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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pyrrhic victory

Republicans ought to consider changing the party's symbol to a bat: it is also seemingly blind and in danger of extinction.

Instead GOP pundits are black slapping and high-fiving, telling their echo chamber after Barack Obama's inaugural address that the president really is a closet socialist hell bent on taking away guns and saving the planet.
“The speech should debunk two myths about Mr. Obama and his presidency, both trumpeted by liberal commentators and Democratic activists,” conservative columnist Fred Barnes wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “One is that the president is really a pragmatist and a centrist. Not so. Only an ideologically committed liberal could have delivered the address that Mr. Obama did.
“The other myth is that Mr. Obama is eager to compromise with Republicans but has faced unprecedented obstructionism on their part. The speech told a different tale,” Barnes added. “It showed the president bent on pursuing an agenda with few if any sweeteners for Republicans.”
Obama's left-of-center inaugural address resonated with any American who understands that that Democrats adhere to the constitutional ideal of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. For everyone.

His support of and call for action to bring rationality to gun laws, deal with the violent weather swings brought on by climate change, support equal rights and mend but not end Social Security and Medicare was never far below the surface in his reelection campaign.

Barnes equation of "ideologically committed liberal" with a form of radicalism -- while ignoring the ideological commitment of his conservative fellow travelers -- is but one side of the GOP's stunning lack of reality.

It is topped by the familiar and well-debunked view that Obama has been unwilling to compromise, a myth that was shattered in November by the 51.1 percent of the electorate that voted for him,  the first Democrat since FDR to win 50 percent plus on two elections.

Voters clearly saw who the obstructionists were. Now some of those obstructionists are even coming around to realize that continuing that course may not be the best strategy.

But all is not lost for the wayward party: they have symbolic choices other than the bat. They can continue to be like ostriches and stick their head in the proverbial sand. Or they can opt to go the way of the dodo.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

If his agenda is really what the country longs for why don't the Democrats enjoy the type of total control at the Federal level that they enjoy in this state? 51-52% of the people agreeing? The mid-term elections will be your chance. Bring the Republicans to their knees, no compromise needed. Or face an even more recalcitrant group in the Congress, we'll see.

January 23, 2013 9:11 AM  

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