Kevin M. Kruse @KevinMKruse Historian. Author/editor of White Flight; The New Suburban History; Spaces of the Modern City; Fog of War; One Nation Under God; Fault Lines. Sep. 10, 2015 1 min read

As an historian, let me start by saying: No, he hasn't. Not by a long shot. /1

If anything, historians will fault Obama for seemingly naive belief that he could launch, as he said in 2008, a "post-partisan" America. /2

Obama's first years in office showed bipartisan outreach we have not seen in the modern era before. He's the *least* partisan president. /3

When Obama formed his Cabinet, he added two Republicans and, until Judd Gregg rejected the Commerce position, nearly had three. /4

To put that in perspective, two Cabinet members of opposition party ties the 20th c. record: FDR's unity govt as nation entered WWII. /5

His major policy proposals were very bipartisan. A third of the stimulus package was tax cuts GOP had previously proposed, for instance. /6

Health care reform modeled on Romney's MA plan. On foreign policy, Obama kept Bush's SecDef and followed SOFA timetable on Iraq. /7

Despite such bipartisanship, Obama was met w/ unprecedented levels of obstructionism in the House and Senate, as @NormOrnstein has shown /8

As @MikeGrunwald noted in his terrific book, Republicans set out to deny Obama any GOP votes on major laws like stimulus, ACA, etc. /9

Cantor and McConnell forbade caucuses from voting or even negotiating, to create the image that Obama was "most partisan" POTUS ever /10

GOP embraced knee-jerk opposition to anything Obama proposed. As Sen. Voinovich noted: “If he was for it, we had to be against it.” /11

Again, read @NormOrnstein and Thomas Mann's book on this -- the GOP Congress imposed unprecedented delays, holds, filibusters, etc. /12

Add on top of that the unbridled hostility -- birther nonsense, Joe Wilson screaming "You lie!" from the House floor at the POTUS, etc. /13

And you have asymmetric polarization in which Obama generally started from a position of compromise, but was still rebuffed constantly /14

It's amazing to conclude, as @JoeNBC does, Obama is "the most partisan" president -- when he's actually one of the least partisan. /15

As an historian, I assure you: When we look back, Obama will fare just fine. But this idiocy in our news media will be mocked endlessly. /16


You can follow @KevinMKruse.



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