How long do you think the outbreak of brotherly love between the parties is going to last? Well, let’s call it the appearance of an outbreak. As we know, in Washington it’s all about projecting an image for the day’s news cycle.
My guess is that we’ll be treated to some unlikely seating arrangements during the State of the Union Address (i.e. Schumer/Coburn), and then things should rapidly deteriorate to normal.
Republicans are, no doubt, heeding the latest poll numbers, which show President Obama’s approval ratings surging. If their past behavior is any indicator, they’re heeding them and coming to the wrong conclusions.
Obama’s newfound popularity is originating from the public perception that he has begun constructively engaging his political opponents for the betterment of the country. He does this whether the opposition likes it or not, and it has taken them tactically by surprise.
Faced with their nemesis’ improving numbers, they are sure not to learn the lessons of the polls, which is that cooperation floats all boats. No, they’ll revert to the old playbook, which is to continue to attack the President and try to tear down his initiatives, rather than present us with their own reasonable alternatives (The clock is ticking on the Republican version of the Affordable Health Care Act, by the way).
Well, let them. Should the unemployment rate drop in any significant way by November 2012, the man upon whom they have been heaping so much blame for the economy will justifiably claim the credit for its continuing recovery, and they will find themselves on the wrong side of history.
Alternatively, they could try to work with him, which may be asking too much of them on behalf of the country.