The Lay of the Land, A Week After the Election

| November 14, 2012 | Reply

Compare and contrast.

This was House Speaker John Boehner’s post-election move.

On a conference call with House Republicans a day after the party’s electoral battering last week, Speaker John A. Boehner dished out some bitter medicine, and for the first time in the 112th Congress, most members took their dose.

Their party lost, badly, Mr. Boehner said, and while Republicans would still control the House and would continue to staunchly oppose tax rate increases as Congress grapples with the impending fiscal battle, they had to avoid the nasty showdowns that marked so much of the last two years.

Members on the call, subdued and dark, murmured words of support — even a few who had been a thorn in the speaker’s side for much of this Congress.

This was President Barack Obama’s post-election move.

Labor union leaders emerged from talks with President Barack Obama on Tuesday vowing a side-by-side battle against Republicans to bring about higher taxes on the wealthy as part of an effort to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.

“It was a very, very positive meeting,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told reporters in the White House driveway after the meeting.

“The president, like we are, [is] committed to preserving the tax breaks for the middle class and making sure that rich people pay their fair share. He’s very, very committed to that, we are committed to that,” Trumka continued. “We are very, very committed to making sure that the middle class and workers don’t end up paying the tab for a party that we didn’t get to go to. And the president is committed to that as well.”

In fact, for the liberal activists who helped reelect Obama, the campaign isn’t over.

“MoveOn is staying fully mobilized after last week’s election,” Justin Ruben, executive director of Political Action, said in a statement after meeting with the president.

Mr. Ruben said he appreciated “that the president again promised not to balance the budget on the backs of the middle class and the poor,” adding that “our members are committed to defending Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security from any benefit cuts as part of a budget deal.”

And this was the move from popular Republican Governor of Florida Rick Scott (via Stephen Green, who has a pretty solid read on Scott’s retreat).

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most vocal critics of the federal health care overhaul, is dropping his staunch opposition to the law.

Scott said in an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press that he now wants to negotiate with the federal government. He said it’s time for Republicans to offer solutions to help families after they lost their bid to defeat President Barack Obama.

“The election is over and President Obama won,” Scott said. “I’m responsible for the families of Florida … If I can get to yes, I want to get to yes.”


“I don’t think anyone involved in trying to improve health care should say ‘no, no, no,” Scott said. “Let’s have a conversation.”

Appearances matter. The attitude you project is more important, especially in politics, than who you are or what you do.

Who is projecting strength and confidence and who has swallowed defeat and is projecting loser rays like a collapsing black hole projects x-rays as it swallows a nearby star? Who has engaged their base, on whom they will depend to carry their message to friends and family and who just told their base to stay home and pull the covers over their heads for a while? Who welcomed in at least one important grassroots organization and gave it all sorts of cachet with people who will throw money at it and who hasn’t?

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Category: Political Pontifications

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