Peggy Noonan is (very gently) on fire this morning:
A sweep this size tends to resolve some things. The landscape shifts, political figures accommodate themselves to it.
Common sense says a chastened president would acknowledge the obvious—some things aren’t working, he has made some mistakes—and, in Mr. Obama’s case, hit the reset button with Congress. Reach out, be humble. Humility has power. It shows people that you have some give—you get the message, you are capable of self-correcting.
That is not what he’s doing. The president is instead doubling down on hostility, antagonism and distance.
He’s a community organizer, a campaigner, a rabble rouser — this is what he knows. I also get the feeling that, as always, Obama has his eye on the next election, even if he isn’t in it. He needs a Democrat to win in 2016, and any Democrat will do, to seal his legislative legacy. Such as it is.
To that end, he’s keeping the base aroused — even as he shrinks it. The hope, if there is one, is to shrink the GOP base even more, while turning off independents as completely as possible.
If that’s true, it’s an supersized version of 2012. But what worked once against a milquetoast candidate with a technologically backwards campaign, won’t work as well against a savvier campaign with a base fired up by Tuesday’s big wins.
Most importantly, I think 2012 was a one-off in the sense that the American people, regardless of ideology, get sick of that sh*t real quick. Tuesday I believe was an indicator of that, and two more years of Bad Obama are going to get… tiresomer.
And if that’s not a word, it should be.