Too Bad Obama Didn't Follow His Own Advice
If only the current-day President Obama could travel back in time and warn his newly elected self about the dangers of pursuing a governing agenda that excludes and alienates the opposition.
In the first quote above, Obama is describing the “maximalist” positions of the Maliki government in Iraq, arguing that its behavior destined it to fail in the long term.
He returned to the theme later in the interview, this time applying it to U.S. domestic politics: “Our politics are dysfunctional, and something that I said earlier serves as a warning to us: and that is, societies don’t work when political factions take maximalist positions. And the more diverse the country is, the less it can afford to take maximalist positions.”
This is sage advice. Too bad he didn't follow it himself. So much of the president’s current troubles can be traced back to his comment to Eric Cantor, which the president uttered at a meeting held just three days into his first term. The setting was a White House meeting hosted by the freshly inaugurated president and his top economic advisers. Their guests were congressional leaders of both parties and both chambers of Congress—there to discuss the framework of the huge stimulus bill hurtling through the newly installed 111th Congress.Comment: Good advice: "the dangers of pursuing a governing agenda that excludes and alienates the opposition"