The Corner

Why Obama Failed to Bridge the Partisan Divide

Commentators on the left of course blame congressional Republicans. At WaPo, Ezra Klein repeats the meme:

Obama ran for president promising to break the gridlock and overcome the partisanship that paralyzes Washington. But it wasn’t up to him. The minority won’t cooperate with the majority unless they see it’s in their interests. And the Republican minority didn’t see it that way.

Well, why didn’t the minority see it that way? Perhaps it’s because President Obama didn’t make it “in their interests” to cooperate. Perhaps he could have gotten more GOP votes if he had given them more of what they wanted. Perhaps congressional Republicans found the president to be (a) rigidly partisan, (b) intellectually unconvincing, and (c) insufferably condescending and insulting. Perhaps they didn’t like that.

Come to think of it, maybe a lot of Americans didn’t like that. Maybe, every time the president insulted the opposition as “full of you-know-what” and “bull-sh**ters,” it played well with the cool kids, but left working-class independents feeling . . . insulted. Maybe that’s why independents seem to be moving in Governor Romney’s direction now.

Maybe he had an opportunity to transcend the partisan divide with ideas and a philosophy that Americans would find compelling. Maybe his failure to accomplish that was his failure. And maybe after this administration is out office, lefty journalists will be able to take a step back and admit that some of his failures were his failures after all

Mario Loyola — Contributing editor Mario Loyola is senior fellow and Director of the Center for Competitive Federalism at the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. He began his career in corporate ...

Most Popular

U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Religion

Billy Graham: Neither Prophet nor Theologian

Asked in 1972 if he believed in miracles, Billy Graham answered: Yes, Jesus performed some and there are many "miracles around us today, including television and airplanes." Graham was no theologian. Neither was he a prophet. Jesus said "a prophet hath no honor in his own country." Prophets take adversarial ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More