Let’s summarize Obama’s pitch for giving him a second term. “Vote for me and the Republicans will be so crushed that they’ll have to give in to all my demands.”
This isn’t a plan. It’s an ego.
Even if Obama wins, it will be a narrow victory, far short of a 2008 landslide. Obama’s differences with the Republican Party are not cynical political calculation, as he has tried to present them, but are fundamental philosophical differences.
Obama is selling a plan that depends on the Republican Party bowing down to a second term. But Clinton faced impeachment in his second term, even after handily defeating Bob Dole. A narrow Obama victory over Romney will not do anything but act a a reminder that the Obama agenda is unpopular and deeply divisive. And Obama has shown no sign that he will backtrack from the radical power grabs that put him at odds with Congress and Americans in the last three years.
The big club in Obama’s arsenal is sequestration, which he claims will force the Republicans to heel, even while promising voters that sequestration will never be used. One of these claims cancels the other out. Either sequestration is meaningless or it might happen.
Again, this isn’t a plan. It’s ego. And ego is all that Obama can offer to voters who are tired of the politics of ego. Obama was not able to transcend party differences in his entire term. There is no reason to believe that he can do it in a second term, even as his entire pitch for a second term is contingent on the disappearance of the Republican Party.