[T]he centrist pundits keep demanding that Obama offer what he has already offered, and condemn both sides equally (or even place most of the blame on Obama) for the failure to reach a deal. Again, informing them of their error wouldn’t help; their whole shtick is about blaming both sides, and they will always invent some reason why Obama just isn’t doing it right.
And it is a "shtick." It must be. It's repeatedly performed by far too many highly intelligent observers to be anything but. In fact a fair reading of the plain evidence requires no special intelligence. The most rudimentary of reading-comprehension skills would suffice.
So why the shtick? There is of course their genuine dread of being labeled a partisan--a Dem, a liberal, an anti-colonial Kenyan socialist--which might straitjacket their Galtian shrugging of GroupThink.
But there's something more, I suspect. Their dread is so intense, so terrifying, so possibly career-constraining, they must "perceive" what is wickedly imperceptible to those mere mortals subject to said GroupThink; imperceptibilities that are in reality not there, but in column-writing that's no problem. One simply omits--or even better, haughtily disparages as partisan hype--any contradictory evidence.
It's a magnificent shtick, good for all seasons and all administrations. Centrists need never change, even though the center constantly shifts rightward, taking them--and thus their "nonpartisan" centrism--along with it, which they don't really happen to notice.