Obama’s top strategist, David Axelrod:
“I’m not willing to assign, sort of, equal blame for what’s happened in Washington. You know, there are Democrats in this room who I think would argue that the president was too eager to try and find a path forward; was too eager to try to bring people together in the face of the evidence that the other side didn’t want to do that,” said Axelrod at the “Politics and Eggs” breakfast series at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on Tuesday.
It took them long enough to figure it out, but apparently, they finally have.
“I don’t regret his making the effort because I think people elected him to get things done. They didn’t elect him to wage a partisan war,” said Axelrod.
Problem is, the White House’s failure to “wage partisan war”—ESPECIALLY when it had super majorities in Congress—led to an insufficient stimulus package and a failure to act on the economy that will bedevil them all the way through Election Day 2012. The GOP primary electorate may be doing its darndest to grease Obama’s reelection bid, but 2012 will still be uncomfortably close no matter who the teabaggers vomit up.
The American people gave Democrats a huge mandate to govern in 2006 and 2008, and the president and congressional Democrats squandered that historic opportunity. If Obama was elected to “get things done”, allowing the GOP and Blue Dogs to delay, obstruct, and water down his agenda did him no favors.
However, that’s water under the bridge. Nothing we can do about that now except hope that Democrats learned their lessons. And it seems like might have. The White House is finally acknowledging the reality of the GOP opposition and has taken a more aggressive posture in pushing its jobs bill. Meanwhile, congressional Democrats have started experimenting with using their spines, even notching a (minor) victory in the last budget showdown!
We’re a ways off from determining whether Democrats have truly found their fighting spirit, but the latest developments are encouraging. And yes, they may be baby steps, but that’s better than whatever it was the Democrats did the last three years, because that shit sure as hell didn’t work.