June 2, 2011

JOHN MERLINE: Hands Reach Across The Aisle, Then Turn Thumbs Down:

In the past two weeks, President Obama has managed to produce something woefully elusive in Washington: bipartisanship. Unfortunately for him, it’s been bipartisan opposition to his agenda.

This Tuesday, the House voted overwhelmingly against the “clean” debt limit increase Obama had been advocating for months.

In addition to every House Republican, 82 Democrats voted against the bill. That means, despite White House insistence that “the debt limit should be passed as a standalone bill,” any increase in the current $14.3 trillion debt ceiling will now require a package of spending cuts to get approved in the House.

That comes on top of last week’s embarrassment, in which the Senate unanimously voted against the president’s 2012 budget. The opposition party routinely declares White House budgets dead on arrival, but it’s remarkable that not one Democrat in the Senate was willing to show support for Obama’s plan.

And Obama’s mid-May speech, in which he called for Israel to accept a Palestinian state based on “the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps,” raised a chorus of bipartisan attacks.

Hope and change!

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