With Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and other prominent Republicans making "no compromise" their ceaseless mantra no matter what the outcome of next week's election, why are President Obama, Vice President Biden, Harry Reid and other top Democrats still making happy-talk about how they look forward to the Repubs sitting down for post-election bipartisanship and negotiation?
As Maddow asked on her show last night after playing clip after clip of lockstep Republicans with their scorched-earth message, what part of "no compromise" do Dems fail to hear when Repubs speak?
It's not as if Republicans have proven themselves empty bluffers on this score in the past two years. Their obstructionism has been as disciplined as it has been destructive. And now that head-stomping tea partiers are calling the GOP tune, the rabid obstinacy will only get worse. As Maddow pointed out, this is a gang with one clear goal: to take down the Obama administration by any means necessary. That includes legislative gridlock, total government shutdown, federal bankruptcy, foreign and domestic policy disaster, worsened economic catastrophe. If it hurts Obama, it's on the Republican menu. Whatever it takes. They are willing to take down the country in order to sink Obama. And given the chance, they will.
So are the Dems delusional? I suspect not. I just think they feel trapped. Having confined themselves to their play-nice cage for two years because they are afraid to fight, Dems now have nowhere to go when faced with the savage right. Giving Repubs a good Dem-base-stirring smackdown with a substantive progressive rebuttal to GOP claims is off the table. And publicly bowing to Repubs is off the table. So what's left? The old "we trust the guy with the gun to be reasonable" line. That's worked out really well for the Dems so far, hasn't it?
I'm on vacation right now and I'm not supposed to be blogging. But I'll leave you with this:
Vote. If you think things are bad now, just wait and see what happens if you stay at home and do nothing.