Monday, January 21, 2013

David Frum argues that President Obama is out to destroy the Republican Party in The Daily Beast.

In his first term, President Obama reached out to political opponents. He praised Republicans, shaped his stimulus program to please Republicans, based his health plan on Republican ideas—even showed up at the Republican congressional retreat in January 2010.  The reelected Obama, however, has struck out on a very different path. In the two months since November, he has played much rougher than in all the four previous years.

What he wants is not a deal—not anymore, or anyway, not now. What he wants is a reckless Republican overreach, leading to public outrage, leading to a Republican rout. The president has been often quoted as saying he wants to “break the fever.” Translated into plainer English: he wants to break his opponents.

Frum completely ignores the fact that the GOP responded to Obama's first term attempts at reaching out to them with vicious attacks at every turn.  They questioned his citizenship, his competence and his very legitimacy as President.  How is he now supposed to respond after re-election?  What did his attempts to "reach out" to the Republicans accomplish?

Second, Frum also fails to mention that the Republican Party is marginalizing itself with its ideological extremism.  Putting the political interests of its party ahead of the good of the country has resulted in mounting electoral losses for the GOP as well as abysmal poll numbers.  Obama's approval numbers are approaching 60% while the Republican majority House is at 9. 

Actions have consequences.  The Republican Party is reaping what it has sewn.  When the ideological "fever" breaks and the GOP starts negotiating in good faith the President will respond accordingly.

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