When Mr Obama stops speaking as a partisan advocate of ambitious liberal goals, adopts his mature school-principal voice, and demands simply that political players adhere to reasonable norms of democratic governance, Republicans are left with nothing to oppose except the reasonable norms of democratic governance.
[Obama is] making it harder for the Republicans to capitulate by insisting on being the grown-up in the room. They have to move even further right because the only thing these haters can do to feel like they’ve won anything is to oppose the already compromised position the president inhabits and move everything further right. It’s a problem.
You bet it is. I feel as if many of us here in the progressive sphere have been saying this for literally years: that these intransigent hardliners who have for some time controlled the legislative agenda and, aw hell, the very soul of the Republican party (to the extent it still has one), are not going to stop hating anything the Democrats propose. Even when Democrats have proposed policies that were literally thought up in Republican think-tanks (Obamacare) and/or were pushed until very recently by currently-serving Republican legislators, as soon as Democrats (and especially Obama) adopt the policies, Republicans fall all over themselves and each other to be the first to the podium to denounce those policies.
It’s pathological at this point, and it has been for some time. In such a landscape, there’s not only no penalty for appropriating language like the following, there’s actually substantial tangible benefit — not to mention that it’s the only truly sane reply left: