Today’s NYT has an article with the (somewhat odd) headline Obama’s Edge Over G.O.P. Is Still Unclear After Victory in Standoff. In this article, Peter Baker thinks it worth our time to be treated to the following quote, which is presented without any commentary or context:
“For Republicans’ having been rolled, there is renewed pressure on them to stay tough and not lose the next time,” said former Representative Thomas M. Davis III of Virginia, a Republican who has been highly critical of the Tea Party strategy.
Mr. Davis said Republicans over the last few weeks “underestimated Obama,” whose position, he said, has been strengthened. Going forward, he said, Mr. Obama has to be more flexible to win Republican support. “He’s got to learn to give Boehner some victories,” Mr. Davis said. “But you’d rather be where he is now than where Boehner is.”
Can you imagine anyone saying this of Ronald Reagan after he, say, killed the air traffic control union? That Reagan had to learn to give Tip O’Neill some victories? Everyone would have giggled, and the quote would never have made it into the paper.
I sort of get why a Republican tactician might say something like this, but not why the stenographer thought it was worth writing down, much less repeating and legitimating it.
I want my new media.