Let me finish tonight with a salute to the new Obama political strategy… For two years, the President avoided attacks on the Republicans. He had promised to stay above the pettier forms of partisan politics and he stuck to it. But there was strategy behind his approach. He never mentioned the names, at least not in an adversarial way, of the Republican leaders: Senator Mitch McConnell and Congressman John Boehner. This is the old “Chicago” method: You act like the Democrats are the only game in town, the only party of governing. You mock the activists and other critics as trouble-makers mouthing off. You don’t give Republicans leaders the time of day. You figure by not mentioning their names you diminish their stature to the point of making them invisible. Well, that strategy didn’t work. It gave cover to the Boehner and McConnell as they went about obstructing every thing Obama did or tried to do. People like Senator McConnell and Congressman Boehner didn’t take a single bit of scar tissue for their behavior, for their endless efforts to kill the new president’s program. Well, all this changed yesterday and that’s a good thing. By giving a name for the public’s pain, President Obama has demanded basic accountability. Does anyone listening think Mitch McConnell deserves to be elevated to majority leader of the US Senate? Or that John Boehner deserves to be Speaker of the House? What for? By jamming the Democrats, McConnell and Boehner created a partisan see-saw. They go up simply by getting the Democrats to go down. Anybody feel like rewarding them for that?
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