It occurred to me this morning — just a little too late to make it an official prediction, see Bryan’s post — that there’s actually a rule that appears to pretty well predict Obama’s behavior this term, and really a lot of last term. It’s this:
Obama doesn’t really want to pass legislation. He wants to propose legislation that fails.
Notice, for example, today’s immigration proposals. There is a bipartisan compromise being reached, and Democrats asked Obama not to bring out his proposals now. Of course, he’s ignoring the request, and his proposals demand exactly the things the Democrats were willing to compromise on away.
Why would he do this? First, he’ll now get to blame the Republicans, and he can be confident no one will point out there was a compromise being reached before he beat it to death with a shovel. Or at least no one he thinks is a “legitimate” news organization, since it’s clear that “legitimate” and “agrees with me” are more or less equivalent in his mind.
And second, I think you can expect that once the compromise falls through, he’ll announce that since “he was elected to get things done,” he is by executive order implementing much of his plan.
Net effect: more ammunition against the GOP, and another assertion of executive power.
I said back before the 2008 election that Obama wasn’t running for President, he was running for Caudillo. This is part of that: passed compromises don’t pay off for his real goals.