President Obama started with an outstretched hand,remembers Eric Cantor in the New York Times,
but pulled it back with a policy lurch leftward to a place we could not go
… News outlets, along with the Democrats, labeled us the “Party of No.” But that didn’t reflect the reality. Our goal was to offer a viable alternative to every major piece of legislation the Democratic majority put forward. We wondered if the president would embrace our efforts to bridge the policy divide, and if he did, what that might mean for Republicans in Washington.A few weeks later, John and I, along with the other congressional leaders, met with President Obama at the White House to discuss our plan as well as his proposed stimulus bill. Bringing along a one-page outline of our working group’s recommendations, I rather brazenly asked the president if I could hand it out at the meeting. The president agreed, and after glancing at it, he said to me, “Eric, I don’t see anything crazy in here.”I was hopeful. But later in the meeting, when I mentioned that a stimulus package built around government spending would be too much like “old Washington,” the president’s tone changed. He said:
“Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won. So I think on that one I trump you.”It wasn’t long afterward that we learned that Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, and Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, were well on their way to having a final stimulus package drafted, and they weren’t really interested in any of our ideas.
… As Americans witness the swearing in of a new president this week, it’s another reminder that our founding fathers wanted elections to have consequences, but they also created a system that requires factions to work together even after a decisive election. It is my hope that the new president and leaders in Congress live up to our founders’ expectations.