“Masochistic”?

Embarrassing.

But if Josh Marshall and Talking Points Memo is laying out Barack Obama it’s time for the White House to wake up and hear the alarms. No one went farther out on a limb than TPM did during the primaries to assist Barack Obama in every way they could, seldom doing critical analysis on him.

Everyone hopes that Barack Obama regroups and begins to actually lead, because we’ve all got a lot at stake. He has the people around him to manage it.

But right now Democrats seem to be in a state of paralysis, especially where health care is concerned. That it’s happening openly, where everyone can witness it is deeply troubling. This article by Brian Beutler is just absolutely stunning. Beutler talks to Sen. Sherrod Brown:

Nevertheless, he doesn’t imagine the President will lay out a way forward in his State of the Union address next week, and he won’t push any buttons in the Senate.

“I doubt if he does, I don’t think he’ll do a procedural thing. I don’t think he will engage in process,” Brown said of State of the Union.

Traveling with Obama today, he and House members from Ohio aired suggestions and opinions about how to get the Senate back into the game–but Obama’s not on the same page. “Everybody had opinions about what the President should do [vis-a-vis the Senate and particular senators],” Brown told me. “But he ain’t bitin’.”

It’s doubly tough that this all comes the week before the State of the Union Speech this coming Wednesday, when Pres. Obama is due to give yet another speech. Virginia’s Bob McDonnell will give the Republican response.

There is just this terrible sinking feeling that these people haven’t one clue how to get out of the mess they’ve created. The worst of it being that the one time we get full transparency it’s to watch their incompetence in the light of day.

But take heart! The other guys are worse. They’ve just figured out a way to win stunning upsets in places like Massachusetts without using the word Republican, which voters are buying into in droves. Not encouraging.