One mistake many progressives make in regards to Obama is their belief that his open embrace of bipartisanship is a clear sign that he's going to get suckered into being nice to Republicans and giving them what they want, which will be seen as a sign of weakness, and they'll just keep demanding more. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Because Republicans don't actually want Obama to be nice to them. They want him to attack them. They want for him to start behaving like a progressive and announce a socialist agenda of high taxes, heavy government regulation, and the end of free markets. And they want him to announce that he agrees with Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers and their hidden agenda to destroy America. That's what they want. And we know that's what they want because they keep telling us this is who Obama is, because it's the only argument they've got against him. So it'd really help them alot if Obama would finally start acting that way.
And what they don't want is a bipartisan Obama who isn't scary, radical, or hateful. And sure, if they were dictating terms to him, they'd want him to bow down and obey them. But they're not doing that. In fact, he hasn't been playing their games at all. If he had run on a platform of heavy taxation for the rich and middle classes, and was attacked for it, and had to scale back to the moderate plans they wanted, they'd be happy. But he never gave them a tax plan they could attack. Same with his moderate suggestion for healthcare. While conservatives would prefer that he not do these things, Obama really never gave them much material to work with. Obama has moderate suggestions that are quite uncontroversial with most folks, and Republicans made fools of themselves by pretending it was otherwise.
Because conservatives don't really care about Obama's taxes or his former preacher or his healthcare plan. All they really care about is attacking liberals. And we know this is true. They tell us this every damn day. They don't care about policies and were willing to accept just about anything from the Bushies, and often completely betrayed their rules about big government and deficits. And they hated Clinton the most, even though he was actually fairly conservative. And so what they want from Obama is someone to attack. A radical agenda to oppose. An outrageous statement to object to. That's what it's all about. It's not about ideology, it's about opposition.
And unfortunately, many progressives are the exact same way. That's why they're so upset at Obama. In fact, the only two groups who are really mad at Obama are the extremists on both sides, because he's denying them the epic struggle they've been waging for years. It defines who they are. Without an opposition to oppose, they don't really exist. They're not trying to cure problems or get healthcare for everyone. They're trying to screw the other side. And because Obama isn't helping them with that, they have no use for him. He's upsetting their worldview. They're convinced that there is no compromise with the enemy and it's winner-take-all, and they'll be damned to allow some two-bit politician prove them wrong on that. This is the only excitement that exists in their mundane lives. It's all they have to live for and Obama is trying to deny them that. They need excitement and fever, not liberal policies.
But of course, these people are all flipsides of the same coin. The extremists on both sides may have completely opposite policy goals, but the same ultimate goal: Fighting. And that's why these two groups hate Obama the most: Because he's not giving it to them.
Oh, and in case I don't mention it again: HAPPY CHRISTMAS, Y'ALL!!!