Note to Obama: GOP Is Not Interested in Compromise
Anyone surprised by the White House announcement to lift the ban on some offshore oil drilling might be interested in this story, from August 2008:
Sen. Barack Obama today softened his opposition to new offshore drilling, saying in a speech at Michigan State University that he is “willing to consider” allowing additional drilling in a limited number of offshore areas if it helps Congress pass energy legislation.
And that, it seems, is the political calculus behind today’s announcement to expand the spots where offshore drilling will be allowed. But here’s a note to the White House: It’s not working.
Even as environmentalists are screaming bloody murder, GOP leaders are already pouncing on the plan — which would open large expanses of the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico and the waters north of Alaska to oil drilling — as too limited in scope. It’s the same type criticism we heard on health care reform (even after Democrats dropped the public option). It’s the same type of criticism we’re hearing on financial reform (even though Democrats have scrapped the stand-alone consumer protection agency). And now we’re hearing it in the energy debate — as if the art of compromise doesn’t involve meeting the other side somewhere in the middle.
If this doesn’t prove the claims that the Republicans have been politically motivated to oppose everything the Democrats propose, nothing will. As an experiment, President Obama should endorse John Boehner for re-election in November. The House minority leader would probably vote for his challenger.