Wednesday, May 15, 2019

He Should Know

Your mission, readers, if you choose to accept it, is to identify the name of the Democratic politician whose name I have omitted from the following excerpt from page 207 of Michael Grunwald's The New New Deal, published in August of 2012. (Unavoidable hints appear in various place.)

______ says that during the transition, he was warned not to expect any cooperation on many votes. “I spoke to seven different Republican Senators, who said, ______ I’m not going to be able to help you on anything,’ he recalls. His informants said McConnell had demanded unified resistance. “The way it was characterized to me was: `For the next two years, we can’t let you succeed in anything. That’s our ticket to coming back,’” ______ says.

______ says he hasn’t even told Obama who his sources were, but Bob Bennett of Utah and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania both confirmed they had conversations with ______ along these lines.

______, of course, has a history of outsized comments. But two former Republican Senators are confirming the gist of the charges (though both have their reasons for holding a grudge against the GOP). Meanwhile, former Senator George Voinovich also goes on record telling Grunwald that Republican marching orders were to oppose everything the Obama administration proposed.

“If he was for it, we had to be against it,” Voinovich tells Grunwald. And at another point, characterizing a strategy session Republicans and McConnell had held in early January of 2009, Voinovich said: “He wanted everyone to hold the fort. All he cared about was making sure Obama could never have a clean victory.”

As a reader of this blog, you doubtless are politically sophisticated and thus realize that the omitted name is the same as in the subject of this story from Politico on Tuesday:

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday he expects Republicans will have an "epiphany" when President Donald Trump leaves office, and will embrace working with Democratic colleagues.

"I just think there is a way, and the thing that will fundamentally change things is with Donald Trump out of the White House. Not a joke. You will see an epiphany occur among many of my Republican friends," Biden said during a campaign stop in New Hampshire. "It's already beginning in the House now ... If we can't change, we're in trouble. This nation cannot function without generating consensus. It can't do it."

Suspicion abounds that other plausible candidates (and a few implausible ones) such as Pete Buttigieg, Beto O'Rourke, and Cory Booker believe the GOP is hankering to return to normalcy, which it began to abandon (along with patriotic duty) around the time Richard Nixon sabotaged the Paris Peace Talks.

But Cory Booker and Beto O'Rourke have not been vice-president and Buttigieg hasn't even served in
Washington, D.C.

Biden has been there. And as the incoming vice-president, he was told by Republicans he trusted "we can't let you succeed in anything."

Grunwald would note 4+ years later, in December 2016- before approval of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the High Court-

This strategy of kicking the hell out of Obama all the time, treating him not just as a president from the opposing party but an extreme threat to the American way of life, has been a remarkable political success. It helped Republicans take back the House in 2010, the Senate in 2014, and the White House in 2016. This no-cooperation, no-apologies approach is also on the verge of delivering a conservative majority on the Supreme Court.

Buttigieg is not in a position to know, and O'Rourke, Booker (and a few others) did not witness their own boss being sliced and diced by Republicans.  Hence, their perspective is redeemable. However, Biden, who swears that we "will see an epiphany occur among many of my Republican friends," was there for all eight years of the Obama presidency

Those are his friends, whom he appears unaware will slit his throat, politically and ideologically. That is, of course, unless he is totally aware of their intentions and quite comfortable with their agenda supporting mammoth financial institutions and  opposing the health and safety of consumers, preservation of the environment, and the rights of women and minorities.

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