You may remember Andrew Sullivan. He is a conservative Obama supporter. And after the first presidential debate, Sullivan had a very public freak out. That was understandable, a lot of liberals were similarly concerned, although he was much more ridiculous than most.
Now that Sullivan has got the president he wanted, Sullivan apparently thinks that Obama shouldn’t do anything as rash as govern on his campaign promises. In a blog post yesterday, he writes, Meeting In The Middle. In it, he quotes Ezra Klein and Michael Tomasky, basically saying the same thing: it is good to see that Obama has learned how to negotiate. Tomasky writes, “If the White House had instead yesterday offered a modest set of specific entitlement cuts and domestic spending cuts, that would have started the negotiations on GOP turf, since those are the two things the GOP wants.” Exactly!
But Sullivan thinks this is all wrong:
There is an easy retort to this: we saw the “new politics” over the past four years and it didn’t work. In fact, if Obama had offered the modest set of spending cuts that Tomasky mentions, the Republicans would be saying the exact same thing. About the only person who might have applauded such magnanimity from the president would have been Andrew Sullivan. And even in his case, I suspect all that would have happened was that Sullivan wouldn’t have written this one blog post.
Negotiation is a game. The Republicans know it. The president now knows it. Andrew Sullivan needs to learn it. And he also needs to stop whining.