NPR reports that in an Ohio campaign speech, President Obama praised the post-World War II “era of compromise” and “broad consensus” when both parties worked together for the national interest. He gave some specific examples:
As much as we might associate the GI Bill with Franklin Roosevelt, or Medicare with Lyndon Johnson, it was a Republican—Lincoln—who launched the Transcontinental Railroad, the National Academy of Sciences, land-grant colleges. It was a Republican—Eisenhower—who launched the Interstate Highway System and a new era of scientific research. It was Nixon who created the Environmental Protection Agency; Reagan who worked with Democrats to save Social Security—and who, by the way, raised taxes to help pay down an exploding deficit.
That is, President Obama’s idea of compromise and consensus is that Republicans support expanded government and higher taxes. He offers no examples of Democrats supporting tax reduction, spending restraint, or deregulation. It seems that in his view, the national interest is entirely and exclusively the expansion of the size, scope, and power of government. Remember that when you hear the president and his allies call for compromise and consensus. Compromise is a one-way street in President Obama’s world.