From Jonathan Blakely:
When asked about the prospect of Sen. John McCain, R-Az, refusing to cooperate on future legislation because of his disapproval with health care reform recently being signed into law, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs stopped just short of comparing McCain – one of the oldest members in the U.S. Senate – to a child.
“The notion that you don’t get what you want, [so] you’re not going to cooperate on anything else is not a whole lot different than I might hear from a 6-year-old,” he said during a White House press briefing today. “It doesn’t work well for my six-year-old…I doubt it works well in the United States Senate.”
On Monday, McCain appeared on a local Arizona radio station, where he boldly stated that “there will be no cooperation for the rest of the year,” from Republicans as a result of how Democrats “poisoned the well,” by passing reform with no support from the other side of the aisle and using reconciliation rules – requiring only 51 votes, instead of the traditional 60 – to pass the “fixes” to the Senate bill.
This prompted White House senior adviser David Axelrod to also compare him to a child, in an interview with ABC News’ Jake Tapper, by joking that McCain's stubbornness is "okay on the sandlot but [not] when you’re trying to govern a country."
The reconciliation process currently underway has been recognized by many as another potential hazard to an already fragile bipartisan environment on Capitol Hill, which is becoming more divisive by the day as Republicans refuse to let up. Mr. Gibbs addressed this issue by insisting that the same legislative procedures didn’t obstruct progress in the previous administration, and by taking another subliminal shot at the opposition.
“When reconciliation happened in 2001 with the Bush tax cuts, I didn't sense that it spoiled the ability for Congress to continue working together,” he said. “I don't see why that would happen now, unless people decided that they were going to take their toys and go home.”
- Jonathan Blakely