Yglesias

Zero

Posted on

CREDIT:

Barack Obama’s courting and compromising and so forth garnered him a grand total of zero votes from House Republicans in favor of his stimulus bill.

I would imagine the crude calculus is something like this. In 1993-94 the GOP minority relentlessly sought to obstruct a new president’s legislative agenda and were rewarded with a big electoral win in 1994. In 2001-2002 the Democratic minority relentlessly sought to compromise with a new president’s legislative agenda and were rewarded with a big electoral defeat in 2002. Simplistic lesson is that there’s no upside to cooperation.

The lesson I would hope the administration learns here is this: He needs to spend less time seeking political cover to mitigate the downside to possible policy failure, and more time trying to implement the best policies he can.