Last week I pointed out a remarkable turnabout in Obama's demeanor and approach to governing. After spending weeks fear-mongering and demagoguing, lying to the American people about the supposedly devastating effects of the sequester, Obama and his team had a wake-up call. Because the Republicans were willing to call his bluff, and because the sequester scare-mongering failed to come to fruition, Barack Obama lost a fair amount of support in the polls. In addition to the fear and panic, Obama also lied to the American people about the origin of these cuts to begin with. After repeatedly trying to blame the sequestration on Republicans, Obama was publicly called out by Bob Woodward pointing to the fact that the idea of sequestration actually originated from the Obama White House.
Within a matter of days, Obama changed his tune. He invited a dozen Republican senators to dinner last week. He had lunch with GOP budget hawk Paul Ryan. This type of outreach was shockingly different from the Obama we've come to know throughout the years. But yet again, Democrats are trying to re-write history by claiming that Obama has always taken a bi-partisan approach to governing.
On CNN's “State of the Union” yesterday, Nancy Pelosi went as far as to say that Obama has always been “very bipartisan” and “always tried to accommodate [Republicans].” Here are a few lines from Pelosi in that interview with Candy Crowley:
“The President has always been very respectful of the views of Republicans in Congress, their leadership and their membership. He has always tried to accommodate them.”
“I think the meetings are a good idea … but not having these meetings is not why we haven't had progress before. We haven't had progress before because Republicans were committed to blocking the initiatives of President Barack Obama.”
“I think it’s important to note that we all come here to get a job done for the American people. Certainly, that is the case with the President of the United States. He’s been very bipartisan in his approach.”
I suppose we are supposed to forget the many instances where Obama has completely shutout Republicans or lambasted not only their policies but their motivations. I specifically remember a certain President who once referred to Paul Ryan's budget as “un-American,” as Paul Ryan was sitting in the very front row. I suppose we are to forget when Barack Obama accused Republicans of wanting dirty air or dirty water. Also let's not forget the first encounter Republicans had with the newly elected president in 2009. As both parties gathered to discuss Obama's stimulus plan, when challenged by Republican Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, Obama's response according to participants was “I won.” These actions seem like bipartisanship in name only.
So here seems to be the new Democrat strategy. Barack Obama will do his best attempts to fein bipartisanship and Democrats will continue to hammer home the idea that this is nothing new and that somehow it is the American people who have not noticed his bipartisan nature. Meanwhile, Democrats will let other prominent people within the party do the dirty work for Obama by continuing to question the Republicans' motivations. On the same weekend that Nancy Pelosi is promoting Obama as the steward of bipartisanship, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is out there saying, “Our friends on the other side of the aisle unfortunately like [Senator Ron Johnson], continue to root for our economy to not be doing well.” This is a typical line used by the Democrats. It's not that conservatives don't want the economy to do well. Quite the opposite. But conservatives believe that Obama is going about it all wrong, and if you really study the numbers on our economy, I think you would come to that same conclusion.