Obama ‘pledged’ to ‘work with’ the right wing?

OBAMA ‘PLEDGED’ TO ‘WORK WITH’ THE RIGHT WING?…. The Wall Street Journal ran an odd piece today about conservatives’ complaining about President Obama encouraging kids to do well in school. Jonathan Weisman and Ben Casselman reported:

The controversy, stoked by conservative talk-radio hosts and some politicians, took White House officials by surprise, and marked a new low in the deteriorating relationship between Mr. Obama and a right wing he had pledged to work with in a postpartisan presidency.

This, by the way, did not appear in an editorial, but rather, a straight-up news piece.

Now, I watched the presidential campaign pretty closely, and I don’t recall Obama ever pledging to work with the right wing in a post-partisan presidency. It seems like the kind of pledge that would stand out. Eric Boehlert doesn’t remember it, either.

To paraphrase Barney Frank, on what planet do Journal reporters Jonathan Weisman and Ben Casselman live? On what planet did candidate Obama ever “pledge” to work with the right wing; with “conservative talk show hosts”? On what planet did Obama make plain his desire to have any relationship with the nut jobs on the radical right who consider him to be a communist and a Manchurian Candidate sent to destroy America?

In truth, during the campaign, Obama did talk a fair amount about his willingness to reach out to Republicans, strike compromises, include GOP officials in his cabinet, etc. And, for good or ill, the president has followed through on his campaign commitments. He negotiated with Republicans on the stimulus; he supported scaling back cap-and-trade and earned GOP votes in the process; he’s reached out to Republicans on health care; and he’s put more members of the opposite party in his cabinet than any president in modern memory.

But the Wall Street Journal would have readers believe that Obama “pledged” to “work with” the same unhinged crazies who consider an inoffensive stay-in-school message scandalous. Indeed, the implciation is that Obama is somehow responsible for the fact that his most irate detractors aren’t satisfied with his presidency.

Like far too much of the WSJ‘s coverage of the White House, that’s literally unbelievable.

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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.