The Last Four Years, and the Next Four

Tonight, PBS's Frontline will be broadcasting a documentary called "Inside Obama's Presidency," about the President's first term. The story told in this preview is about a now-somewhat-famous dinner that a bunch of Republican muckety-mucks held on the night of Obama's inauguration, during which they made the decision that the best way to proceed was implacable, unified opposition to anything and everything the new president wanted to do. As we all know, this plan was then carried out almost to the letter. Watch:

Watch Facing a Permanent Minority? on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

The story of this inauguration-night dinner was told in Robert Draper's book Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the House of Representatives, which came out eight months ago. Seeing the story retold, what's striking is that beforehand, one would have considered the participants—Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Jim DeMint, John Kyl, Tom Coburn—to be extremely, sometimes infuriatingly, conservative. But with the exception of DeMint, one wouldn't have thought that group to be utterly opposed to the very idea of legislating and having a government that, at a minimum, operates.

Yet here we are, not only with that crew, but with dozens of Republicans elected in the two elections since who practically make them look like a bunch of accommodationists. And yet, sage Washington insiders actually believe that things would run a lot smoother if Barack Obama spent more time going to parties and hanging out with sage Washington insiders. Something tells me that even after four more years of GOP hostility and intransigence, that idiotic idea is never going to die.

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