Obama’s declaration of ineffectuality:
By saying “I’m not a dictator,” then, Obama is admitting that he is ineffectual: that he lacks the political skill either to strike a compromise or to bend his opponents to his will. He concluded his press conference in an even more passive vein, hoping that “Congress comes to its senses a week from now, a month from now, three months from now.”
The Hill tries to put a brave face on all this, reporting that “the first months of President Obama’s second term are being built around a simple premise: No caving.” The legislative trade publication also reports that Democrats “argue that Obama is–finally–using the power of the bully pulpit to advance his agenda” and “becoming more adept at using public pressure to accomplish his political goals.”
As best we can tell, no evidence is adduced in support of this proposition. Another Hill piece, this one an op-ed by Republican consultant John Feehery, takes the opposite tack: “The tag team of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are currently mopping the floor with Barack Obama. The president convincingly won a second term in November, but since that time, the congressional Republican leadership has outfoxed, outmaneuvered and plain out-strategized him on just about every issue.”
Despite the supposed inspiration of his first campaign, hope is not a strategy.