Rare is the Democrat of plausible national ambition who tangles in a tough, meaningful way with labor unions or environmentalists, groups that President Obama has been loath to cross. Disappointing them jeopardizes the campaign infantry and financial contributions they provide, and as the sway of interest groups rises, the fealty of politicians to the ones in their corner grows with it.
Rare is the Republican of plausible national ambition who doesn’t kowtow to religious conservatives, a spectacle on florid display during the Republican primaries…
Remember how President Obama kowtowed to environmentalists on those ozone regulations? He just did whatever the Sierra Club told him to. And he also told the Supreme Court to uphold the Second Circuit on the climate change public nuisance litigation. Oh, and labor, too: that Race to the Top could practically have been written by the NEA!
Then there’s Evan Bayh’s championing of the elimination of the estate tax: why didn’t he just stamp a hammer-and-sickle on his forehead? You no doubt also remember how Kent Conrad, Max Baucus, and Ben Nelson completely prostrated themselves in front of Democratic constituencies. It’s abject!
Of course, Bruni might defend himself by saying that he is only referring to politicians of “plausible national ambition.” Absolutely! You remember how courageous George Voinovich, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins were in advocating for the Affordable Care Act, don’t you?
What does Bruni get paid for, again?