Democrats and Republicans CAN work together — President Clinton and Republicans Gingrich and Lott worked together to pass welfare reform

This is a very important video to watch for a few reasons.

First this video is to remind some to stop making excuses for President Obama by repeating that he has political opponents and that is why he bypasses them and claims executive power to make / change laws.  A President does have some discretion, but it is not unlimited by any means.

Second, he has political opponents.  But, all Presidents have political opponents and in this video you will see Welfare Reform, President Clinton’s campaign promise, happened because President Clinton worked together with Republican Speaker Gingrich and Republican Senator Trent Lott. There was no “my way or no way.” That attitude is deadly.  It took leadership to get welfare reform, not war.

Third, in this video, you will hear President Clinton, at about 6:20, talk about how parts of reform that he really wanted had to be in the bill — that he could not just exercise professed executive power.  That is relevant to the current discussion about executive power.

In January of 2009, just after President Obama took office, he made a giant mistake that has had long lasting impact.  At a White House meeting with members of both parties about the President’s proposed stimulus bill, then Senator Kyl (Republican) challenged President Obama about a provision and it was reported in multiple news outlets that the President, disagreeing with Senator Kyl, said, “I won.”  That response, if correctly reported, was terrible and set the tone.  It was not one that reflected cooperation and working together – but declared political war.  And yes, it is regrettable that President has rehabilitated his relationship and it is regrettable that Republicans have not ‘forgiven’ him and let it go so that both parties can work together to make things better for Americans.  I wish the President could ask for and get a ‘do-over’ and take back that crack.

Finally – if you go back to SENATOR Obama’s statements (eg August 2008), you will read that he was very concerned about a President abusing his power and bypassing Congress.

President Obama can achieve much of what he wants by legislation if he is willing to lead.  It is not easy….but he has to roll up his sleeves and start working with Congress….find those common ground areas.  They do exist.