"The president made a strategic miscalculation and overreached," said one GOP aide granted anonymity to discuss party strategy. "He could have worked to reach a fair agreement, but instead he picked a fight, poisoned the well, and now we are likely to have a rather unproductive next four years. The decision he made only hurts himself."
It's unclear whether the GOP aide was able to say this with a straight face or not.
Let's quickly recap the fiscal process in case anyone is confused. President Obama presented a platform to the nation in 2012, and was rewarded with 332 electoral votes, during the same election cycle in which Democrats added seats in both the House and Senate. After the election, the president proposed -- get this -- implementing his agenda, which enjoys broad public support.
As talks progressed, Obama then started accepting concessions -- twice lowering his revenue target, accepting entitlement policies his own base hates, and even moving away from his $250,000 income threshold -- only to find his Republican negotiating partner walk away from the table.
This, for Republicans, is evidence of presidential "overreach." By embracing his own platform, and then accepting concessions, Obama "picked a fight" and "poisoned the well."
I'm especially amused by this notion that Washington politics will now be "unproductive" for the next four years.
The quote suggests Republicans would have been cooperative and interested in serious governing, but that mean ol' president hurt their feelings -- by, you know, pursing policies he supports -- so now they'll be obstinate and obstructionist.
If only Obama had been more gracious after winning re-election, agreeing to give up his own agenda and start adopting more Republican ideas, his second term would have been far more productive.
It's like peering into an alternate universe, where facts have no meaning.