What a difference a few weeks make.
When Barack Obama became our nation's top leader in 2009 he stated proudly, boldly and matter of factly that he would "change the tone" in Washington. He promised to put an end to politics as usual and bring civility, bipartisanship and transparency to our nation's capital.
Now, we all know that there was never a serious effort made on the part on President Obama's part to change the tone, be bipartisan or even transparent.
Our president and his fellow Democrats knew quite well that they controlled all branches of government with high majorities so there was no need to be bipartisan, transparent or congenial.
They passed 2,000+ page bills on the economy and health care that no legislator could have possibly read or absorbed before casting his or her vote. Obama, Pelosi and Reid not only muscled and rode roughshod over Republicans they did it to anyone who got in their way.
Obama in the past two years only met once one on one with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and did not have standing meetings with opposition leaders of the House or Senate.
Don't you find it a little disingenuous for Obama to now do what he promised to do when he took office? Now all of a sudden the president is "reaching out" to Republicans? Now he cares what they think and cares for their input? Why? The answer is: November 2, 2010.
Republicans, however, must not hold a grudge or use their newfound gains to get even or settle scores. They need to leverage their new found White House "respect" to work with the president, Pelosi and Reid to make real and lasting accomplishments for the good of the people.
Obama is the one stuck between a rock and a hard place with regard to the expiring Bush tax cuts for example. Obama is boxed in a corner between expiring tax cuts, a bad economy, high unemployment and his own misplaced but unwavering position on who should get them and for how long.
This is Obama's "read my lips" moment.
In Obama's mind, it appears as if he seems to believe that if he compromises on extending the Bush tax cuts, he will violate his long held stance on taxes to the point that it will inflame his base and create fodder for Republicans that could mortally wound him in 2012.
The facts and circumstances today demand a deal on taxes. The Republicans need to stand their ground on this issue as much as possible. The president, in the short term, cannot afford not to make a deal. After a deal is done, then Obama will have plenty of time to calm his base and do damage control.
Republicans and Democrats have to realize now that there are certain things that must be done for the good of the country. This is not about politics with regard to the economy it is about our national economic survival.
If the economy improves both Republicans and Democrats who supported a bipartisan solution will benefit.
Had Obama practiced what he preached in 2009 he would not find himself in the spot he is in 2011.
Mr. President, good policy is good politics. It is just that simple.
Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of Politics and Public Policy at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to Fox News Opinion.
Former deputy assistant to President George W. Bush