It's November 3, 2010 or to borrow a gimmick from Keith Olbermann, it's the first day since our nation declared it was changing the change. Or should I say embracing the patented obstructionism of John Boehner's Republican party?
The wave of Republican candidates that swept into office last night was not a surprise based on the political drama of the last year. I knew there would be more red than blue on the cable news maps of America on election night. And I expected John Boehner to end up as Speaker of the House.
What I didn't expect was his ability to ratchet up the level of disingenuousness quite so much. When it became clear from the midterm results that the Democrats had squandered their 2008 moment of opportunity, Boehner took the stage. He said that he talked with President Obama about how "he [the President] will work with us."
Boehner's team issued a statement on the call from Obama, saying the two had a "brief but pleasant conversation. They discussed working together to focus on the top priorities of the American people, which Boehner has identified as creating jobs and cutting spending," the Boehner statement said.
Wait a second. Isn't this the man who said a week ago that this isn't the time for compromise? Isn't this the guy who's spent every waking moment (aside from his countless hours on the golf course) in recent months to find ways to stop and undermine as much of President Obama's agenda as he could? For Boehner and his crew, the definition of compromise isn't found in a Merriam-Webster, it's actually the antithesis -- for his brand of Republican, compromise means stonewalling until the other guy yells "uncle."
Even my fifth-grader isn't fooled by that kind of "compromise" on her school playground.
I agree with my good friend Julie at The Mom Slant -- moderates taking a page from the Rally to Restore Sanity are key to changing the mood of how things are done in Washington. I'm just not as optimistic as she is that I'll see it in my lifetime because I don't think the word "moderate" is in the current GOP playbook.
Real compromise comes with a little bit of sacrifice from both parties, and John Boehner isn't a guy who is fond of sacrifice. If I hear that's he's given up some tanning appointments to spend more time talking with (and listening to) Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill, then I'll have a reason to think the political divide we have today can ever be bridged.
You can also find Joanne trying to keep a lid on her 2010 election frustration at her place, PunditMom. She's also working on the final edits of her forthcoming book, Mothers of Intention: How Women & Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America.