Slouching Toward A Second Term
It's going to be a long four years.
As he prepares for his second inauguration, President Obama is signaling what a second term will be like: confrontational, disdainful of the opposition; manipulative and cynical.
Listening to the president's speeches this week, Senator Ted Cruz says that Obama is "high on his own power."
Peggy Noonan is struck by his hectoring tone.
President Obama has been using the days and weeks leading up to his inauguration to show the depth of his disdain for the leaders of the other major party and, by inference, that party's voters, which is to say more or less half the country. He has been spending his time alienating instead of summoning. It has left the political air more sour and estranged.
As a presidential style this is something strange and new. That has to be said again: It is new, and does not augur well.
What was remarkable about the president's news conference Monday is that he didn't seem to think he had to mask his partisan rancor or be large-spirited. He bristled with unashamed hostility for Republicans on the Hill. They are holding the economy "ransom," they are using the threat of "crashing the American economy" as "leverage," some are "absolutist" while others are "consumed with partisan brinksmanship." They are holding "a gun at the head of the American people." And what is "motivating and propelling" them is not a desire for debt reduction, as they claim. They are "suspicious about government's commitment . . . to make sure that seniors have decent health care as they get older. They have suspicions about Social Security. They have suspicions about whether government should make sure that kids in poverty are getting enough to eat, or whether we should be spending money on medical research."...
No one has good faith but him. No one is sincere but him. Doesn't this get boring, even to him?
And Chuck Todd runs the numbers on whether we are really better off than we were four years ago.