Chambliss expects ‘humility’ from Obama

CHAMBLISS EXPECTS ‘HUMILITY’ FROM OBAMA…. It takes real chutzpah to be this brash.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) said [Tuesday] that, because of angry town hallers and the like, President Obama should show “humility” when he speaks to Congress Wednesday night.

“What you’re seeing is folks on my side anxious to see what the president has to say tomorrow night,” Chambliss said. “I think he’s gonna have to express some humility based on what we’ve seen around the country this August and that’s not his inclination.”

The implication here is that Chambliss’s side — the one that opposes much of the Democrats’ reform plan, especially a public option — is winning, and that the president had better be humble.

There are two angles to this that are annoying. The first is the notion of consequences. Chambliss and those on his “side” apparently expect “humility” from the president because confused and enraged right-wing activists oppose health care reform. As John Cole asked, “Or what? You’ll all vote no? Dick Armey and Freedomworks will pay for a wingnut bus across the country? Sarah Palin’s ghostwriter will scribble something barely legible on Facebook? You’ll hold your breath? What exactly are you all going to do? You’ve already cranked up the crazy to max.”

The other angle, though, is how backwards Chambliss is. Indeed, for many Americans, one of the underlying problems with politics this year is that Republicans have refused to show an ounce of humility in the wake of their spectacular failures and electoral humiliations.

Chambliss and those on his “side” may not remember, but Republican officials ran the federal government in the Bush/Cheney era, and their efforts were disastrous. Everything they touched turned to garbage. They failed on the economy. They failed on the budget. They failed on foreign policy. They failed on constitutional policy. They failed on environmental policy. They failed on health care, national security, education, and infrastructure. The very idea of Republican governing was a fiasco of historic proportions — their ideas and philosophy were thoroughly discredited. GOP policymakers constituted the Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.

Voters, disgusted, delivered sweeping victories for Democrats. There were probably a few Dem leaders thinking in the wake of the 2008 elections, “I think they’re gonna have to express some humility based on what we’ve seen around the country this Election Day.”

But there was none. Republicans weren’t humble in the face of humiliating failure; they were emboldened to be as ridiculous as possible. The GOP simply pretended that it hadn’t been discredited, and immediately launched a scorched-earth campaign to destroy the new governing majority. There was no re-evaluation of failed policies, no reflection on failed leaders, no desire to move away from the far-right cliff, and no effort to reestablish some sense of policy credibility. “Humility” simply never occurred to them.

Saxby Chambliss wants the president of the United States to be humble. Here’s a radical thought for the right-wing senator: you first.