But insulting the Republicans at the White House with a Rush Limbaugh jibe isn’t the way to win adherents. It is noteworthy that the insult leaked, suggesting the Republicans are getting ready to burst the bipartisan façade. For a fellow who is supposed to respect his opponents Barack Obama sure has a habit of demeaning their legitimate policy concerns. (”What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them — that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply.”)
At this stage of things, Obama likely has amassed all the adherents he ever will. Certainly gaining more in Congress is unlikely. Being dismissive of or insulting to Republicans is more likely to feed ego or thrill the faithful. However, it reflects poorly on the source more than the target and is just part of the strategy to marginalize the opposition. So develop a thick skin, make a flap over it if you must, and move on. There are larger issues at hand.
It is wishful thinking to see this era as anything but partisan. Lofty concepts like post-partisan or bi-partisan will be given lip-service at best. There is very little Republicans can do except hold firm to what makes them different and remind voters at every turn.
Whatever failures accrue to the Democrats must be clear and unequivocally their responsibility. For each one they must be held accountable. Democrats did nothing less during the last administration and should expect nothing less in return.