If you carefully read Politico's "Why President Obama is picking fights with Congress" piece, you'll learn that President Obama isn't picking fights with Congress. This is perhaps nothing new in the postmodern exoticism of expository journalism, however it does sell papers and page views.
Politico's proffered proof that I'm full of shit would be this:
[Obama's fight-picking] entails taking a tough line with the Hill GOP on Hagel ... and stiff-arming the GOP at the start of negotiations over the debt ceiling and across-the-board spending cuts.
Yet a Democratic president's choice of a Republican defense secretary isn't exactly pugnacious, nor is a president's vow to vigorously defend a nomination, nor is a president's decision to make an appointment based on compatibility and friendship. As for "stiff-arming" the GOP on debt-ceiling talks, Obama's vow to not negotiate is actually less of a put-'em-up taunt than a pacific walking away.
That, however, is all Politico's got to make its sensationalist case, as additionally evidenced by this accompanying line:
It’s less clear whether Obama will be quite as bellicose on issues that require a more subtle approach, like immigration, guns and climate change, although his aides are talking tough.
I love it. "Quite as bellicose." Naming a friend to a cabinet post and refusing to fight over an absurdity.