Kyl’s faulty memory

KYL’S FAULTY MEMORY…. Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R) of Arizona believes President Obama isn’t reaching out to Republicans as much as he used to.

President Obama has become more and more partisan since taking office, the second-ranking Senate Republican charged Monday.

“In the earliest days, he reached out in a bipartisan way to secure passage of administration priorities … [b]ut the administration has become increasingly partisan in the months since then,” Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said in a speech on the Senate floor.

Hmm, I don’t remember the “earliest days” of Obama’s presidency quite the same way. Obama “reached out in a bipartisan way to secure passage of administration priorities”? Well, he reached out in a bipartisan way, and found that Republicans had no interest in compromise or cooperation. The Senate passed the Lily Ledbetter Act over GOP opposition; the Senate passed the stimulus package over GOP opposition; the Senate passed the budget over GOP opposition; the Senate passed S-CHIP over GOP opposition; etc.

When, exactly, was this golden era?

For that matter, what’s changed? The White House invested quite a bit of effort last week, reaching out to Republicans on health care reform, but couldn’t find much in the way of support. That’s fine, it’s the opposition party; it’s suppose to oppose the majority’s agenda.

But I still don’t know what Kyl is whining about here. Obama keeps seeking GOP support, and keeps finding an obstinate minority. Why would Kyl complain about that?

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.