Obama learned early that this was the sure fire way to bag the big financial and corporate dollars, stay in good stead with the Democratic Party regulars, and garner favorable ink in the mainstream media. He gave a bigger hint that compromise and conciliation would be the watchwords of his administration in his coming of political age keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. The punch line that brought swoons and wows was that Americans shouldn't be pigeonholed into Red States and Blue States and that he would work hard to close the political and ideological rifts and divisions. This was a political template for a non-confrontational; don't ruffle the GOP's political feathers approach to policy matters.
Then there's the matter of race. The escalating GOP counterinsurgency against him is fueled by playing on the thinly veiled racial fears of a black liberal leaning president. A president that has allegedly suspect birth, religious ties, and patriotism, and who will subvert the liberties, and economic well-being of law abiding, patriotic hard working white Americans. This is pap and hogwash, but the scare tactic has worked.
Polls show a big fall off in his approval ratings. Democrats are now inching up on Republicans in getting the blame for the mess in Congress. This makes Obama even more gun shy about trying to ram health care reform, or any other part of his agenda through Congress with Democrats only. This would draw not only howls of dictatorship but stir massive political and public disruption and unrest. This would open the door wide for Republicans to rebound and actually win back a few seats in the 2010 mid term elections.
The specter of a rejuvenated, even more war like GOP is Obama's worst nightmare. The low intensity warfare against him would severely hamper his efforts to better shore up the economy; pass an immigration reform and campaign reform law and wind down the wars.
Imploring Obama to thumb his nose at the GOP and go it alone with Democrats shows pure ignorance or Kool Aid delusion of who and what Obama is and how he got where he got. It just ain't going to happen.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His forthcoming book is How Obama Governed: the Year of Crisis and Challenge (Middle Passage Press, January 2010).