“…In the wake of the Democratic Party’s 2010 defeats, it seemed as though Obama might go the way of Bill Clinton; triangulate, moderate, embrace centrism. The president did work with newly ascendant Republicans to strike a deal increasing unemployment insurance for a temporary extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, and he appointed the business-friendly Bill Daley to serve as his chief of staff. It did not last. A freshly reelected Barack Obama made repeal of those tax cuts for the nation’s top earners a priority. Daley lasted just one year in his role before he movedon to more productive pursuits.
It seems this time around, Obama is not even pretending to be interested in shifting to the middle. Instead, his allies target Democratic partisans with a message of defiance. The fight, they insist, will continue. The cause endures. But it is a mere feint. There is no stomach in the Oval Office for anything other than showpiece battles over Potemkin legislation…”