News reports suggest that on Thursday night, the president will tell Republicans in the House and Senate that they should put “country before party” and endorse his proposals for job creation. The “country before party” line has become Obama’s new theme in the wake of the debt crisis, and the passion with which he invokes it indicates it’s something he actually and truly believes in.
And it’s utter nonsense. Offensive nonsense too. Obama isn’t truly asking Republicans to put country before party. He is asking them to elevate the interests and ideas of the Democratic party higher than their own ideas, their sense of what is best for the nation, and their deeply held convictions about the moral hazard posed by a too-large government and a populace too reliant on it. They won’t do it, and they shouldn’t, and the next time liberals complain that conservatives unfairly impugn their patriotism, Obama’s effort to do just that with his loyal ideological opposition should be thrown in their face.