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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Louisville Courier Journal Editorial: Snubbing The President.

Snubbing the President

President Obama gallantly and rightly used the term “shellacking” to describe the verdict that mid-term voters delivered to Democrats a few weeks back.

But gracious in victory, Republican leaders were not. Two days after the election, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Rep. John Boehner, who will be elevated to speaker of the House, snubbed the President's invitation to meet to “talk substantially about how we can move the American people's agenda forward.”

Messrs. McConnell and Boehner blamed the cancellation on “scheduling conflicts in organizing their caucuses.” The White House meeting reportedly has been rescheduled. Nevertheless, it is highly unusual for members of the opposite party to snub a presidential invitation to talk.

But this snub fits what's becoming a troubling pattern of Republicans who openly disrespect Mr. Obama in ways that Republicans or Democrats in years past wouldn't have dreamed of — because, big policy differences notwithstanding, they at least respected the office.

When unemployment is still high, when health care is straining family budgets, when North Korea is bearing its teeth, when the fight over Bush-era tax cuts remains to be resolved, when American boots are on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq, and when terrorists still are plotting to blow Americans up, this is no time for Republicans or Democrats to be more concerned about the next election than they are about cooperating to try to find whatever common ground there is to be found.

Mid-term elections invariably send presidents the message that some mid-course policy corrections are in order. But Republicans are mistaken if they believe that the upshot of this mid-term is that Americans in general are more vested in denying Barack Obama a second term than they are in having their elected leaders work with the President to try to help ease what's ailing them right now.



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