In E. J. Dionne’s most recent column, in which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is portrayed as a sort of saintly character, striving against the evils of rejectionist Republicans, I note that Mr. Dionne fails to mention Sen. Reid’s many changes in Senate rules which in aggregate and especially with respect to Sen. Reid’s refusal to allow amendments from the floor, presents Senate Republicans with only two alternatives: affirm or deny. That’s a Hobson’s choice which is to say no choice at all. Under the circumstances it’s a bit facetious to condemn them for rejectionism.
Should Republicans take the position of flatly opposing everything that the president wants? No. Should Democrats block them even from participating in the crafting of legislation? No. Should the president have done and be doing more to cultivate a relationship with Congressional Republicans that would facilitate a more collegial approach to government? Yes.
Apportion blame to your heart’s delight. There’s plenty to go around. Doing the people’s business will require Republicans to compromise, Democrats to compromise, and the president to compromise.
Also, with November in mind, do unto others as you would have others do unto you.