There are at least 177 reasons why President Obama should not waste energy trying to be a president of compromise. Last week, every Republican in the House tried desperately to prevent a much-needed stimulus package from moving onto the Senate floor. Not one Republican could force themselves to acknowledge that 10 million Americans are unemployed. Not one of those 177 lockstep congressmen seemed to notice that 8 million homeowners have been through bank foreclosure. America's banking industry is barely standing. Factory doors are being chained closed. Commercial businesses of every kind are folding at a pace that seems irreversible. But yet 177 Republican Congressmen still want to further promote their failures by refusing to support an economic stimulus package.
I will add to the list of 177 reasons Obama should end his attempts to compromise with Republican leadership that put us here to begin with. Reason number 178 would be that Obama was sent to Washington with a mandate to change failed policy rather than compromise with the architects of those policies.
I would also add reason 179 to the list of why Obama should abandon his attempts at bipartisan compromise. The Republican Party is in a total free fall. They have no common ground with Xers, Millennial voters, Latinos, African American voters, moderate Democrats, or Independents. Do the electoral math and it is clear that the Republicans have morphed into something resembling an historical artifact. With a party whose leadership today seems to be comprised of Sarah Palin, Joe the Plumber, Exxon, Rush Limbaugh, and Rev. John Hagee, is it really that important to reach across the aisle to that peculiar crowd?
The 180th reason I would give for no need to compromise is this: Bill Clinton almost destroyed the Democratic Party because of his need to be loved. In his effort to be loved, he abandoned many of the fundamentals that, fortunately for Americans, distinguished Democrats from Republicans. He compromised on those fundamentals to the point that the Democrats lost their 1994 midterm elections.
Obama has an unequivocal mandate that allows him to be less like Bill and more like Franklin Roosevelt. FDR often said that he was flattered when the out-of-touch elite of his time expressed their disdain for him and his policies. Obama should feel flattered as well.
I'll add another reason why Obama should not feel compelled to make nice with Republican leadership. A recent ABC poll showed that around 70% of Americans are so fed up with the party and policies of disaster that they want what they characterize as major new programs of change as soon as possible. It doesn't appear that voters are really concerned about a need for compromise to get there.
In an effort to get along, Obama met with GOP leadership several times in closed-door sessions where he listened to them whine, cajole, and threaten to derail this much-needed stimulus package. Which brings me to reason 181 for why Obama should end his compromise posture. It is this: An opponent without any foreseeable chance to wield power looks desperate and almost comical when they make threats. Obama should simply let that ridiculous picture play itself out.