The Beltway consensus seems to be that Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress need to make nice to Republicans and not press for any legislation (e.g., card check) that will give them indigestion, because otherwise (1) Republicans will sulk and obstruct and (2) the voters will be unhappy that the promised post-partisan era hasn’t arrived.
Oddly, there’s no equivalent sense that the Republicans shouldn’t sulk and obstruct, as they’re currently doing on the stimulus, the Holder nomination, and seating Franken. From where I sit, they’re badly overplaying a very weak hand.
I’m not sure where the double standard comes from, but it seems to me that Obama and the Congressional leadership need to demonstrate to the GOP that, as cooperation will be beneficial, obstruction will be painful. Harry Reid’s decision to call a Sunday session in response to Tom Coburn’s latest antics is a good start. Here’s hoping that the White House is compiling a list of the key corporate backers of every Republican on the Hill, just to know where to apply the pressure if pressure is needed.
Some of my progressive friends are upset about Obama’s accommodating posture. But I suspect this may be more rope-a-dope. The more Obama looks reasonable, the more the voters will blame the Republicans when a confrontation arrives.