Gandhian Hardball: Obama's Political Non-Violence
The leader of Team O is very consciously using civil rights principles to make the Republicans (more) insane, and the "filibuster watch" is on. The sooner they openly shut down legislation, the better, the sooner their Party's spine will be broken. That spine must be broken because, in short, it is a corporatist spine. The man's realism comes through below, and then Hertzberg, an actual journalist, sketches the reasons why maintaining a bipartisan posture makes sense.
1) (Obama Interview) "But he did say that he thought the GOP party-line vote was a fait accompli long before it was taken. "Look," he said, "once a decision was made by the Republican leadership to have a party-line vote -- a decision that I think occurred before I met with them -- then I'm not sure that there was a whole host of things that we were going to do that was going to make a difference."
2) (Hertzberg, New Yorker) "Fifty years ago, the civil-rights movement understood that nonviolence can be an effective weapon even if—or especially if—the other side refuses to follow suit. Obama has a similarly tough-minded understanding of the political uses of bipartisanship, which, even if it fails as a tactic for compromise, can succeed as a tonal strategy: once the other side makes itself appear intransigently, destructively partisan, the game is half won. Obama is learning to throw the ball harder. But it’s not Rovian hardball he’s playing. More like Gandhian hardball."The holes in this boat may be too big to fix, but this guy can be a joy to watch.