This post has been updated - see below
Four days before Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States, Rush Limbaugh said:
"I disagree fervently with the people on our side of the aisle who have caved and who say, 'Well, I hope he succeeds. We've got to give him a chance.'
"I've been listening to Barack Obama for a year-and-a-half. I know what his politics are. I know what his plans are, as he has stated them. I don't want them to succeed.
"Okay, I'll send you a response, but I don't need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails."
On the night of Inauguration Day, Congressional Republicans from the House and Senate met over dinner. Robert Draper, in his book "Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the US House of Representatives," described the dinner meeting:
During a lengthy discussion, the senior GOP members worked out a plan to repeatedly block Obama over the coming four years to try to ensure he would not be re-elected.
Attending the dinner were House members Eric Cantor, Jeb Hensarling, Pete Hoekstra, Dan Lungren, Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan and Pete Sessions. From the Senate were Tom Coburn, Bob Corker, Jim DeMint, John Ensign and Jon Kyl. Others present were former House Speaker and future – and failed – presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and the Republican strategist Frank Luntz, who organised the dinner and sent out the invitations.
The session lasted four hours and by the end the sombre mood had lifted: they had conceived a plan. They would take back the House in November 2010, which they did, and use it as a spear to mortally wound Obama in 2011 and take back the Senate and White House in 2012.
"If you act like you're the minority, you're going to stay in the minority," said Keven McCarthy, quoted by Draper. "We've gotta challenge them on every single bill and challenge them on every single campaign."
Did the Republicans challenge the Administration on every single bill? The evidence is absolutely clear: yes, they did:
Consider this tidbit: cloture was invoked 63 times in 2009 and 2010, which isn't just the most ever, it's more than the sum total of instances from 1919 through 1982. That's not a typo.
Yes, obstructionism is proving to be far less severe in this Congress (2011-2012), but that's not because Senate Republicans have suddenly become more responsible — it's because there's a right-wing House majority and there's now far less for the Senate to do.
Now comes Mitt Romney, GOP candidate for President and leader of his party. And he says:
"Four years ago, I know that many Americans felt a fresh excitement about the possibilities of a new president. That president was not the choice of our party but Americans always come together after elections.
"I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed"
Governor Romney, I have a question: just where the heck have you been for the past three years?
UPDATE - from Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:
"I want liberal policies to fail. I want him to fail in trying to put in place a health care plan that takes away the private sector from health care. I want him to fail in this cap and trade program as long as China and Brazil and Indonesia are not going to play in it. But I want him to succeed as a president, meaning, I want him to succeed in strengthening our economy, keeping us free, bringing our troops home in success from Iraq and Afghanistan. But I don't want his liberal policies to succeed."
Mitt Romney, on Larry King Live, March 19, 2009