Norquist might have to take a hard line and pretend he’s appalled to see it crossed, but in focusing everyone on that line, he’s effectively distracting them from how far the goalposts have been moved. Instead of revenues being an assumed part of a deficit deal, with the only question being how much of the deal they make up, the question has become whether Republicans will accept any revenues at all in the deficit deal. Including any new revenues at all has been framed as a major concession for the Republicans, which means it’s easier for Republicans to include far less revenue in total. And no matter how you look at it, that’s a win for Grover Norquist.Wonkbook: Grover Norquist’s small loss and big win

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Well, that was a weird exchange with Ann Curry that explains a lot.

The most amazing thing about the Republican debate this week was that there were no ideas on the economy or jobs. It’s the most infuriating thing about the era of austerity in which we live. Pres. Obama, having bought into the same thing a long time ago, except when it comes to dispensing our military in other countries, has now relegated the Democratic Party to the same status as the GOP, a tax-cutting priority party.

Meanwhile, The American people and the Progressive Caucus are exercised about jobs for good reasons. From Huffington Post:

Progressive Democrats are launching a tour to call for good jobs for the working and middle classes, putting pressure on House Republicans and President Barack Obama to push for more job measures.

“Let’s get mad,” Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) said at a press conference. “Let’s tell the man that we love in the White House to get off of his butt and start supporting some legislature for jobs. … He’s the best speaker in the world, and now we want some action.”

But the Democrats saved their harshest words for House Republicans, whom Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) called “spineless” in their support for tax cuts and subsidies.

It would be nice if progressive legislators also remembered that it was Pres. Obama who touted tax cut last year, while ignoring tax hikes for mil-billionaires, but that would require mutiny.

I just don’t get any sense that Pres. Obama is all that excited about taking on the challenge, except as a campaign theme or as some panel exercise. If he was he would.

Pres. Obama says he’s got enough energy to keep doing the work he’s doing, but without a vision for what his presidency means I’m not sure that’s good enough. It’s striking that he talks about finishing the work he started in 2009, mentioning energy and education, when the word j-o-b-s should be the first word out of his mouth.

Asked about his family’s reaction to his wanting another term, Obama said: “Michelle and the kids are wonderful in that if I said, `You know, guys, I want to do something different,’ They’d be fine. They’re not invested in daddy being president or my husband being president.” – Obama: My family would be fine with just 1 term

The idea here is that Barack Obama would be fine with one term, something that he’s implied before. Perhaps that’s because he’s floating along letting events pull him, rather than having a driving ideological passion and purpose that inspires him to begin an infrastructure project that would revitalize our country, whether it’s roads and bridges, airports, with the manifested results also putting people back to work.

Negotiator is one role he plays, but Pres. Obama’s presidency long ago turned into administrating through the events unfolding. There isn’t a passionate purpose to his presidency that I can sense, feel or hear. Americans like Pres. Obama, with his family a remarkable model. But the celebrity persona that helped land him in the White House hasn’t inspired him to change into a man on any mission.

There is no great vision to Barack Obama’s presidency and everybody knows it. The recent jaw-boning flurry is campaign talk without a plan. There’s no driving dream, no sense of where he wants to take the country. Any direction was better than where George W. Bush was taking the country, but now there is a listlessness to the American journey Pres. Obama’s supposed to be leading.

The thrill is also gone in watching Pres. Obama and I’m not sure revving up his trademark rhetoric will alter this dynamic. He’s certainly still a formidable candidate, but if a Republican challenger with a vision for America finally gets around to offering one people will listen.

Americans are desperate.

Obama also says he wants to finish what he started, but somehow it simply sounds like something a one-term president says, because he wants another. George H.W. Bush showed the same kind of nonchalance to the office of the presidency before Bill Clinton came out of nowhere to knock the dreams of a fourth Reagan legacy tour off the calendar.

The economy’s the biggest reason Pres. Obama could lose his job. He could keep it if the current Republican crew continues what they revved up last night: attacks with no ideas, coupled with tax cuts. Another reason Obama could lose is that he isn’t making a case in policy, passion or in vision for why he deserves to keep it.