The Washington Times - March 14, 2013, 04:05PM

Sen. Pat Roberts had a particularly colorful metaphor for President Obama’s good will tour to Capitol Hill this week.

After spending more than an hour listening to Mr. Obama and his exchanges with other Republican senators Thursday afternoon, the Kansas Republican told reporters he thought it was a positive step for the president to meet directly with Republicans and try to focus on areas of common ground.


“There were a lot of conversations about how things used to work when Sen. [Everett Dirksen] worked with President [Lyndon] Johnson and [former House Speaker] Tip O’Neill worked with President Reagan,” he said.

Then Mr. Roberts got a little more direct and a lot more cynical: “He’s smothering us with the milk of human kindness and hoping it doesn’t curdle.”

The phrase “the milk of human kindness” is from William Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth,” and is spoken by Lady Macbeth in a soliloquy in which she fears her husband is insufficiently ruthless — “too full of the milk of human kindness” — to kill the king and seize the Scottish throne. She resolves at the end of the soliloquy to turn him around on the matter.