Obama is a great divider
President Obama used the six weeks after his election to remain in full campaign mode and attack the GOP relentlessly with the intent of marginalizing House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, as an effective leader of the Republican opposition.
He succeeded. Decisively. And thus defined his second term as a bitter grind before it even began, just as he signaled to the Republicans that there is zero upside to negotiating with this most partisan president.
How amusing will his second Inaugural address be when he reaches for the grand words about leading one nation and conquering the future for every child of every family?
"With malice toward none, with charity for all ..." How 19th century is that?
The president conquered a lame-duck Congress. He did so as state after state rejected the Obamacare option of establishing health insurance exchanges, as the 2.3 percent tax on medical devices sent that industry reeling and as the lack of a Medicare fix meant doctors would refuse new seniors as patients. His first-term "achievement" is setting a land speed record for legislative failure, but he thinks the best defense to history's judgment is a good offense against an inept speaker of the House.
He humbled Boehner and rendered him useless as a negotiating partner just as every economist in the country warned of the shock of the massive tax increases headed toward the Obama "recovery."
So complete has been his rout of the speaker that Boehner prayed the Serenity Prayer and sent everyone home. Rarely has a drubbing been as total as the one the president delivered the House Republicans.
Not only has the president pushed the country to the fiscal cliff, he has carved his visage on it, even as he guaranteed it will never get to Mount Rushmore. "The Great Divider" wasted no time in claiming his place in presidential history.
Having managed to lose 4 million votes between 2008 and 2012, the most partisan and relentlessly negative president of modern times doubled down on all of his least generous instincts and went "full Lee Atwater," embracing completely the advice that if your opponent is on the ground with a broken arm, step on it.
...So much for Obama's pledge to wash John Boehner's car. I bet he hasn't walked Mitch McConnell's dog either. When he said he was going to be more bipartisan, he was clearly trying to mislead voters who wanted to see more bipartisanship. Since that is not going to happen, Republicans would be wise to remind voters of that failed pledge before Obama makes more divisive speeches to the country at his inaugural and State of the Union address.