Six months into the president’s term, you don’t read much about this post-partisan future anymore. It may be because on almost every big-ticket legislative item (the stimulus, climate change, and now health care), Mr. Obama has been pushing a highly ideological agenda with little (and in some cases zero) support from across the aisle. Yet far from stating the obvious—that sitting in the Oval Office is a very partisan president—the press corps is allowing Mr. Obama to evade the issue by coming up with novel redefinitions.
I said it to friends last year and am sure I heard it from many smarter than I: electing Obama is like electing Tom Coburn (considered by some the furthest right of the Republican Senate Caucus) and calling him a post-partisan. The only true post-partisan in the race for the presidency was the great coalition builder and centrist, John McCain. Guess how much credit he got for being a real post-partisan.
Just to realize how ridiculous it was that the press went along with the idea that Obama=centrist, let's engage in a thought experiment: imagine if the race had been Senator Joe Lieberman (centrist) vs. Senator Tom Coburn (most conservative). Would the press have suggested that Coburn was the post-partisan and Lieberman was an idealogue?