George Will on Sunday took on Donna Brazile's claim that the Republicans are the Party of No.
After fill-in host Terry Moran on ABC's "This Week" asked Brazile if President Obama is guilty of not challenging dissenting members of his own Party, the Democrat strategist went into the predictable talking point about the gridlock in Washington all being the fault of Republicans.
"I think President Obama is leading," she unsurprisingly said. "But unfortunately, you have a Republican Party that has decided that by saying no, they can, you know, perhaps gain more at the polls this coming fall."
Will was having none of this, and smartly countered, "I want to say something in defense, particularly to Donna, of being the Party of No. The Republican Party elected its first president because he said no to a bright idea a Democratic Senator had."
Of course, that President was Abraham Lincoln, and what he said no to involved slavery (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 3:30):
DONNA BRAZILE: I think President Obama is leading. But unfortunately, you have a Republican Party that has decided that by saying no, they can, you know, perhaps gain more at the polls this coming fall. Look, one tenth of the Republican caucus in the House has announced a retirement. Okay? On thirteen Democrats in the House. We have more Republicans retiring in the United States Senate than Democrats. We know from 1994 as well as 2008, when you look at two volatile periods, if you have to defend open seats, it's very difficult. So for Democrats right now, the game is to hold as many seats as possible and to not retire. For Republicans, they still have to come up with some ideas to go out there and galvanize the electorate. One third of the country is still with the President. One third is against the President. There's 30% of the American people that is still up for grabs. If this president leads, he will be able to capture those people.
GEORGE WILL: I want to say something in defense, particularly to Donna, of being the Party of No. The Republican Party elected its first president because he said no to a bright idea a Democratic Senator had which was, "I'll solve the problem," said, Stephen A. Douglas, "of expansion of slavery into the territories. Let's have popular sovereignty. People can vote it up or vote it down." A lawyer from Springfield, Illinois, named Lincoln, said, "No. That's bad. That's a bad idea. We're going to stop that idea." Now, was the Republican Party the Party of No? You bet they were. And it's a good thing.
Yes it is, George. But as you stated earlier, it's only a good thing when a Democrat says no.