During the campaign, Paul Krugman's (unfair) attacks on Obama—presumably in service to Hillary—became an almost weekly STFU item around here. Since Obama's becoming President, PKrug hasn't exactly let up, but he's been much more specific, judicious and constructive in his criticism.
Yesterday's column "Not Enough Audacity" pretty much nailed what I think has been been the biggest overall failure of the Obama Administration. I'm not (and neither is Krugman) declaring Obama a failure after six months in office, but am genuinely worried about what has become a reoccuring theme that when viewed in retrospect years down the line will be what one can look at as the reasons Obama might end being, let's say, less-successful than he should've been.
It's Obama's insistance and over-reliance on post-partisanship.
Obama let his desire to attract bipartisan support derail a more effective stimulus plan. And for his effort and the plan's hollowing-out he attracted exactly three fucking Republicans. It greatly weakened the stimulus package, and at the same time did nothing to make it bipartisan. Instead it resulted in a weak, more-likely-to-fail plan that can still be accurately labeled "Democrat."
If you are going to let the Republicans sit on the sidelines and jeer, you might as well throw deep and win the goddamn game. That way, you get an MVP trophy, and all the GOP gets is further left behind.
I'm not saying this needs to mean cutthroat politics. If Obama wants to "rise above" and give reasonable Republicans a chance to participate or contribute, fine. Offer to include them in serious policy discussion, and when those few REpublicans are neutered by the party loudmouths that have nothing to contribute but number-less budgets and denials of reality, Obama should promptly sidestep them and cut them out of the process.
Instead Obama is getting cut off at the knees by his own fucking party and is preemptively negotiating against himself before the clock even starts.
The next two big examples of this are climate change / cap-and-trade legislation and, of course, health care reform. Probably the two specific areas where Obama has the biggest, most-clear mandate and the least need to compromise.
Let's see what happens.