THE BOGUS NARRATIVE THAT WILL ONLY GET MORE UBIQUITOUS…. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) thinks he knows exactly what would improve President Obama’s political fortunes. Take a wild guess what he suggests.
“The only way the president could possibly survive is come back to the middle,” Graham said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” […]
Graham accused Obama as running as a centrist but governing “from the left,” acquiescing to the politics and agenda of the House.
The South Carolinian added that the White House’s agenda has been the “most liberal agenda of modern times.”
To prove his point, Graham noted that the administration has prepared to try terrorists in criminal courts on American soil. Of course, the Bush/Cheney administration did the exact same thing, without complaint from Republicans like Graham, but it’s “tone-deaf” liberalism now because, well, Graham says so. He added that the president is “certainly tone deaf on the economy,” though he didn’t say why.
It’s an absolute, guaranteed, mortal lock that if Republicans make huge gains in the midterms, as seems likely, Graham’s rhetoric will be the accepted conventional wisdom, if it isn’t already. Pundits, politicians, and the establishment in general will simply accept as fact that Dems would have fared far better if only they hadn’t governed “from the left.” Obama, we’ll hear, has no choice but to go “to the middle.”
And every time this nonsense is repeated, an angel will lose its wings.
Look, obviously the GOP has all the momentum, at least for now, going into the midterms. The economy is struggling, and frustrated voters are prepared to punish the party in power, even if the mess was created by the party that’s about to reap the rewards. Complicating matters, Democratic voters are feeling disillusioned, and may sit on their hands this fall, even if that means sweeping successes for the most radicalized Republican Party in generations.
But Graham’s entire narrative is fundamentally wrong. Obama already is and has been in “the middle.” It’s what led to a smaller and less effective stimulus; it’s what led to a more moderate health care reform bill; it’s what produced a less ambitious Wall Street reform package. The president has sought to compromise, over and over again, with a comically right-wing GOP that’s not only refused to meet him half-way on literally anything, but at times seems intent on undermining national progress purely for partisan gain.
Lindsey Graham wants Obama to “come back to the middle”? Here’s a silly question for Graham: when might your party “come back to the middle”? When was the last time congressional Republicans offered a centrist compromise on literally any policy dispute? When was the last time Graham’s Senate caucus allowed the Senate to vote up or down on meaningful legislation without a filibuster, a hold, or both? When was the last time the GOP mainstream responded to White House outreach with a single idea where the parties could work together?
The conventional wisdom will be that liberalism did Democrats in, despite all evidence to the contrary, and despite the fact that liberals were right, especially about the economy. And we’ll be reminded again as to why the accepted political truths are often neither conventional nor wise.