Olive Branch or Fig Leaf?
Last week, I posted an item on House Minority Whip Eric Cantor’s oddly-timed call for greater bipartisanship between the Obama Administration and Republicans in Congress. Now we learn that shortly after the olive branch (or fig leaf, for you skeptics) was extended, Cantor and President Obama actually had a rather blunt exchange at a White House meeting with Republican leaders over which party most deserved the blame for undercutting the best of bipartisan legislative intentions.
Obama reportedly brought the exchange to a close by playing the proverbial remember, I’m the president card, but not before Cantor accepted an offer to provide a specific list of potential spending cuts to the president. I am not especially confident that this exchange will result in a meaningful new burst of bipartisan activity, but the Republicans actually have a reasonably good P.R. opportunity here, if they are able to come up with an interesting, non-boilerplate set of suggestions that Obama is unable to reject out of hand. If they don’t think outside of the ideological box on these cuts, however, then my guess is we’re in for a lot more party-line votes in the coming months.

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