The Obama legislative agenda was built around an "advancing tide" theory.
Democrats would start with bills that targeted relatively narrow problems, such as expanding health care for low-income children, reforming Pentagon contracting practices and curbing abuses by credit-card companies. Republicans would see the victories stack up and would want to take credit alongside a popular president. As momentum built, larger bipartisan coalitions would form to tackle more ambitious initiatives.
This is just a pipe dream, a seven-year-old's idea of politics. But the adult world doesn't work this way, and never will. It's one thing to be this naive about American politics if it were 1993. But it's 2009, and we've lived through the Clinton Wars and eight years of Karl Rove. There is simply no excuse for this behavior.
I often get the feeling that the Democratic Party only knows two strategies: 1) play nice, and 2) hide under the bed. The events of this past week only reinforce this belief. 2010 is going to be a looong year.