It seems that many people think that President Obama is naive enough to not understand what he is up against with the GOP due to the disastrous election results. I think people may have forgotten that he is a consummate politician and from Chicago no less. He couldn't be where he is now if it were otherwise. I'm pretty sure that he knows what he's dealing with because he has already been dealing with them for almost 2 years now. However, his political instincts don't allow him to state what he knows, publicly anyway.
What I think he unfortunately didn't realize is that his base would take this election too lightly and not turn out in sufficient numbers to prevent this massive shift. Where the turnout was good, in California for example, the Democrats did fine, thank you very much.
Another thing that may be problematic for him is something that plagues many very bright people; things that seem obvious to him are not obvious to most people. He knows all the details about how bad things were. how big of a hole we had dug ourselves into and how long it will probably take to get things back to an acceptable state. Because of his deep knowledge and awareness, it seems obvious why things are the way they are. In fact he probably is amazed that things aren't much, much worse, I know I am.
Think about it. For most of his 2008 campaign, things were pretty normal; the economy, unemployment were all fairly healthy. Never mind that the reason for the recovery of the mid 2000's a huge financial bubble centered on real estate. Never mind that we were continuing our downward slide in manufacturing, education, and technology. We were all fairly content with our average American lives. Most of us had a job, even if it was just pushing paper for some mortgage broker. It did seem a bit unfair that CEO's were making obscene amounts of money but we were making ends meet. The big campaign issues were the war and healthcare. The average American had no idea about the precarious state of our financial system. Then, toward the end of 2008 all hell broke loose and the house of cards that was Wallstreet and the financial system came tumbling down. Of course this helped greatly to get Obama elected because it gave him a much more urgent and simplified platform or, I should say, gave real meaning to his message of change.
Since the dookey didn't really hit the fan until late 2008,(technically we had been in a recession in 2007 but nobody in power would admit it and magically, employment was still pretty good) the number that really matters to most people, the unemployment rate didn't start it's downward slide until after the election. Considering the length and depth of the recession coupled with the nearly unprecedented financial crisis, it's a wonder that we are back to where we are so soon.
Collectively, we have a terrible memory, both long and short term. Most of us apparently don't remember the jobless recovery of the early 2000's; that it took close to three years after the recession was technically over to get job growth back to "normal" or that most of the growth was based on hot air(see below). Even worse, we have forgotten the reasons for the near collapse of the financial system and hence the severity and depth of the recession(hot air again).
We apparently also forget that if McCain and his court jester had been elected and God forbid, the GOP had free run to do whatever they wanted (i.e. nothing but TARP), things most likely would have been much, much worse.
So, what do we, in our infinite, collective wisdom do? We put the party of NO back in power so they can continue to do nothing--except continue to cut taxes and perhaps extend the unfunded war. I'm not sure what people were expecting but what they will get is absolutely no progress on any issues for the next 2 years! Most of the current articles are right about at least one thing; the GOP has absolutely no intention of cooperating with Obama. Their only goal is and has been to get him out of office. Believe me, Obama knows this and it's up to him to prove to the American people that this is the case and, that if things don't improve over the next two years, it's the GOP and not his administration that's at fault.
Ironically, things may be getting better in spite of what anyone does or doesn't do. As I write this, the latest jobs figures have come out showing significant growth in the private sector. As things continue to improve and the unemployment rate gets back to an acceptable level, we can all go back to our blissfully ignorant, comfortable average American lives, until the next crisis hits!