Peggy Noonan's latest column is one that has me wondering how closely she has been paying attention to how President Obama actually governs (as opposed to how he campaigns). Case in point is the title and sub-title "His Terms Are Always Hostile Ones - No one has good faith but Obama. Doesn't this get boring, even to him?"
Presidential inaugurations are rare and notable events, coming only once every four years since April 30, 1789, when George Washington raised his right hand and took the oath on the second-floor balcony of New York's Federal Hall.
It's a big day with all its pomp and ceremony, and among its purposes is this: to encourage all who watch to let go, for a moment, of the ups and downs of the political day-to-day and think, for a moment, about the longer arc of our history. A president's inaugural address is a chance to go big and be big—to be thematic and not programmatic, to declare the meaning, as he sees it, of his leadership, to speak of where America is and ought to be. The whole day, from breakfasts to balls, is meant to be, insofar as possible within the confines of human nature, one of democratic fellowship and good feeling.
A president approaching that day will necessarily be, in his spirit, benign, embracing—unifying.
So here is what is utterly remarkable: President Obama has been using the days and weeks leading up to his inauguration to show the depth of his disdain for the leaders of the other major party and, by inference, that party's voters, which is to say more or less half the country. He has been spending his time alienating instead of summoning. It has left the political air more sour and estranged.
She points out the hostility that this President has for the GOP and then claims....
As a presidential style this is something strange and new. That has to be said again: It is new, and does not augur well.
Which leads one to wonder where she was in 2009...
President Obama listened to Republican gripes about his stimulus package during a meeting with congressional leaders Friday morning - but he also left no doubt about who's in charge of these negotiations. "I won," Obama noted matter-of-factly, according to sources familiar with the conversation.
The exchange arose as top House and Senate Republicans expressed concern to the president about the amount of spending in the package. They also raised red flags about a refundable tax credit that returns money to those who don’t pay income taxes, the sources said.
The Republicans stressed that they want to include more middle class tax cuts in the package, citing their proposal to cut the two lowest tax rates — 15 percent and 10 percent — to ten percent and five percent, rather than issue the refundable credit Obama wants.
In his VERY FIRST MEETING with Congressional leaders from both parties, his reply to concerns about his plan was simply "I won" give me what I want. And that conversation set the tenor for the President's entire first term. There was the health care debate in 2010 where the President told John McCain on live television(in response to a question on the heath care bill) "Let me just make this point John, because we are not campaigning anymore, the election is over..." and then blew off his concerns as mere "talking points". In the same summit, during Paul Ryan's prepared comments, the Petulant President was seen scratching his nose and his face with his middle finger and resting his head against said middle finger repeatedly.
I suppose this is one of those "better late than never" revelations.....but here is where she gets to the point.
He bristled with unashamed hostility for Republicans on the Hill. They are holding the economy "ransom," they are using the threat of "crashing the American economy" as "leverage," some are "absolutist" while others are "consumed with partisan brinksmanship." They are holding "a gun at the head of the American people." And what is "motivating and propelling" them is not a desire for debt reduction, as they claim. They are "suspicious about government's commitment . . . to make sure that seniors have decent health care as they get older. They have suspicions about Social Security. They have suspicions about whether government should make sure that kids in poverty are getting enough to eat, or whether we should be spending money on medical research."
And yet, "when I'm over here at the congressional picnic and folks are coming up and taking pictures with their family, I promise you, Michelle and I are very nice to them."
You're nice to them? To people who'd take food from the mouths of babes?
Then, grimly: "But it doesn't prevent them from going onto the floor of the House and blasting me for being a big-spending socialist." Conservative media outlets "demonize" the president, he complained, and so Republican legislators fear standing near him.
If Richard Nixon talked like that, they'd have called him paranoid and self-pitying. Oh wait . . .
I had to chuckle at that last line. President Obama loves to compare himself to FDR and occasionally to Reagan but with his enemies lists and his treatment of the opposing party he is more Nixonian than anything else.
...Pressed by reporters on whether he would negotiate with them to win this outcome he made it clear he would not.
Emphasis mine. And this is exactly what the House and Senate GOP leadership needs to remember. This President will not compromise. He will not negotiate. He despises your very existence and does not care that you were elected to represent people in your districts that want something OTHER than what he wants. He won and to HELL with those who didn't vote for him. He is out to punish and humiliate you all.
So here is this American's plea to the GOP leadership - for heavens sake STAND UP FOR THOSE OF US WHO VOTED FOR YOU. Don't cave to the narcissist living in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He is not interested in compromise so don't give him a dime. He owns it all now. There is no more blaming previous administrations for his failures. Make him own it completely.