It’s déjà vu all over again.

Pres. Obama has never understood the incredible gift he was handed when he came into office. He had the American people at his feet, the political winds at his back, the press at his ready, and the world awaiting his leadership. He also had Democratic margins and a bully pulpit to use to push forward on policies that work best for the American people.

Two years later he’s been shown to cave on health care in favor of the insurance companies, protected too big to fail banking system, done nothing about the exporting of corporate cash from this country, ignored the job issue, and given lip service to Democratic policy principles while tilting the country ever rightward until today he’s made a deal with Republicans that they are cheering as he uses language like “hostage” for a situation he created because he not only doesn’t know how to lead, but won’t be bothered to try. He even handed off the tax deal to Vice Pres. Joe Biden, because Barack Obama is always looking for cover. On foreign policy Pres. Obama has ignored the implications of Gen. McChyrstal’s implosion, plus turned away from the obvious ramifications of the Karzai Wikileaks exposure; meanwhile, we’re days away from a complete Middle East dialogue collapse, as we are made to swallow an arms deal for the Saudis that makes absolutely no sense at all. Because of the midterms, Obama’s foreign policy options have dried up. All of this is why he rails at the Left so gracelessly, because those who understand the political disaster Obama’s constructing won’t follow him anywhere anymore.

Harold Myerson:

Changelessness we can’t believe in. Not much of a slogan, I admit, but a pretty fair statement of where we’re at after the president’s tax deal with congressional Republicans.

[…] The best we can say of the deal is that it largely perpetuates, and only occasionally worsens, the status quo – in particular, the three-decade status quo in which the rich get richer at ordinary Americans’ expense. Obama vowed during his news conference Tuesday to take on that status quo over the next two years, but his inability thus far to frame that debate – even though most Americans share his opposition to extending tax cuts for the rich – is maddening.

Stasis you can grieve over. Good grief.

Pres. Barack Obama has lost the entire industrial Midwest and the working class, with women splitting their vote in the midterms with the Right, while seniors went Right as well, because Obama also sold them out.

For all you people too young to remember or not interested in politics when it happened, what you’re feeling is how many Democrats felt before the 1980 elections that swept in the Reagan revolution and made “Reagan Democrats” out of working class voters, who are still referred to today.

Pres. Obama miscalculated terribly on the tax cut scheme he’s concocted, just as he miscalculated with health care. It’s a toss up whether he’ll get it passed or not, but I’m rooting for Sen. Sanders and Rep. Welch.

Whether Obama is challenged or not, his weakness as a Democratic leader is now etched in everyone’s mind. A challenger also doesn’t matter, because there are a growing number of Democrats who won’t vote for him in ’12 no matter what.

..and with that, Keith and Rachel, take it away…

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This essay has been updated.