The January 30th New Yorker has an article by Ryan Lizza on the “Obama Memos.” It tells that depressing story of how President Obama really believed that he could unite the country and rise above partisanship. Again and again he chose to move to the right, in a futile effort to appease conservatives and try to find common ground. But no matter what he did, Republicans attacked him and voted almost unanimously against his initiatives.
Actually, I don’t know whether he wanted to be liked or just wanted to pass legislation. But it didn’t work. Instead, the GOP, which was on the verge of destruction in 2008, grew stronger and the Dems got a shellacking in 2010.
According to an entirely different interpretation of President Obama’s policy choices, he’s simply uninterested in pursuing a progressive agenda and the other story (that he wants to transcend partisanship) is a smokescreen. I waver back and forth between believing one story or the other.