Thursday, December 16th, 2010 10:59:52

Obama Finds Out Governing is Hard

Then-candidate Barack Obama’s audacity was the talk of his campaign and of his first two years in office. With his party in control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, he was able to push through policies that matched his ideals, if not the country’s.

But the midterm elections changed everything. Come January, Republicans will control the House and, though Democrats will still control the Senate, their reduced numbers will leave them with less maneuvering room. This new reality has led Obama to compromise with Republicans on a tax bill.

Rather than triangulating, rising above the left and right policy positions, taking credit for rising above the fray and insulating himself from attacks, Obama has managed to both alienate the left and enrage the right. One might argue that the left lives to be alienated and the right to be enraged. But when both sides are unhappy, elections can’t be won.