Michael Kinsley writes that "President Obama might well dream of killing off the Republican Party," which Kinsley characterizes as a mere "political fantasy," whereas I'd argue it's a national necessity.
Nonetheless his New Republic piece on Republican self-pity is vintage Kinsley, aged in a vat of sober reflection:
According to some Republicans, Obama is even responsible for the war of recriminations now going on inside the Republican Party. And not just because he beat them. Because he (in the words of columnist Charles Krauthammer) used "ruthless skill ... to create an internal civil war" among Republicans. What a magician! What a masterful, powerful, brilliant performance. A man like that ought to be president!
Look. President Obama has no superpowers. He is a skilled politician who plays the game well.
And, to me, that's what makes this whole damn experiment in Republican implosion and the president's dignified forbearance thereof so paradoxical. Obama indeed plays the game as well as any of the wiliest, friskiest White House pols of the past, yet he's probably the least interested president--ever--in all this opponent bashing and schoolyard jockeying.
The poor man just wants to do his job. He simply wants to do what he was elected to do. And in his election and reelection there was nothing devious, nothing Machiavellian, nothing "responsible for the war of recriminations now going on inside the Republican Party," which is rendering the performance of his job impossible.
So at the helm we've perhaps American political history's most capable policy president who's reduced to full-time sufferance of the squabbling, purely self-interested children of Congress. What a waste. What an absolute waste of personal talent--and national opportunities.