A recent editorial in our local paper lamented the extreme positions taken by each party these last few years, and hoped that the next four would provide an opportunity for them to show reasonable moderation.
Trying to appear even handed in a sort of inverse of the wishy-washy “I’m OK, You’re OK” approach to pop psychology, they missed something important. For the most part, the president and his supporters in congress have been quite centrist in their policies and positions. Extremism came from the caterwauling of the far right who declared that if they could not have their way they would stop anything from happening, and who yelped at every opportunity that the president was a socialist radical intent on destroying the nation when the plain vanilla, in front of your nose facts said just the opposite.
Therefore, I was heartened by Mr. Boehner’s post election speech in which he sounded like a responsible Speaker of the House leading the loyal opposition into negotiations from which workable solutions will emerge. It was, I believe, aimed directly at the tea party elements of his side of the aisle, letting them know that their day of recalcitrant defiance has passed. I would be even more heartened if I thought that Senators Reid and Mitchell, and minority leader Pelosi were capable legislative leaders of their respective troops, but that remains to be seen. So far there is not much evidence of it.