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RICH LOWRY: The Cynical Politics of Compromise – National Review Online

August 23, 2011

The Cynical Politics of Compromise

It’s only in his desperation and diminishment that Obama has retreated to compromise.

RICH LOWRY

AUGUST 23, 2011 12:00 A.M.

It’s easy to pinpoint the moment when Pres. Barack Obama became a tireless advocate of compromise — when he no longer had the power to force whatever he wanted through Congress.

Then, he suddenly switched his pitch from “Hope and Change” to “Gee, I Hope We Can Work Something Out.”

Obama the Compromiser depends on short memories. The Jefferson-Jackson Day speech that fueled his rise in the 2008 Iowa caucuses was a ringing statement of principle and implicit rejection of compromise. He condemned “triangulation,” the dastardly word associated with Pres. Bill Clinton’s work with a Republican Congress in the 1990s.

Many of the same commentators who hailed Obama’s voice of righteous purity in 2008 now praise his call for splitting differences in 2011. To them, he’s equally thoughtful and brave whether he’s passionately extolling “principle” and “conviction,” or doggedly insisting that progress is possible only through “common ground and compromise.” By definition, whatever is Obama’s current tack deserves the support of all right-minded people.

But surely his ecstatic fans from 2008 would have fainted less often had they known that three years into his presidency, Obama would be dragging himself around the Midwest, pleading with Republicans to agree with him on creating an infrastructure bank.

via The Cynical Politics of Compromise – Rich Lowry – National Review Online.

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