Maybe not. Maybe he’s already focussed on his re-election and wants to assume the role of triangulator-in-chief.
I’m not convinced this is the case, but some Congressional Democrats are all but saying as much:
“What you’re seeing now in public has been building in private,” said a top House Democratic official. “House members did their work — they did everything the president asked of them. And it gets stuck in the Senate. Or the Senate screws it up.”. . .
“Both ends of the Capitol — the House and the Senate — are starting to wonder if they’re on their own,” the official continued. “You have a lot of frustration there. And the White House’s reaction to all of that seems to be, ‘Run against Congress’ — which, as you can imagine, doesn’t go over very well with House members. The White House reaction seems to be, ‘Position ourselves against Congress.’”
It makes political sense for Obama to consider throwing the entire Congress under the bus. Think about it. Despite — or, more likely, because of — the relentless attacks from the Republican lunatic fringe (birthers, teabaggers, dittoheads and assorted dangerous malcontents), Obama’s personal popularity is holding steady. I’m beginning to think his maddening nice-guy equanimity in the face of blatant Republican obstructionism is giving him a touch of Reaganesque Teflon with the public. And he doesn’t want to lose it.
Here’s the real bombshell:
One Democratic official went further, saying some Democratic House members actually believe that the White House “wouldn’t mind having a foil, and that foil is a Republican [House] majority — that would serve their political purposes going into 2012.”
Has this been an element of the David Axelrod master strategy from before day one? Is Barack Obama that cynical?
It certainly would explain a lot.