At his press conference the other night, President Obama was patting himself on the back for all the civility he was showing Republicans:
“You know, when I made a series of overtures to the Republicans, going over to meet with both Republican caucuses, you know, putting three Republicans in my cabinet — something that is unprecedented…”
Not anymore, Mr. President!
Unless, of course, Arlen Specter agrees to replace Judd Gregg as Commerce nominee. And that’s the beauty of Gregg’s withdrawal. For all practical purposes, it was a principled resignation, and when’s the last time we saw that in American politics? Cyrus Vance? But Vance vs. Brzezinski and Carter was an internal dispute. This one was over fundamental inter-party principles. The lesson to Republicans is that anyone who serves a Democrat administration has to be prepared to defend its policies, much like a vice-presidential candidate has to suspend his own preferences on behalf of the presidential nominee’s. A conservative Republican like Gregg obviously had no place in this anti-thetical environment. And so now he’s contributed hugely to the Republican relearning of what the GOP is to stand for.
The Gregg affair also confirms how arrogantly fatuous and green this new administration is. Obama throws a few dog biscuits at Republicans and expects they will beg? While, for starters, Rahm Emanuel and Chicago’s undertakers take over the U.S. Census Bureau?