Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Obama Hoisted on His Own Petard

Re: my gripes about Obama's double-talk regarding bi-partisanship (see here and here), here is an absolutely fascinating passage from his 2006 book The Audacity of Hope (presumably written when Republicans were still in control of Congress):

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"Genuine bipartisanship," he wrote, "assumes an honest process of give-and-take, and that the quality of the compromise is measured by how well it serves some agreed-upon goal, whether better schools or lower deficits. This in turn assumes that the majority will be constrained -- by an exacting press corps and ultimately an informed electorate -- to negotiate in good faith.

"If these conditions do not hold -- if nobody outside Washington is really paying attention to the substance of the bill, if the true costs . . . are buried in phony accounting and understated by a trillion dollars or so -- the majority party can begin every negotiation by asking for 100% of what it wants, go on to concede 10%, and then accuse any member of the minority party who fails to support this 'compromise' of being 'obstructionist.'

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I could not come up with a better description of what happened in the last two weeks if I tried.

Hat tip: Bill McGurn of the Wall Street Journal today

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