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Senator Mitch McConnell The single most important thing

(2012-11-07 10:59:51) 下一个
November 7, 2012 NYTimes Hope and Change: Part 2 By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN In October 2010, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, famously told The National Journal, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” And that’s how he and his party acted. ¶Well, Mitch, how’s that workin’ out for ya? ¶No one can know for sure what complex emotional chemistry tipped this election Obama’s way, but here’s my guess: In the end, it came down to a majority of Americans believing that whatever his faults, Obama was trying his hardest to fix what ails the country and that he had to do it with a Republican Party that, in its gut, did not want to meet him halfway but wanted him to fail — so that it could swoop in and pick up the pieces. To this day, I find McConnell’s declaration appalling. Consider all the problems we have faced in this country over the last four years — from debt to adapting to globalization to unemployment to the challenges of climate change to terrorism — and then roll over that statement: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” ¶That, in my view, is what made the difference. The G.O.P. lost an election that, given the state of the economy, it should have won because of an excess of McConnell-like cynicism, a shortage of new ideas and an abundance of really bad ideas — about immigration, about climate, about how jobs are created and about abortion and other social issues. ¶It seems that many Americans went to the polls without much enthusiasm for either candidate, but, nevertheless, with a clear idea of whom they preferred. The majority seemed to be saying to Obama: “You didn’t get it all right the first time, but we’re going to give you a second chance.” In a way, they voted for “hope and change” again. I don’t think it was so much a ratification of health care or “Race to the Top” or any other Obama initiative. It was more a vote on his character: “We think you’re trying. Now try even harder. Learn from your mistakes. Reach out to the other side, even if they slap away your hand, and focus like a laser on the economy, so those of us who voted for you today without much enthusiasm can feel good about this vote.” ¶And that is why Obama’s victory is so devastating for the G.O.P. A country with nearly 8 percent unemployment preferred to give the president a second chance rather than Mitt Romney a first one. The Republican Party today needs to have a real heart-to-heart with itself. ¶The G.O.P. has lost two presidential elections in a row because it forced its candidate to run so far to the loony right to get through the primaries, dominated by its ultraconservative base, that he could not get close enough back to the center to carry the national election. It is not enough for Republicans to tell their Democratic colleagues in private — as some do — “I wish I could help you, but our base is crazy.” They need to have their own reformation. The center-right has got to have it out with the far-right, or it is going to be a minority party for a long time. ¶Many in the next generation of America know climate change is real, and they want to see something done to mitigate it. Many in the next generation of America will be of Hispanic origin and insist on humane immigration reform that gives a practical legal pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. The next generation is going to need immigration of high-I.Q. risk-takers from India, China and Latin America if the U.S. is going to remain at the cutting edge of the Information Technology revolution and be able to afford the government we want. Many in the next generation of America see gays and lesbians in their families, workplaces and Army barracks, and they don’t want to deny them the marriage rights held by others. The G.O.P. today is at war with too many in the next generation of America on all of these issues. ¶All that said, my prediction is that the biggest domestic issue in the next four years will be how we respond to changes in technology, globalization and markets that have, in a very short space of time, made the decent-wage, middle-skilled job — the backbone of the middle class — increasingly obsolete. The only decent-wage jobs will be high-skilled ones. ¶The answer to that challenge will require a new level of political imagination — a combination of educational reforms and unprecedented collaboration between business, schools, universities and government to change how workers are trained and empowered to keep learning. It will require tax reforms and immigration reforms. America today desperately needs a center-right G.O.P. that is offering merit-based, market-based approaches to all these issues — and a willingness to meet the other side halfway. The country is starved for practical, bipartisan cooperation, and it will reward politicians who deliver it and punish those who don’t. ¶The votes have been counted. President Obama now needs to get to work to justify the second chance the country has given him, and the Republicans need to get to work understanding why that happened.
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TJKCB 回复 悄悄话 When did McConnell say he wanted to make Obama a ‘one-term president’?
Posted by Glenn Kessler at 06:00 AM ET, 09/25/2012
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(Carolyn Kaster/AP)
“When I first came into office, the head of the Senate Republicans said, ‘my number one priority is making sure president Obama’s a one-term president.’ Now, after the election, either he will have succeeded in that goal or he will have failed at that goal.”
— President Obama, interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” recorded on Sept. 12, 2012, and aired on Sept. 23
“It was no surprise, because the senator from Kentucky, who just spoke, announced at the beginning, four years ago, exactly what his strategy would be. He said, his number-one goal was to make sure that Barack Obama was a one-term president.”
— Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), on the Senate floor, Sept. 21, 2012
“Ed Rendell, who has criticized the president (objecting, for example, to the Obama campaign's attack on private equity), also argues that Obama has been constrained by an unprecedented obduracy in his Republican opposition. ‘I can't ever recall a newly elected president being faced with the leader of the other party's caucus saying “Our No. 1 priority is to make this president a one-term president,”’ says Rendell, citing the remark made by Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, that exemplified the fierce partisanship that has attended Obama's tenure. ‘That McConnell would say that in the first nine months of Barack Obama's tenure is absolutely stunning, disgraceful, disgusting — you name the term.’”
— Peter J. Boyer, writing in Newsweek, Sept. 10, 2012
Clearly, a theme has emerged among Democrats: Republicans were so determined to thwart President Obama’s agenda that the Senate Minority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, even announced from day one that he was determined to make Obama a one-term president.
The timing of McConnell’s statement obviously makes a difference. In the Democratic narrative, the top GOP senator signaled early on he had no intention of cooperating with the new president.
Is that really the case?


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (J. Scott Applewhite — Associated Press, File)

The Facts
McConnell made his remarks in an interview that appeared in the National Journal on Oct. 23, 2010 — nearly two years after Obama was elected president. The interview took place on the eve the of the midterm elections. The interview is relatively short, so we will print it in its entirety, with key portions highlighted.
NJ: You’ve been studying the history of presidents who lost part or all of Congress in their first term. Why?
McConnell: In the last 100 years, three presidents suffered big defeats in Congress in their first term and then won reelection: Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and the most recent example, Bill Clinton. I read a lot of history anyway, but I am trying to apply those lessons to current situations in hopes of not making the same mistakes.
NJ: What have you learned?
McConnell: After 1994, the public had the impression we Republicans overpromised and underdelivered. We suffered from some degree of hubris and acted as if the president was irrelevant and we would roll over him. By the summer of 1995, he was already on the way to being reelected, and we were hanging on for our lives.
NJ: What does this mean now?
McConnell: We need to be honest with the public. This election is about them, not us. And we need to treat this election as the first step in retaking the government. We need to say to everyone on Election Day, “Those of you who helped make this a good day, you need to go out and help us finish the job.”
NJ: What’s the job?
McConnell: The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.
NJ: Does that mean endless, or at least frequent, confrontation with the president?
McConnell: If President Obama does a Clintonian backflip, if he’s willing to meet us halfway on some of the biggest issues, it’s not inappropriate for us to do business with him.
NJ: What are the big issues?
McConnell: It is possible the president’s advisers will tell him he has to do something to get right with the public on his levels of spending and [on] lowering the national debt. If he were to heed that advice, he would, I imagine, find more support among our conference than he would among some in the Senate in his own party. I don’t want the president to fail; I want him to change. So, we’ll see. The next move is going to be up to him.
NJ: What will you seek from the president on the tax issue?
McConnell: At the very least, I believe we should extend all of the Bush tax cuts. And I prefer to describe this as keeping current tax policy. It’s been on the books for 10 years. Now, how long that [extension] is, is something we can discuss. It was clear his position was not [favored] among all Senate Democrats. They had their own divisions. I don’t think those divisions are going to be any less in November and December.
When seen in full context, McConnell’s quote is not really as shocking as the snippet that is frequently repeated by Democrats.
Generally, Democrats suggest that McConnell believed that no problem is bigger than getting rid of Obama, but it is clear that he is speaking in a political context — that the goals of Republicans could not be achieved unless Obama is defeated in his race for reelection. A case in point: the health care law could not be overturned unless Obama is defeated.
Moreover, McConnell goes on to say that he does “not want the president to fail” and cooperation was possible “if he’s willing to meet us halfway on some of the biggest issues.” McConnell in fact cited an extension of the Bush tax cuts — and Obama did strike such a deal shortly after the midterm elections.
Here’s how McConnell explained his remarks in a speech after the election, when Republicans had taken over the House of Representatives and made huge gains in the Senate:
“Let’s start with the big picture. Over the past week, some have said it was indelicate of me to suggest that our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term in office. But the fact is, if our primary legislative goals are to repeal and replace the health spending bill; to end the bailouts; cut spending; and shrink the size and scope of government, the only way to do all these things it is to put someone in the White House who won’t veto any of these things. We can hope the President will start listening to the electorate after Tuesday’s election. But we can’t plan on it. And it would be foolish to expect that Republicans will be able to completely reverse the damage Democrats have done as long as a Democrat holds the veto pen.”
The Pinocchio Test
There is no doubt that McConnell said he wanted to make Obama a one-term president. But he did not say it at the start of Obama’s term; instead, he made his comments at the midpoint, after Obama had enacted many of his preferred policies.
Perhaps, in Obama’s memory, McConnell was always uncooperative. But that does not give him and other Democrats the license to rearrange the chronology to suit the party’s talking points.
Two Pinocchios



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0/31/2012 7:31 AM PDT
October 23, 2010 just before the Mid-term election. Later in the same interview, McConnel said: "We don't want the President of fail, we want him to change."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/p...

You really need to watch other stations besides MSNBC.
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Desertdiva
10/30/2012 3:49 PM PDT
Are you misinformed or lying? That comment wasn't made until 2010. Even WaPo has fact checked that lie. "McConnell made his remarks in an interview that appeared in the National Journal on Oct. 23, 2010 — nearly two years after Obama was elected president. The interview took place on the eve the of the midterm elections."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/p...
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LibertyHight
10/30/2012 2:21 PM PDT
Maybe everyone should read the actual and ENTIRE McConnell interview transcript to get some perspective. This article has the transcript but it's available all over the place, not just the edited down version.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/p...
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wvara
10/30/2012 8:28 AM PDT
santargina: Accoring to WaPo, McConnel's quote was from a Oct. 23, 2010 interview. The exact quote is: "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

Later in the same interiew, McConnel said: "I don’t want the president to fail; I want him to change."

Facts matter, don't you think? Relying on MSNBC may not be your best source of the facts...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/p...
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wvara
10/30/2012 8:23 AM PDT
coda: Wouldn't it be refreshing if you got your facts straight for once?

Yes Sen. McConnel did say: "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." in a Oct 23, 2010 interview prior to the mid-term election. But he also said in that same interview: "I don’t want the president to fail; I want him to change."

Looks a little different when you take the quote in context, doesn't it?

BTW, The WaPo gives you 2 Pinocchios.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/p...
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quarterback
10/30/2012 5:50 AM PDT
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/p...

That came after such gems as:

I won.

Don't call my bluff.

Get in the back seat.

Don't talk much.

And of course the hyperpartisan jamming of Obamacare down the country's throat.
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snowy2
10/26/2012 3:20 PM PDT
January 23, 2009, 2:32 PM.Obama to GOP:

‘I Won’The top congressional leaders from both parties gathered at the White House for a working discussion over the shape and size of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan. The meeting was designed to promote bipartisanship.

But Obama showed that in an ideological debate, he’s not averse to using a jab.

Challenged by one Republican senator over the contents of the package, the new president, according to participants, replied: “I won.”
----
McConnell made his remarks in an interview that appeared in the National Journal on Oct. 23, 2010 — nearly two years after Obama was elected president. The interview took place on the eve the of the midterm elections. The interview is relatively short, so we will print it in its entirety, with key portions highlighted.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/p...
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Desertdiva
10/17/2012 7:55 AM PDT
@sambones here's the link.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/p...
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pclement1
10/16/2012 1:16 AM PDT
joseph19

It IS EXACTLY what McConnel said, and INTENDED TO SAY. There is no context or nuance in the interview that changes what that quote says.

The WaPo fact checker gave Obama two Pinnochios because McConnell said it in 2010, not “When I first came into office,..." as Obama said in an interview.

"There is no doubt that McConnell said he wanted to make Obama a one-term president. But he did not say it at the start of Obama’s term; ... -WaPo the FactChecker

LINK:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/p...

The fact checker was being a petty jerk, the real leader of the Republican party at the time, Rush Limbaugh, was spewing his "I hope he fails." line immediately after the election. The open, blatant, abject hostility to anthing and everything the President stood for or tried to do has been continuous from the moment he was elected, through 2010 and Mitch McConnell's despicable confession, to this very day. It was not difficult at all to blur the unbroken and unrelenting line of excrement spewing from the Republicans together, Obama should have gotten a total pass on it.
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ravensfan20008
10/3/2012 7:20 AM PDT
Two Pinocchios for this?! That's it. I'm done reading this blog. Of all the things you could go after, you've just given two of four to a sentiment that clearly exists. It's amazing.
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Rukiddingme8
10/1/2012 5:13 PM PDT
A Clintonian backflip was required ? Well Obama did that, still no soap from the plutocrats. Try again to explain the sabotage of the GOP.
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MadamDeb
9/30/2012 7:46 PM PDT
This all started with Gingrich during the Clinton years and the sham of an impeachment -- for NO impeachable offense. And the Republicans have only gotten worse since then. Shame on them.
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MadamDeb
9/30/2012 7:14 PM PDT
What does it matter when he said it? The fact that he said is reprehensible for a supposed "leader."
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ReaganAnd30YearsOfWrong
9/30/2012 5:54 PM PDT
Kessler's an idiot.

From "The New New Deal" by Michael Grunwalk, here's what McConnell did at a Jan. 2009 retreat:

At the (Republican Senate) retreat (January, 2009), McConnell reminded the Republican senators that there were still enough of them to block the Democratic agenda – as long as they all marched in lockstep…Politically, they had nothing to gain from me-too-ism.

McConnell recognized that Obama’s promises of bipartisanship gave his dwindling minority real leverage. Whenever Republicans decided not to cooperate, Obama would be the one breaking his promises…”We thought – correctly, I think – that the only way the American people would know a great debate was going on was if the measures were not bipartisan,” McConnell explain later in one of his periodic outbreaks of candor. “When you hang the ‘bipartisan’ tag on something, the perception is that the differences had been worked out.”

Maybe Obama had rewritten the rules of electoral politics, but the rules of Washington politics still applied. The dream of hope and change was about to enter the world of cloture votes and motions to commit. That was McConnell’s world.

That retreat took place in early January 2009, before Obama took office. At the House retreat around the same time, Pete Sessions delivered this message to his colleagues:

The team’s goal would not be promoting Republican policies, or stopping Democratic policies, or even making Democratic bills less offensive to Republicans. Its goal would be taking the gavel back from Speaker Pelosi.

“That is the entire Conference’s Mission,” Sessions wrote.

(http://negativeinterest.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/p...

Yet, Kessler acts like he thinks people ought to think McConnell come up with his approach to the Obama Administration in late October, 2010. Never mind what McConnell did in Jan. 2009. Never mind the filibusters. Never mind the vote totals on key legislation.

Important Votes:

Republicans followed through on just saying no to everything for political gain and for denying Obama political "victories" and not caring one whit the effect on the country.

GOP Obstruction: S-CHIP (Signed 2/2009) ...See More
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ReaganAnd30YearsOfWrong
9/30/2012 5:54 PM PDT
GOP Obstruction: Extended Unemployment Benefits (Signed: 7/2010) (Can't even extend unemployment?)
Senate Vote: 59 – 39; GOP votes: 2
House Vote: 272 – 152; GOP votes: 31

GOP Obstruction: Small Business Jobs Act (Signed: 9/2010)
Senate Vote: 61 – 38; GOP votes: 0
House Vote: 237 – 187; GOP votes: 1
----

You suck, Glenn.
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ReaganAnd30YearsOfWrong
9/30/2012 5:57 PM PDT
As for McConnell wanting Obama to change, Obama repeatedly bent over backwards to attract Republican votes. They were not coming. And we now know why: Republicans were going to obstruct NO MATTER WHAT the Democrats and/or Obama offered.

Again, you SIMPLY SUCK Kessler. It's that simple.
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Desertdiva
9/30/2012 12:59 PM PDT
Here's the link to the story

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/p...
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