The roots of current Democratic despond go all the way back to the way Mr. Obama ran for president. Again and again, he defined America’s problem as one of process, not substance — we were in trouble not because we had been governed by people with the wrong ideas, but because partisan divisions and politics as usual had prevented men and women of good will from coming together to solve our problems. And he promised to transcend those partisan divisions.Krugman posits that it's Obama's habit of "negotiating with himself" before negotiating with Congress that's the culprit.
This promise of transcendence may have been good general election politics, although even that is questionable: people forget how close the presidential race was at the beginning of September 2008, how worried Democrats were until Sarah Palin and Lehman Brothers pushed them over the hump. But the real question was whether Mr. Obama could change his tune when he ran into the partisan firestorm everyone who remembered the 1990s knew was coming. He could do uplift — but could he fight?
So far the answer has been no.
Here's the thing: given the animosity the Right has for the president, given how their leaders have stated publicly that they want to shut down every administration proposal, how DO you negotiate with a party that wants to kill your agenda.
Let them kill half of it?
Krugman's right. Obama should fight, he should be fighting and he should have fought more.