From the Department of Wishful Thinking

Quoting an AP interview with President Obama(with a broken link), TPM provides the following:

He said two changes — the facts that “the American people will have voted,” and that Republicans will no longer need to be focused on beating him — could lead to better conditions for deal-making.

If Republicans are willing, Obama said, “I’m prepared to make a whole range of compromises” that could even rankle his own party. But he did not get specific.

Three thoughts:

1.  Second terms tend to be less successful legislatively than are first terms.

2.  If he has some secret compromise plans, deploying them during the term he had in hand might have been a good idea.

3.  There is absolutely no reason to assume that there will be any change to the partisan dynamic within the legislative process in a second term.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Ben Wolf says:

    @Steven Taylor

    You’ve said it all, but I do believe Obama still labors under the delusion he can charm and pragmatize his way to bipartisan bliss.

  2. Tony W says:

    All of which argues for a single 6 year term.

  3. Couldn’t we say it another way? Despite the “fiscal cliff” Republicans went all-in for the 2012 elections. They bet everything on gaining a majority and the Presidency before dealing with those problems.

    If they fail, they hold a busted hand and still face the same problems.

    They simply can’t go all in for 2016 at this point. The cliff is before them.

  4. @Tony W:

    If Congress views itself as a weapon for Presidential elections, it doesn’t matter what the Presidential terms are.

  5. @this:

    I think what Obama is saying, between the lines, is not that he’ll begin to offer compromises, but that his existing pattern of compromise will have to be accepted.

    Not because the mood of his opponents have changed, but because hard realities press upon them.

  6. superdestroyer says:

    I think the Democrats and the Obama Administration will push for much higher taxes and hope the economy improves enough by 2016 that everyone will not care about higher taxes.

    If the Democrats hold onto to control of the Senate, all of the temporary tax cuts will expire. Then the Democrats will concentrate of raising taxes in ways that does not need a vote in the House.

  7. Heh, I think if any marginal rates are pushed by 2%, someone will call them “much higher.”

  8. Nikki says:

    The Republicans have spent a lot of time and energy insisting that our economic problems are all the fault of Obama’s ineffective presidency. Now he’s gotten them to pretty much admit that their obstructionism is the real problem. In fact, they’ve given interviews proudly announcing to the American people that they plan to obstruct just as much in his second term as they did in his first. I think several down-ballot campaigns will be able to use those quotes.

  9. bill says:

    if he wins a 2nd term it’ll be spend deciding where to put his library, and blaming others for his lack of accomplishments.

  10. Anderson says:

    I’m hoping Obama no longer believes this stuff and is pandering to the cant-we-all-just-get-along middle c

  11. Stonetools says:

    The only hope for major legislative action for Obama’s second term Is a wave election returning the House to Democrats and abolition of the filibuster by the Democratic Senate. Both unlikely. That is all.

  12. MstrB says:

    That’s exactly how it worked for Bush too.

  13. @john personna:

    If they fail, they hold a busted hand and still face the same problems.

    They simply can’t go all in for 2016 at this point. The cliff is before them.

    It should work that way, but I am not so sure that it will.

    If anything, separation of powers means always having someone else to blame. Further (and I know we are almost into cliche territory to note), I fear one more round of “we aren’t conservative enough” if Romney loses.

  14. @Steven L. Taylor:

    How little action can they get away with?

    At one point I had a link to an economic analysis on a half-cliff “muddle through.” It said that if they just rolled back half the taxes and half the spending cuts things wouldn’t look so bad.

    Given a “weakening Norquist” we might get away with that.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @john personna:

    If they fail, they hold a busted hand and still face the same problems.

    They simply can’t go all in for 2016 at this point. The cliff is before them.

    Problem is, some in the GOP think the cliff is a solution.

  16. @john personna:

    How little action can they get away with?

    I think this is an excellent question to which I am unsure of the answer. It is my view that the GOP as a party (and as an electorate) currently rejects the notion that governing is necessary, save in defense policy. This makes reasonable feedback loops difficult to establish.

    This is one of the reasons I, like yourself, no longer can adhere to the Republican Party.

  17. @OzarkHillbilly:

    The cliff includes plain expiration of the Bush tax cuts.

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    It is my view that the GOP as a party (and as an electorate) currently rejects the notion that governing is necessary, save in defense policy.

    Ouch.

  18. @john personna: Ouch, indeed.

    Let me qualify by noting that there are still individuals within the party and the electorate that understand this problem, such as John Huntsman, but you see what happened to him.

    The prevailing attitude at the moment, however, is founded on a profound misunderstanding of governance. The debt ceiling debate, and the fact that we are about to hit the cliff, are indicative of this fact.

  19. @john personna: All this maker/takes stuff, and the “We built it” and so forth are a big problem at the moment.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @john personna:

    The cliff includes plain expiration of the Bush tax cuts.

    True, but there are many cliffs. I was talking about the debt limit cliff.

  21. Andre Kenji says:

    I said that before: if you don´t want to cut spending and if you don´t want to raise taxes the obvious result is deadlock and huge deficits.

  22. JohnMcC says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: This is where one ends up who started with the belief that ‘government is the problem not the solution’. We’ve been a long time getting here and it will be a long time before we get past it.

  23. Ed in NJ says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    When you say this, do you mention all the spending cuts already enacted, or those offered and rejected by the obstinate Republicans?

    This is all just election year blather by Obama. He knows, as do most paying attention, that any compromise has to come from the right, but he can’t say it for fear that the establishment, corporate media will accuse him of partisanship (oh, to the fainting couches!). If Obama wins, he will bypass Republicans in any way that he can. The compromise ship has sailed. Only a convincing win, holding the Senate, and taking back the House will lead to any significant legislative accomplishments.

  24. LCaution says:

    I hope Obama is not still that naive. One of his greatest personal failings as President has been his willingness to give away the store before anyone asks. A smidgen of Romney’s dealmaking ruthlessness would have served him better and made this campaign easier to win.

  25. An Interested Party says:

    2. If he has some secret compromise plans, deploying them during the term he had in hand might have been a good idea.

    This is probably evidence that this all is just election year blather on his part, as he did try to compromise with Republicans during his first term and it all came to nothing because they refused to compromise with him…

  26. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: As one of my students said a while ago,

    I didn’t leave the Republican Party; it left me.