Republicans Want GOP Leaders to Fight Obama Rather Than Get Things Done in D.C.
In case you were wondering just how inclined Republicans will be to find ways to work with President Obama, here's the chart of the day, from a new Pew Research Center poll. Victory, it seems, does not make the GOP electorate magnanimous:
This isn't a new story, but it's still striking. While the Ron Fourniers of the world will tell you that "the American people" want the two parties to come together to get things done, that isn't actually true. Many Americans want that, but they're mostly Democrats and independents. Most Republicans, on the other hand, don't want that at all. What they want is a fight. They want the officials they elected to shake their fists at that radical Kenyan socialist in the White House and tell him where he can shove it.
Since that's what most of those officials are inclined to do anyway, the decision is simple for them. When there's a choice between compromising to get something accomplished and "standing up" to Barack Obama to make a point, they're going to choose the latter. There's simply no incentive to do anything else.
So when they whine that the potential for bipartisan comity will be squandered if Obama takes some executive action on immigration ("You don't make a deal with someone by continuously poking your finger in their eye," says Lamar Alexander in today's New York Times), recognize it for what it is: a preemptive excuse, trying to shift blame to Obama for what Republicans were going to do all along, which is nothing. Their tender feelings are so terribly fragile, but if Obama is solicitous enough, they'll be there for him! Baloney. They don't want to make deals, their constituents don't want them to make deals, and they aren't going to be making any deals.