of Washington.

Something Klein agrees with, using less incendiary, and perhaps, more effective language:  


It was, of course, the Republicans who pushed the country to the brink — Obama would’ve signed a clean debt-ceiling increase at any moment, and he ended up making more concessions than any president in history to sign the final debt-ceiling increase — but it’s true that congressional Republicans wouldn’t have done that if a Republican was occupying the White House. So vote Romney.

These endorsements are proving Republicans right. As they show, the Republican strategy to deny the president any cooperation and make his Washington a depressing and dysfunctional place has done Obama enormous political damage. In that way, the endorsements get the situation backwards.

While it’s true that President Romney could expect more cooperation from congressional Republicans, in the long term, a vote against Obama on these grounds is a vote for more of this kind of gridlock. Politicians do what wins them elections. If this strategy wins Republicans the election, they’ll employ it next time they face a Democratic president, too, and congressional Democrats will use it against the next Republicans. Rewarding the minority for doing everything in their power to make the majority fail sets up disastrous incentives for the political system.

So for the same reason we do not negotiate with terrorists we should repudiate this shameful Republican destructiveness, and lack of patriotism, and call them out for holding our country's common good hostage to their crass political ambitions. Unless we hold them responsible, and kick them out of Washington, we will be endorsing this vile political opportunism and enshrining it in our political traditions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 03:27:45 PM PDT

  •  When I see these Romney endorsements based on (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrahaPartizan, HoundDog, BRog
    While it’s true that President Romney could expect more cooperation from congressional Republicans, in the long term, a vote against Obama on these grounds is a vote for more of this kind of gridlock.
    the notion that "Romney could expect more cooperation from congressional Republicans," I always think that's not the issue.  Of course a Republican President can "expect cooperation" from his own party, just as the President has been able to "expect cooperation" from his own party.  

    If someone is concerned about getting past the gridlock in government, the real question is whether a President Romney will be able to "expect cooperation" from the Democratic Senate, or whether President Obama, in his second term, can "expect cooperation" from the Republican House.  

    I tend to think that no matter who is elected, he is not going to be able to "expect cooperation" from the opposition party.   And no matter who is elected, the opposition party will almost certainly control one house of Congress.  

  •  Well, yeah--GOPers see "Romney's shape-shifting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog

    nature as a good thing!  

    Shouldn't everybody want a POTUS that nobody could really trust or believe?  

    These conservative pundits, editors and publishers that endorse Romney know full well that they are endorsing a liar, tax cheat, and world-class opportunist.  

    Of course he'd work with a hypothetical republican Congress--duh!  Really?  

    Do these same pundits really believe that Romney would work as well with a Democratic Congress?  Yeah, right--we heard what he had to say in private rooms, surrounded by his campaign donors.  

    He'd still have to keep the Koch brothers, Adelson, et al, and the republican party on his side if he wanted to seek re-election.  To say they wouldn't be happy with a "conciliatory" shape-shifting, republican POTUS that sided with the Dems on anything would be putting it mildly.

    •  I'm amazed we haven't seen more people suggesting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurious

      that Mitt Romney's apparent lack of any core beliefs he hasn't changed repeatedly during this election cycle is a disqualification for being POTUS. How does he expect any foreign leader to trust anything he says?

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 04:16:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Exactly - superb analogy!!! n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Called the Devil's bargain. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BRog

    Just think the damage these three could do. Faust could not have written a better score.

  •  David Brooks is also pushing this crap. (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not going to actually click on his current column, but the subtitle is

    If Mitt Romney wins, we’re more likely to get bipartisan reform. If President Obama is re-elected, it’d be more of the same small stuff.
    So this is probably an idea that Republicans are making a concerted effort to push right now.

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