Thursday, September 8, 2011

How Not to Win Friends and Influence People

Even a liberal-friendly site such as Politico reports that Democratic members of Congress are tiring of Obama playing the blame game with them.

“It’s a point of great contention with the Democrats in Congress that feel like we’re doing an awful lot to support his agenda,” Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) told POLITICO on Wednesday. “And it’s very discouraging, disheartening and it’s really not fair. He may just want to keep that up, but it doesn’t help his relations with the Democratic members of Congress at all....”

It’s not hard to understand why Obama is attacking Congress as a whole. A recent Gallup Poll found the institution’s approval rating at just 13 percent, while disapproval of Congress stood at an all-time high of 84 percent. This summer’s bitter fight over raising the debt ceiling that nearly caused default — after a battle that nearly shut down the government in April — lowered the public’s opinion of Washington and led to the historic S&P downgrade.

And until Obama has a clear GOP contender in his reelection race, making Congress his opponent allows the president to appear as if he’s not being overtly partisan and gives him the chance to pass the blame to the disliked body.

“I just don’t think it will [work],” said Texas Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “I think the president owns the economy, and I think he owns the political problems associated with it....”

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