Philip Klein draws attention to reporting by the Wall Street Journal on how President Barack Obama “negotiated” with House Speaker John Boehner:
Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn’t reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.
At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, “I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?”
“You get nothing,” the president said. “I get that for free.”
It’s worth remembering how often President Obama has tried to identify himself with Abraham Lincoln. Recall Lincoln’s most famous line from his Second Inaugural – “…with malice toward none, with charity to all…” Lincoln was referring to the treatment he intended toward people who had been in armed rebellion against the United States of America. If Obama goes through with his threat to use his Second Inaugural to make a partisan dig about an important, but, in comparison to Lincoln’s context, a monumentally less significant issue, it will be a stark reminder of how much distance separates Lincoln and his facile successor.