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Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:43 AM

What do the Beltway moderates actually want?

Why centrist thinkers keep begging Barack Obama to pursue "bipartisan" goals he already supports


As David Brooks taught us last week, Barack Obama’s cunning plan to sabotage and undermine the Republican Party is to repeatedly force them to act as extremist and irresponsible as possible by proposing popular and sensible things that they refuse to support. By advocating gun control and immigration reform, two things Obama supports because he and most liberals believe them to be morally and politically necessary, Obama is tricking Republicans into revealing that they are dysfunctional, leaderless, and increasingly divided into two camps: the all-out crazies and the merely corrupt. This saddens David Brooks, naturally, because most things seem to sadden David Brooks, America’s Foremost Humility Expert.

But as the president begins his second term, I thought it’d be useful to try to figure out what “moderate Republican” columnists and “pox on both houses” centrists actually want the president to be doing.

How would we go about identifying the sorts of policies that would qualify as bipartisan, uncontroversial and capable of uniting America around a common goal again? Well, there are Brooks’ suggestions, which are mostly things Barack Obama has already repeatedly announced his support for. As Jonathan Chait pointed out, these suggestions are either things that have already been done or things that Republicans would just not support if Obama proposed them again.

We could also look, for guidance, to longtime Washington insiders Lanny Davis and Michael Steele, who have been fulsomely praised by much of the Beltway press for putting aside their political differences and joining together to … make a lot of money as lobbyists. Their “strategic communications” firm. (“Strategic communications” is P.R.-speak for “doing P.R. for politicians, athletes, corporations, institutions or dictators that have recently been discovered to have done something unbelievably horrible.”)



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Reply What do the Beltway moderates actually want? (Original post)
DonViejo Jan 2013 OP
Proud Liberal Dem Jan 2013 #1

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:41 PM

1. Right on

There IS a "moderate, centrist President" and his name is Barack Obama! I'm guessing that their big objection to him is that he just won't (really) play ball with them when it comes to tax cuts for the wealthy, gutting Social Security & Medicare, social programs, etc.

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