Obama's Bipartisan Gambit
So many folks -- including the usually sound Paul Krugman -- seem to think this goal of bipartisanship is a sucker's game. I disagree: it's the essence of the change Obama can bring to the country, and a measure of his audacity that he's willing to try. He also plainly feels this in his bones -- witness the long riff at the press conference on why conservatives need to get past their "money doesn't matter" canard on schools even as he challenges liberals to get past their resistance to making systemic reforms in exchange for new investment. A lot of folks think getting both parties to to come together is a naive fantasy, and that Obama is just giving small groups like the moderate Senate Republicans undue power in the current stimulus battle, for example. This critique is shortsighted. Obama has his eye on a bigger prize -- literally changing the political culture in ways we need if we're to tackle a host of major challenges -- and he's taking risks to set that tone from the get-go. It's a big wager, but when your real project is to redefine the political center in the country, it's essential.
More on this -- maybe a column -- when I have time to develop the thought.