Conservative Media Encourage Continued GOP Obstructionism In Response To Obama's Re-Election

››› ››› REMINGTON SHEPARD

In response to President Obama's re-election, conservative media have declared that the president does not have a mandate to pursue his policies and said Republicans have a mandate to obstruct them. In Obama's first term, Republicans engaged in historic levels of obstruction against Obama's agenda.

Right-Wing Media Warn Obama "Has No Mandate," And Say Republicans Will Obstruct His Proposals

Fox's Dick Morris: Obama Has No Mandate, And Republicans "Need To Stand Up Against The Socialist Agenda" He Is Pushing. In an appearance on Fox & Friends, Fox contributor Dick Morris claimed Obama did not have a mandate and it was up to Republicans to oppose Obama and his "socialist agenda":

STEVE DOOCY (co-host): As Gretchen just said, nothing has changed with the balance of power. We need somebody who can reach across the aisle, but from the books I've read about this administration, Barack Obama, in many ways, doesn't have a bipartisan bone in his body.

MORRIS: Yeah I think that's true. I don't think there's going to be a lot of reaching. But in response, we need to understand just how weakly this president was re-elected by the skin of his teeth.

First of all, a switch of two-tenths of one percent of the vote would've changed the outcome. And secondly, he is the first President of the United States ever to be re-elected by less than he got elected by. Every other president who's won a second term, gained in their margin. Ronald Reagan won by more in '84 than in '80. Bill Clinton won by more in '96 than in '92. Bush won by more in '04 than in 2000. He won by seven in 2008 and by one in 2012.

This is not a mandate. And the Republican Party needs to work with him when he is positive, but otherwise we need to stand up against the socialist agenda and stop him from fundamentally changing the United States. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 11/7/12]

Fox's Krauthammer: Obama Has "No Mandate" And Republicans "Are Not Going To Budge." In a post-election interview on Fox News, contributor Charles Krauthammer claimed that although Obama won, "he's got no mandate," and predicted that House Republicans were not going to work with him:

KRAUTHAMMER: They are not going to budge. There's no way in which after holding out on Obama for two years they're going to cave in, and Obama doesn't have anywhere really to go. He governed very large in the first two years. [Fox News via Examiner.com, 11/7/12]

Wall Street Journal: House GOP "Has As Much Mandate As The President." The Wall Street Journal's post-election editorial argued that Obama has no "mandate beyond the power of the Presidency." The Journal also asserted that House Republicans' "agenda was hardly repudiated" and that "Speaker John Boehner can negotiate knowing he has as much of a mandate as the President." [The Wall Street Journal, 11/7/12]

Weekly Standard's Barnes: Obama Is A "Man With No Plan And No Mandate." In a Weekly Standard post, Fred Barnes claimed that it is "hogwash" that the Republican Party needs to change and embrace more progressive policies. Barnes also claimed Obama was re-elected with "no mandate":

No doubt the media will insist that Republicans must change, must sprint to the center, must embrace social liberalism, must accept that America is destined to play a less dominant role in the world.  All that is hogwash, which is why Republicans are likely to reject it.  Their ideology is not a problem.

But there is also a hole in the Republican electorate.  There aren't enough Hispanics.  As long as two-thirds of the growing Hispanic voting bloc lines up with Democrats, it will be increasingly difficult (though hardly impossible) for Republicans to win national elections.  When George W. Bush won a narrow reelection in 2004, he got 44 percent of the Hispanic vote.  If Romney had managed that, he would have come closer to winning.  He might even have won.

So we're left with four more years of Obama, the man with no plan and no mandate.  It's not beyond the realm of possibility that he could have a successful second term with a booming economy and a de-polarized Washington.  It's just highly unlikely. [The Weekly Standard, 11/7/12]

Right-Wing Media Warnings Echo House Speaker's Warning To Obama ...

Rep. Boehner: GOP Retaining House Majority Means Obama Has "No Mandate For Raising Tax Rates." House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said in a speech shortly after Mitt Romney conceded the 2012 presidential election to President Obama that House Republicans had stood for two years as "the primary line of defense for the American people against a government that spends too much, taxes too much, certainly borrows too much when it is left unchecked." He later added: "With this vote the American people have also made clear that there's no mandate for raising tax rates. What Americans want are solutions that will ease the burdens on small businesses, bring jobs home and let our economy grow." [NBC News, 11/7/12]

... And They Give Cover For Congressional Republicans To Continue Their Historic Levels Of Obstruction

Republicans Held Secret Meeting On How To Block Obama's Agenda On The Very Day He Was Inaugurated For His First Term. Journalist Robert Draper reported that on the day of Obama's inauguration, Republicans in Congress and conservative strategists held a secret meeting in which they plotted ways to "put the brakes on Obama's legislative platform." Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich reportedly told the group: "You'll remember this as the day the seeds of 2012 were sown." [Huffington Post, 4/25/12]

In Obama's First Term, Republicans Refused To Work With Him On Health Care Reform, Immigration, And The Federal Deficit. Republicans refused to negotiate with Obama on health care reform, immigration, the federal deficit, and other issues even when Obama agreed to incorporate Republican ideas into his proposals. [Media Matters, 11/5/12]

Congressional Experts: Republicans Have Been "At The Core Of The Problem" Of A Dysfunctional Washington. In an April 27 Washington Post op-ed, Brookings Institution senior fellow Thomas E. Mann and American Enterprise Institute scholar Norman J. Ornstein stated that Washington politics are more dysfunctional than they had ever witnessed and "the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party":

We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country's challenges.

"Both sides do it" or "There is plenty of blame to go around" are the traditional refuges for an American news media intent on proving its lack of bias, while political scientists prefer generality and neutrality when discussing partisan polarization. Many self-styled bipartisan groups, in their search for common ground, propose solutions that move both sides to the center, a strategy that is simply untenable when one side is so far out of reach. [The Washington Post4/27/12]

For more on right-wing media covering for congressional Republicans' historic level of obstruction, click here and here.

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