Friday, July 19, 2013

President Obama's common sense caucus is beginning to materialize

I'm wondering if our political memories are capable of reaching back to recall what was happening about four months ago. Back then President Obama was engaged in what most of the media called a "charm offensive" that they were sure was doomed to fail.

Of course those predictions failed to consider the fact that the President tends to play a long game in politics and so the chatter about it was dropped because the village can't contemplate a strategy that doesn't produce profound and immediate results.

But some of us actually paid attention to what the President was saying and knew he was working on building a common sense caucus.
I do know that there are Republicans in Congress who privately, at least, say that they would rather close tax loopholes than let these cuts go through. I know that there are Democrats who’d rather do smart entitlement reform than let these cuts go through. So there is a caucus of common sense up on Capitol Hill. It’s just -- it’s a silent group right now, and we want to make sure that their voices start getting heard.

In the coming days and in the coming weeks I’m going to keep on reaching out to them, both individually and as groups of senators or members of the House, and say to them, let’s fix this -- not just for a month or two, but for years to come.
That was way back in March. Now, a little over halfway through July we've seen that common sense caucus pass bi-partisan comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate, break Sen. McConnell's hold on the obstruction of presidential nominees via filibuster, and continue talks about a budget deal. Greg Sargent does a good job of describing what's happening even though he calls it a "compromise caucus" - I suppose to avoid tying it to an actual strategy being implemented by President Obama.

The result of this work is that BooMan is right - the Republicans are in disarray. And their purists are going to continue to give both McConnell and Boehner hell in the months to come.

But - the lefty purist asks - why should the Republicans have all the fun? Its true, some of them aligned with tea partiers in an attempt to "kill the bill" during the battle over health care reform. And we watched them #StandWithRand over his ridiculous filibuster. So should it surprise us that they are siding with the lunatic caucus to try to stop immigration reform? Or that they are blatantly promoting the idea of joining with the tea party to stop a budget deal?
The way to stop this is to get enough Democrats in the House to join with the Tea Partiers so they cannot get a majority. It's got to be done.
Lets be clear. There are purists on both the left and the right who think "compromise" is a dirty word and want to stop any real governing from taking place. President Obama has been dealing with this for 4 1/2 years now. That's why he's placing his bet on developing a common sense caucus.

1 comment:

  1. I think that psychologically the real political divide is not left/right but moderate/extreme. It seems that the President thinks the same way.

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