Talk of bipartisanship is all the rage in hyper-partisan Washington, and President Obama is leading the charge. In a surprise appearance at a White House briefing, Obama called for Republicans and Democrats to transcend "petty politics" to get things done. But critics said the friendly talk included no hint of actual compromise. Is Obama reaching out, or just using the popular idea of bipartisanship to revive his stalled agenda? (Watch an AP report about Obama's bipartisanship efforts)
'Bipartisanship' never means compromise: Obama's calling for bipartisanship, but he really means "do it my way," says Mark Knoller at CBS News. Like all presidents having trouble getting their legislation through Congress — Reagan, Clinton, Bush I — Obama's offering to listen to the opposition and use their best ideas. But what they all really wanted was "surrender" by the other party.
"Obama says bipartisanship, but what he wants is GOP surrender"
Some presidents listen to the opposition. Not Obama: Saying that Obama wants the GOP to "surrender" merely "acknowledges the obvious," says Carol Platt Liebau in Townhall. But "Obama's insistence on 'his way' is unparalleled among modern presidents." Reagan and Bush forged "substantive compromises;" Obama thinks "verbal civility" is enough, and sometimes he can't even manage that.
"For Obama, 'bipartisanship'='my way'"
Obama HAS compromised and the GOP still won't budge: Obama "doesn't want [Republicans] to surrender," says John Cole in Balloon Juice. In the face of unanimous GOP obstructionism, Obama has unilaterally included "so many of their demands into legislation that the left wing is pissed" — and he still gets no votes. His way? Obama would be happy if Republicans "would just vote for bills that they co-sponsored."
"Just let the media establishment burn"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- How science is accelerating our search for alien life
- 6 tiny scientific mistakes that created huge disasters
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1: 10 major differences between the book and the movie
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Inside Turkey's shadow war with ISIS
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- Uber, and the growing threat of corporate surveillance
Subscribe to the Week