All this handwringing reminds me so much of the campaign, when in some quarters people were comparing Obama to Michael Dukakis when at that very same point in the race we now know he had it in the bag.
Look, while President Obama is the top Democrat in the nation now, he is also the leader of the entire country – including the Republicans. We partisans might pooh-pooh people disliking partisanship as Broderism, but the truth of the matter is the American people are tired of the fighting over what feels to them like marginal issues that get in the way of things getting done.
Obama is throwing a bone to the GOP, making a very public overture for them to get on the bipartisan train. But his past and current actions make it pretty clear that the train is going to leave as scheduled.
The stimulus will pass. It will be mostly progressive. It will, in the long run, help to get the economy back on track. And the Republicans who line up behind John Boehner and Rush Limbaugh will ultimately fail both in the political and policy arena. After the last few years, people have forgotten what its like to have someone wielding the bully pulpit of the presidency with the vast majority of the American people behind him.
We’ve only just begun.