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“I Won”

Well, yes. He did.

But here’s a newsflash: The opposition still has the right to oppose and still has the right to press for its own agenda.

Perhaps someone should let the White House know about that. In particular, if the “reality-based community,” who hated declarations of victory and electoral dominance when George W. Bush was riding high, could take the lead in informing the White House that it should not be surprised that the duty of the opposition is to oppose, that would be helpful. In addition, someone could remind the White House that the President promised to reach across the aisle and work with Republicans to bring the country together after “bitter partisanship” supposedly tore it apart. Wasn’t that supposed to be in keeping with the President’s Inaugural Address, by the way? Weren’t we told that “we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics”? That “the time has come to set aside childish things”?

I do believe that we were told that. But apparently, the President has forgotten his own Inaugural Address–proving, perhaps, that while he is much enamored with the power of his own oratory, the effect of that oratory is mayfly-ish in its transience.

And perhaps–just perhaps–certain of Our New Overlords never even heard the speech in the first place:

. . . In a week in which Democrats have played down the importance of winning substantial Republican support for the stimulus, House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) went even further in suggesting Democrats won’t need GOP help to get their package passed.

“We are trying to be as bipartisan as we can,” he said in an interview that will air over the weekend on C-SPAN.

“We had an election on November 4, and the American people voted overwhelmingly for the approach being offered by the Democrats,” Clyburn said. “And I think my Republican friends ought to respect that.”

He added: “If we respond to the American people and that fails, then they [the Republicans] will have all the fodder they need going into the next election to try it their way…” Obama “was elected and we ought to do it his way, and we’ll look at the Republicans’ way after the next election, maybe.”

First of all, Obama won about 53% of the popular vote; hardly “overwhelming” in anyone’s book. Secondly, remember that when Dick Cheney said this kind of stuff with regard to not paying attention to the polls, he was excoriated for being anti-democratic. Thirdly, remember as well that for eight years, we heard about how George W. Bush had the chance to unify the nation post-9/11 by reaching out to Democrats, but that instead, he chose to be “divisive,” and “polarizing,” and “partisan.”

And just what are we supposed to think Clyburn and Obama are doing? Singing Kumbayah with John Boehner and Mitch McConnell? These people are everything they spent eight years accusing the Bush Administration of being. It’s time they got called on it.

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