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Ramesh Ponnuru

Democrats Say They Can’t Work With Republicans. Why Not?

Don’t believe everything Barack Obama said about partisan intransigence.

The Democrats’ selective memory.

The Democrats’ selective memory.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

“I came in expressing a strong spirit of bipartisanship,” President Barack Obama said, “and what was clear was that even in the midst of crisis, there were those who made decisions based on a quick political calculus rather than on what the country needed.”

At the start of 2010, his second year in office, Obama was remembering what he called “the classic example” of Republican intransigence from his first year: He went to share ideas with House Republicans about the stimulus bill, only to find out that their leader, John Boehner, had already issued a statement opposing it.