I’ve said before that if Republicans get the House or Senate back in 2010, we will see bullshit investigations 24/7 the same way we did after the 1994 elections. There’s certainly no denying that their tactics so far have been right out of the Gingrich/Dole playbook. E. J. Dionne:
So in Clinton’s case, Republicans voted to a person against his economic recovery plan that — combined with President George H.W. Bush’s deficit-reduction moves — put the nation on the road to budget surpluses. Remember those? And then they killed Clinton’s health-care plan.
Under Obama, Republicans have used precisely the same tactics without facing any criticism for a lack of originality. Obama’s stimulus bill got three Republican votes in the Senate, none in the House, and GOP lawmakers rail against it even as they claim credit for projects financed by a bill they opposed. And Republicans are doing all they can to make sure that Health Care 2.0 is ruined by the same political viruses that infected Health Care 1.0 under Clinton.
Confronting the highly disciplined Republicans, Obama and Clinton both had to rely on a Democratic Party whose ranks, especially in the Senate, include a lot of people ready to abandon the battlefield at the first sign of bad poll numbers.
And they share a major weakness: Both believe so devoutly in their capacity to convert adversaries and to get lions and lambs to lie down together that they spend more energy trying to win over their enemies than rallying their friends. This leaves them helpless when the lions continue to devour the lambs.