John Podesta has a theory on why Obama is slumping.
As Mr. Podesta points out, part of the president’s significant appeal to voters — “a big part of the secret sauce of getting him elected” — was his promise to transcend perennial partisanship.
A more national, outward-looking strategy for creating a “postpartisan” dynamic might have included White House partnerships with Republican governors or even with conservative foundations or industry groups. Because the president effectively boxed himself in to a Capitol Hill-only strategy, though, he handed the Republican minorities in Congress the power to sabotage his goal.
“Once you became a legislative president, which is arguably what you needed to do, you couldn’t deliver on the nonpartisanship promise,” Mr. Podesta said. “And it’s something people wanted.”
Podesta’s notion that people wanted “nonpartisanship” is just rank Broderism. If they wanted that, why did they kick Republicans out of every level of government and replace them with Democrats in 2006 and 2008? FDR and Reagan weren’t “nonpartisan” and voters enthusiastically elected them 6 times.
But there was always a problem with Obama’s “post-partisan” positioning and it had nothing to do with whether he had to be a “legislative president.”
It had everything to do with the fact that the people Obama said he’d reach out to are batshit crazy, and finding some workable middle ground with people who think tax cuts increase revenue, global warming is a hoax, saving General Motors is Hitler-esque, whose policies ran the country into a ditch–and who think Sarah Palin was qualified to be president–was always a flawed premise, to say the least.