One of President Obama's favorite rhetorical tricks is to insist that his opponents cannot just say no. If they dislike his proposal regarding X, he often says, then they have an obligation to submit their own. "Tell me how we get to yes," the president said the other day in Idaho. "It is perfectly fair for them to say 'we have a better way to meet these national priorities.' But if they do, they have to show what those ideas are."
This makes the president sound as though he is perfectly willing to compromise, and would work hand-in-hand with Republicans if only they would quit acting like such dogs in the manger. It's a neat trick, writes A. Barton Hinkle—but that's all. And when he uses it, Obama is about as sincere as a televangelist. Besides, Hinkle explains, usually it's better to just say no to big government.