One of the selling points in Barack Obama’s “audacity of hope” campaign for the Presidency was that, as a mature adult who treated others as mature adults, he would be able to bridge the gap between Democrats and Republicans formed by ideological obsessions. Many of us (myself included) decided that the most audacious hope would be that “audacity of hope” would be more than just a slogan for winning the election. As of this morning we know better (if we did not already know this); and we have Jay Newton-Small of Time to thank for it.
Newton-Small’s article is entitled “Budget Showdown: Five Things Obama Learned about John Boehner;” and it is not a bad analysis. However, the “killer message” in this article comes in the opening sentences, before the analysis has begun:
On the night that Republicans won control of the House, the White House Press Office came to a startling realization: They had no contact information for Speaker-to-be John Boehner. In President Obama's first two years in office, he'd reached out to House Republicans so little that they had no reason to get to know - or even get phone numbers or e-mails for - Boehner's staff.
Sure enough, that “mature adults” business was just another “fiction of convenience” for political gain, with the corollary that any hope worthy of audacity is just as fictitious. The only audacity lies with the arrogance with which political power is exercised, and that is just business as usual!