Skip to content

What I Didn’t Say on “Hardball”

November 1, 2012

Chris Matthews asked me to appear on Hardball to discuss my endorsement of President Barack Obama’s reelection. In the course of the five-minute interview, David Brooks’ recent article on the election outcome came up. Like Matthews, I have misgivings about Brooks’ thesis that Romney could get more done because he would be able to persuade Republicans to work with him and therefore, by extension, with the Democrats. Does this mean we have to vote for a presidential candidate so that his party won’t obstruct the governing ability of his opponent?

Brooks also advances the notion that Mitt Romney would be able to count on his party’s full support because Republicans would not want to “destroy a GOP president.” I think that Brooks misreads the fervor of some of the newest Republican members of Congress. He also fails to note the continuing impact of the pledges many of them signed, which committed them to never raise taxes. History tells us that those who have an ideological world view are often dogged and uncompromising.  While the issue was different, Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy nevertheless wreaked havoc in American life during the late ’40s and early ’50s and spared no one, including President Dwight Eisenhower, a member of the senator’s own party.

Finally, Brooks takes it as a given that in this atmosphere the Democratic Senate would be malleable to compromise. However, there may be no incentives to cooperate with the Republicans if they think Romney could be subject to a primary fight within his own party in 2016.

The country will continue to suffer if this zero-sum game continues. No matter who is elected, cooperation and compromise will be required. Americans should select for president the man who best represents their views. It is up to Congress to act like a Congress should: to take their responsibilities seriously and get their jobs done. This includes giving the president — no matter who he is — a chance to govern.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Karen Kellogg Fain permalink
    November 1, 2012 6:34 pm

    You were wonderful on Hardball. Perhaps there is hope for compromise with the Republicans after watching one of the nastiest, meanest Republican governors, Christy, turn into a warm fuzzy fur ball in the last two days. Kudos to him and let us hope others are watching, because he is a man that sees a future for himself.

  2. Tony DuPuis permalink
    November 1, 2012 7:03 pm

    Outstanding on hardball Susan!!!…just wish you had about 15 more minutes (at least…)..it’s just so sadly true- The President has been tossed about the last 4 years with such a non participatory Congress…Just sad that elected officials choose the tactics of childhood bullies to “pout” when they don’t get everything their way… Our hope as a Nation is exactly what your shared…” It is up to Congress to act like a Congress should”… Once again, thanks for being who you are Susan!!!

  3. Christopher Catherwood permalink
    November 1, 2012 7:24 pm

    And why has Obama got nowhere – zero sum game Republicans… So we need to get out of the zero sum game as Susan says: which in 2012 means more Democrats elected to Congress… What a sad state of affairs politics has become…

  4. only1tonyfair permalink
    November 2, 2012 12:39 am

    I agree, Christopher. I only wish that in this election, a new set of moderate Republicans were the remedy for the gridlock. It’s a shame what’s happened to the Republican Party.

  5. November 2, 2012 7:54 am

    And, too, we cannot vote for anyone based on how far we believe they will stray from what they are actually promising; I’ve heard the incredulous argument made that undecided voters should support Romney because he will not carry out the right-wing agenda which he has promised to do. How odd that gauging the degree of deceit of a candidate is a heathy barometer by which to decide to support them,

  6. Milos Puaca permalink
    November 2, 2012 4:38 pm

    Susan,

    This is a critical issue. It seems that we are being offerred a path to progress. (Psst, if you elect my guy, we will agree to work in Congress.) That is called piracy of the vote.

    Congress should write why they did (or did not) vote in favor of every legislation. It is a matter of priorities – pay taxes, support the country, take interest in government, and treat ALL other citizens with respect. There apparently needs to be a couple of election changes – 1) referendums on unresolved issues and 2) no more than two consecutive terms for each office sought.

    The size of government depends on the size of the issue – war, recession, etc. Corporations do not save Americans. It is the other way around. The premise of “better off than four years ago” is not valid. It is always who is better equipped to handle the next four years. Perhaps any politician who “leaves the country worse off than when they took office – employment, etc.” should lose their pension and their ability to profit from their previous office such as no lobbying jobs and no book rights.

    Campaign spending should NEVER exceed two times the projected term salary. All PACs and their contributors need to identify. The right of free speech is the ability to stand up for what you said and not just saying something like a slogan or a foreign interest. The term “patriot” or “freedom” are code words for “one of us” and “rich do not want restrictions”.

    Thank you for your courage and wisdom, Susan. It is something that could have been said to anyone named Eisenhower.

  7. November 2, 2012 10:20 pm

    Brava, Susan! So pleased to hear you voice these points and remind us all of the divisive climate during the last 4 years and the lack of specifics in the challenger’s direction. You and Chris bring crystal clarity to this season.

  8. November 5, 2012 7:06 am

    Well done, Susan. Thank you for going on Hardball and sharing your thoughts and insight. Tomorrow is an incredibly important day for our country, as you well know. Best wishes to you and the President and our country.

  9. Mike permalink
    November 5, 2012 8:50 am

    I think you forgot one major point in your tyrant about Romney. 2009-10 Obama had control of Congress (Democratic Congress) and couldn’t get thing passed. Obama has since bad mouthed, finger pointed and blamed the GOP for stalling and blocking laws. Obama has had meeting with Reid and Pelosi while ignoring the leaders of the GOP> Do you think that talking to people works better than blaming them for things? Do you think working both side of the aisle is the job of the President rather than digging in the heels and finding the “scapegoat” for your lack of leadership? Ike knew how to lead, Obama is at the other end of the spectrum. I suggest you look closer at “Leadership” and what it really means – Refer to Ike for what leadership REALLY means especially during WWII when he was at his finest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s