I think what you saw yesterday was very predictable. Again, big media sets up this narrative of the "Make or break" speech. Again, Obama shoots the lights out. Again, Obama says something innocuous, "no illegal immigrants will be covered." Again, a Republican overplays his hand. The temptation is to say that Obama planned for August to happen, that he baited his adversaries, the way Deion Sanders used to bait quarterbacks. Probably not. Still, the catch-up speed is incredible.
We (liberals) have spent so much of our time on the losing end of the past 30 years, that the impulse is to fight every battle, and challenge every press release. Moreover, media has uncovered our inner crazy. HuffPo blasts every utterance from Jon Kyl in bold font. Politico reports every feint and jab, like it's the whole fight. I'm not blaming them, they're doing well because they've figured out something about our inner animal.
It's fine for us laymen to indulge that, but I don't want to be led by people who think that outlets (including this one) which weigh in on who "won the week" are some kind of gauge of their actual progress. I don't want to be led by people who think that "getting angry" is a actual political strategy. I want to be led by a killer. A cold, unemotional, professional killer.
I keep meeting lefties who tell me Obama's "too soft" with these guys, and I keep looking at them like they're crazy. I am going to go out on a limb and say that there is something deeper at work here, something beyond the policy fights. I think a lot of us don't just want Obama to be effective, we want him to exact some measure of revenge. It's smart to understand the difference between the two, and moreover, how the desire for one can undermine the other. A section of conservatives love Sarah Palin because she drives liberals crazy. That she drives a lot of other people crazy too, and hence undermines herself, is beside the point.
Let's not make that mistake. Besides. If it's blood on the walls you want, the GOP is doing fine by itself.