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Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson lets the cat out of the bag


A year ago Obama promised to reach out to Republicans. He had a huge majority but wanted to govern across the aisle, as he said in his visit to the lion’s den last week. He had them over to the White House for our secular sacrament of watching the Super Bowl. He followed up with small cocktail parties. One of his rare nights out was to dinner with conservative columnists at George Will’s house.

He appointed Republicans to his cabinet and gave Republican senators a chance to put forward their proposals in the health- care bill by way of the so-called Gang of Six. Many of their concerns were accommodated, resulting in a bill so ugly in places even proponents have to hold their noses. Yet Democrats got not one Republican vote for their trouble.

When Obama was elected, Republicans wondered if it would be the end of them. If anything, they should thank the president for their resuscitation by making them so relevant in his quest for bipartisanship.

Mission accomplished!

If there's anything that makes Versailles Versailles, it's the Ds and the Rs playing good cop, bad cop (with "good" and "bad" defined as appropriate for their fans (I almost wrote "constituencies," but that would have implied that the legacy parties are accountable to the electorate)).

Bush, from the standpoint of his owners and handlers, was a tremendous success and highly competent, starting a humongous war, shredding the Constitution, and handing trillions of our dollars to the banksters. Obama, working for more or less the same owners and handlers, has been a tremendous success and highly competent, in that he has rationalized and consolidated Bush's gains and now, in an "only Nixon can go to China" moment, is thoughtfully, deliberately, and 11-dimensional-chess-fully planning to destroy Social Security and Medicare so elders, and those not yet old, end up eating cat food and dying in their own shit. This is called "austerity," and is good for the soul of any great nation.

Some of us will remember -- and will not have repressed, or be in denial about -- that "resuscitating" the Rs was, in fact, one the few goals that Obama was completely explicit about in the 2008 primaries: There's no other operational definition or interpretation of the "bipartisanship" for which Obama advocated so strongly that's possible.

The estimable SMBIVA calls the D/R "good cop"/"bad cop" flip-flop "the ratchet effect", but as readers have pointed out to me here, Obama shows that "bad cop"/"worse cop" or even "bad cop"/"just as bad cop" are the more appropriate tropes.

And so I would like to thank the access bloggers, the D operatives, the dwindling band of Obama fans, and above all the career "progressives" for helping Obama keep the legacy party system on life support for another few cycles. I'm going with "Bad cop"/"Just As Bad Cop." The beatings will continue until morale improves.

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