“[J]ournalists fetishize centrism and deal making, and assume that the best of all possible legislation, regardless of its actual content, is the kind that has both parties’ fingerprints on it,” Ross Doutaht wrote for the New York Times last month.
It’s exactly that fetish that President Obama is no-doubt pandering to when he says that he’ll work with people across the aisle, but I had to chuckle when reading how the President worded his offers of cooperation. He’ll work with anyone as long as they agree with him, and as long as they’re not one of those icky climate change deniers.
At a fundraiser last night in Chicago, President Barack Obama signaled that he’s interested in his legacy as a president and insisted that he’s willing to work with anyone. …
“And that means that I am willing to work with anybody — Republican, Democrat or independent — to get stuff done. And I am not going to put the pause button on for the next year and a half or two years or whatever it is, simply to position myself for the next election. If I’ve got a Republican who’s willing to work with me to rebuild our infrastructure, let’s go. If I’ve got a Republican out there who’s willing to get serious about what we need to deal with our long-term deficit challenges, I’m prepared, come on, let’s talk.”
But Obama then suggested he’d draw the line at “climate change” deniers. “If I’ve got somebody who has a different approach to dealing with climate change — I don’t have much patience for people who deny climate change, but if you’ve got creative approaches, market-based approaches, tell me about them. If you think I’m doing it the wrong way, let me know. I’m happy to work with you,” said Obama.
In other words, President Obama is open to different approaches to accomplishing his agenda. And no doubt, that will satisfy the fetish for bipartisanship held by many in the media.