And that's why many of us are hugely disappointed.
The conservatives are not fools. Because their highest value is protecting and extending the conservative moral system itself, giving Obama any victory at all would strengthen Obama and weaken the hold of their moral system. Of course they were going to vote against every proposal and delay and filibuster as often as possible. Protecting and extending their worldview demands it.
Obama has not understood this.
We saw this when Obama attended the Republican caucus. He kept pointing out that they voted against proposals that Republicans had made and that he had incorporated, acting as if this were a contradiction. But that was to be expected, since a particular proposal that strengthens Obama and hence weakens their moral view violates their highest moral principle.
Such conservative logic explains why conservatives in Congress first proposed a bipartisan committee to study the deficit, and then voted against it.
That is why I don't expect much from the President's summit with Republicans on February 25. Why should they do anything to strengthen Obama's hand, when it would violate their highest moral principle, as well as weakening themselves electorally. If Obama thinks he can shame them in front of their voters, he is mistaken again. Conservative voters think the same way they do.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama used framing perfectly and articulated the progressive moral system (empathy, individual and social responsibility, making oneself and the world better) as well as it has ever been done.
But he changed after the election.
I'm going to re-read the article now. I think it merits further pondering.