President Barack Obama’s Washington-bashing could boomerang on his party in Congress if he’s not careful, House Democratic leaders have warned White House senior adviser David Axelrod.
The fear — raised by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, campaign chief Chris Van Hollen and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn in a closed-door meeting Thursday — is that Democrats have more to lose if anti-Washington sentiment is not directed at one party or the other.
“If the president is going to go out and talk about how Washington’s broken, he’s got to include a strong contrast with congressional Republicans, or else we’re going to get blamed for it,” one meeting participant said later.
I note this because I’m pretty sure that the President had an expectation that the meeting was going to be free of leaks – and not only was it leaked, it was leaked by somebody who spent that meeting yelling at David Axelrod. Which is how that meeting probably went in the first place.Here is the great truth of what was once lauded as the Great Democratic Re-Alignment: the legislative branch of it hates the executive branch, and the executive branch of it sneers at the legislative. From Congress’ point of view the President is the guy who has done none of the work and taken all of the (marginal) credit on ‘stimulus,’ cap-and-trade, and health care rationing legislation; he’s also the guy that blatantly threatened them into taking all the heat that resulted when Obamacare sank like a lead balloon in the polls. Which is why they’re leaking now, because (as Ed also noted a couple of months ago), they’ve finally realized that it’s entirely possible that the President would be happy to run against a Republican Congress in 2012. And, interestingly enough, that would also explain why the President is waving off immigration reform. After all, what’s it to him whether Harry Reid and Michael Bennett get re-elected?
Possibly – possibly! – it’s nothing to him at all…
PS: Recommendations? Popcorn. This is internal Democratic party business, and I have no intention of letting any of them off of the hook.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.