Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?
Is the Republican Party Obama’s fault?: recent weeks have birthed the strangest strain of commentary I can remember: The Republican Party’s crazy opinions are President Obama’s fault…. The Republican Party’s dilemma is that House Republicans keeps taking all kinds of unreasonable and unpopular positions. If Obama weren’t president, the House Republicans wouldn’t be taking so many unreasonable and unpopular positions. But since Obama is president, and since he does need to work with House Republicans, he is highlighting their unreasonable and unpopular opinions in a bid to make them change their minds, which is making House Republicans look even worse. And so it’s ultimately Obama’s fault that House Republicans are, say, threatening to breach the debt ceiling if they don’t get their way on spending cuts…. White House officials’ devious plan to destroy the Republican Party, in Brooks’s view, is that they will propose more moderate, popular policies than they did in their first term, thus making Republicans look terrible when they vote against everything.
There’s an Occam’s Razor problem…. Perhaps the White House is hewing to the popular, reasonable positions… because… those are its positions. If the Republican Party can’t either agree to them or come up with popular, reasonable positions of its own, the problem here might be located inside the Republican Party rather than at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave….
In the end, the Republican Party is going to need to fix itself, and that’s going to require a painful process in which more sensible voices stand up to the more extreme elements of the coalition. It is getting very far into cult-of-the-presidency thinking to say the solution instead lies in the relatively fixed policy proposals of a Democratic executive.