Rope-a-dope?

Ezra Klein links to an article detailing the Administration’s reaction to Republican obstinacy during the stimulus fight, suggesting Obama will be far less likely to extend a hand across the aisle, and will focus efforts on salesmanship and building public support. Good. Anyway, Ezra says this:

The coming priorities, like health care reform and financial regulation, will be built to ensure Democratic unity and to support maximum public pressure and salesmanship. It will be a strategy aimed at puncturing Republican intransigence rather than enticing cooperation. That may not prove to be a strategy the GOP wanted Obama to embrace so early. Better to have him learn it after they killed health reform than before he starts the health reform fight, I’d imagine.

This is what happens when you let short term political considerations steer your long term strategy, and that’s assuming Republicans even have one. Sure, the GOP has positioned itself to capitalize on catastrophic economic failure, but I think it’s debatable whether “betting on the other guy to blow it” counts as legitimate strategy. Alternatively, the GOP could be taking its punches now — waiting on economic recovery — to come back a few years down the road with a rope-a-dope featuring a cut of the capital gains tax as a coup de gras, but I doubt it.

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