Misguided Obama Quote of the Week
“The American people did not vote for gridlock”
That was President Obama following his White House meeting with senior congressional leaders (including heretofore marginalized Republicans) earlier today. A few things are wrong with this:
1. Of the many tasks for which Barack Obama is demonstrably unqualified, interpreting election results is clearly towards the top of the list.
2. To the extent that the 2010 midterm elections can be boiled down to a single trend, it wasn’t the American people voting for anything — it was them voting against Obama’s agenda.
3. The American people don’t vote for process. They saw the country headed too far to the left and wanted to stop it. While the electorate may not think gridlock is ideal, they would probably prefer it over another two years like the ones we just had.
4. It’s amazing how many Democrats are spinning the 2010 elections as a mandate for the two parties to work together (not that this is a particularly innovative narrative for parties that crawl back into the minority). The 2010 election saw disgust for the two major parties at an all-time high and faith in our political institutions at an all-time low. This is just a hunch, but I don’t think the resulting message was “we’d like to see more effective cooperation between the party we hate and the party we really hate”.