Republicans Have Obama Playing Defense

August 24, 2009

From The Wall Street Journal: “Republicans are discovering just how effective an opposition party can be in Washington. Their strategy is simply to aggressively and relentlessly oppose the liberal agenda of the president and the Democratic Congress. As a result, Barack Obama’s agenda is in jeopardy, and the president is disconcerted, less popular and on the defensive. Republican opposition isn’t the only reason for this. Mr. Obama did himself no favors by pushing policies far more liberal than voters wanted. But the decision by Republicans to be combative rather than accommodating has played an indispensable role. What the GOP has done best has been to make and win arguments. This is the key to successful opposition. Seeking compromise, being conciliatory, pretending bipartisanship exists when it doesn’t all play into the hands of the majority. These tactics are a ticket to permanent minority status. By making the case against Mr. Obama’s policies, Republicans have given themselves a chance to again win favor with voters. Better yet, they’ve stopped bad policies in their tracks. Consider Dick Cheney’s decision to challenge Mr. Obama’s inclination to go soft in the war on terror in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute in May. By winning the argument that the nation needs a vigorous defense against al Qaeda, Mr. Cheney left Mr. Obama little choice but to stick with such Bush era policies as rendition of captured terrorists, immunity for telecommunication companies that cooperated with wiretapping possible terrorists, and targeting terrorist leaders for assassination. …”
Read the Full Story Here.