Bring on 2011.

I just wished it looked differently than 2010 where Pres. Obama is concerned. Jonathan Alter provides the money quote and some inside the Obama bubble dirt in the new epilogue to the paperback edition of his book “The Promise”:

“All I want for Christmas is an opposition I can negotiate with.” – Pres. Barack Obama

Deals ‘r us, baby, which is a direct rhetorical cousin to what he implied in 2007. Content of any Obama compromise never seems to matter.

So, as we all look to the 112th Tea Party Congress and the 2012 presidential contest revving up, one serious challenge for Democrats is that Fox News continues to dominate. The good news is that MSNBC has solidified a strong second position, with CNN now the most tarnished name in news.

The Nielsen numbers are in for 2010, and in the battle for cable news ratings supremacy, Fox News took the title for the ninth year in a row — bludgeoning the competition for another year.

The blowout comes on the heels on Fox News’ surging 2009, when the News Corp.-owned channel posted its highest-rated year in the network’s 13-year history.

… MSNBC, which in 2009 boasted its first full-year primetime win over CNN in the 25-to-54-year-old demographic, did so again, while beating CNN in total day “demo” viewers and average total viewers in primetime “” both firsts for the network.

CNN had its lowest rated year in 14 years in primetime, both in terms 25-54-year-old viewers and average total viewers. And barring a breaking news event in the next few days, the network will at least tie its lowest rated year ever (1999) in total day “demo” viewers.

… While moving ahead of CNN, several shows in MSNBC’s primetime lineup took a bit of a ratings hit in 2010. “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” fell 25 percent in the 25-54 demo, 11 percent overall. Rising star Rachel Maddow took a step back among 25-to-54-year-old viewers, slipping 14 percent.

But MSNBC was the only cable news network to hold the statistical line in terms of average total day viewers, with its 399,000 average virtually flat over 2009. Fox News slipped 5 percent, HLN 10 percent; CNN plummeted about 30 percent in that category.

The media shapes our elections, as everyone around here knows, but at least MSNBC is competing, even if Fox News remains a worrisome element as Democrats look to 2012 contests, even beyond Obama’s reelection. This reality makes a real case for the progressive Left to drop their reluctance to appear on Fox and instead take them on whenever they can.

That’s particularly true since Pres. Obama’s last move in 2010 was to promote austerity and Bush era tax cuts, foreshadowing that unless progressives and the American Left launch a concerted effort, the political wilderness could be this year’s new reality for them.

Pres. Obama can hardly afford to let this happen, though he’ll likely be the last to wake up to it.

The biggest problem Obama has is not with the Tea Party Congress, but with the Democratic activist base, many of whom have turned their backs on Obama already, with others waiting for the President to win them back, while yet others pine for a primary challenger to the President simply to illustrate that Democrats stand for something. That’s because it’s very hard to tell what being a Democrat means in the era of Obama.

What’s the point in working your ass off to reelect someone who stands for nothing but the next deal, which is as likely to look like the latest Republican gambit as anything else?

But at the start of a New Year anything seems possible. So, just maybe the change this year will bring is in Pres. Obama himself. We can only hope.