That's sort of the impression we got reading Fortune magazine's interview with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. When he's asked to describe plans on working with the Democratic majority coming into the House and Senate, Paulson sounds totally optimistic.
Take, for instance, this exchange on Charlie Rangel:
Mr. Secretary, yesterday the President designated you the point man on entitlement reform. Are you going to surprise Washington by partnering with incoming Ways and Means chairman Charles Rangel on this issue?
The big issues will take bipartisan support. Retirement security will take cooperation with leadership on both sides, Republicans and Democrats. I like Charlie a lot personally, and I look forward to working with him. He's going to come in for lunch next week.
Okay, Hank. We know you were great at this whole 'client relations' buisness at Goldman. And we're sure Charlie's a great guy. But the next two years for the Demmocrats on Capitol Hill are not going to be about any sort of "cooperation" that will possibly deliver the Republican administration anything that will look like a major achievement.
They are going to be about making the Republican administration look dangerous, incompetent and unable to get things done. Watch a couple of episodes of this season’s The Wire if you want to know in advance how this lunch is going to go down. You can like Charlie all you want but the man is not your friend. Not as long as you are working for George Bush. If you want a friend in Washington, Hank, you buy a dog. If you want to get barked at and bitten, well…good luck with that lunch thing.
Mr. Paulson goes to Washington [Fortune]