Digby the other day mocked Obama as being McClellan when what we need is a Grant. While viscerally I wish we could politically romp over the opposition, intellectually I think what Obama is doing is the smarter approach. Consider:
For the first time, both major parties are viewed unfavorably by most Americans. The anti-tax "Tea Party" movement has a favorable rating nearly as high as they do — 37% compared with 41% for Democrats and 42% for the GOP.
I am not going High Broder here, but when conservatives see this, they think the electorate would be happier if the government were smaller and more conservative, and when liberals see this, they think the electorate would be happier if the government were more robust and progressive. On this, they are both wrong.
Politically-engaged types always think first in terms of their own preferences. So, for example, when Obama was elected, liberals believed widely it was because the people rejected Bush's policies on ideological grounds. And contrarywise, conservatives believed the people embraced Bush's ideology, but that Bush and the Congressional GOP didn't adhere to that ideology closely enough. Again, they were both wrong.
Bush was unpopular because he was seen as incompetent at doing the nation's business. The President and both political parties right now are unpopular for the exact same reason. This is why there was a temporary bump when the health insurance reform bill was passed.
The attitude of most Americans is: When there is a problems, don't obstruct, do something; if you don't do something we'll kick you out. And when you do something, you better show results in a reasonable period of time, or we'll kick you out. Don't make excuses about obstruction by the other side or that "it's hard work".
Obama consistently positions himself as the one who is open to all arguments. He is trying to meet the public's first criteria about trying to do something. He knows that painting the other side as obstructionist won't help him (or the country) in the end. So he passes the legislation that he can pass to accomplish his agenda, and moves on.
The politically-engaged types like digby see this and are frustrated, at least. They want victory! Except victory of the kind they want is not possible. Others want victory, or nothing. Those people are the worse than useless firebagger/correntewire people. The former need to adjust their expectations. The latter need to grow the fuck up.