George Will penned an interesting column in the Washington Post this week about President Obama and his legacy. According to Will, the president’s only chance for a strong legacy is for the Democratic Party to hold control of the Senate in 2014 and take control of the House. Otherwise, the Republican Party will stymie his overarching objectives of an expanded government and redistributed wealth. Assuming that all presidents are driven to create a legacy, Will deducts that that President Obama will work this year’s two big issues – guns and immigration – not on their merits, but rather on their effect on the 2014 congressional election.
Furthermore, according to Will, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander – i.e., if President Obama can have an objective of defeating the Republican Congress in the 2014 elections, why was is improper for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to express his fervent objective in 2010 of making President Obama a one-term president? Will might have added the analogous comment by talk-show maestro Russ Limbaugh wishing for President Obama to fail.
Let me suggest to George why that is wrong. It is wrong because Americans don’t want their politicians positioning themselves for elections unless it is impossible to resolve the disputes through reasonable compromise. The refusal to make reasonable compromises is a major reason why both the TEA Party and the Republican Party lost their 2010 momentum and suffered their 2012 electoral losses.
There is an old saying about a belief being so stupid that it could belong only to an academic or intellectual, someone without a lick of common sense. Ironically, Will declares that McConnell’s statement was “common-sensical.” That is ridiculous. People in this country want effective policies and functional politicians, and they don’t want partisan posturing until Labor Day.