What is driving President Obama from a position where he can exert any real influence on the political process – even from inside his own party – is not failed or detrimental policies. (Though there have been more than a few of those.) It’s the image he has come to project of being completely impotent in the face of any opposition, petulant when people fail to immediately go along with his brilliant vision, and incapable of wielding the power of the Oval Office to any tangible extent.
This isn’t exactly something new, either. The first warning signs should have come when Obama was negotiating the extension of the Bush tax cuts. Instead of turning the chore over to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, (as he did on so many other issues like the health care law) he appointed himself chief negotiator with the GOP. Obama wanted the middle class tax cuts, but wanted to end the one for the highest rates. The Republicans, on the other hand, wanted all of the tax cuts. So Obama compromised by giving the GOP everything they wanted, which included the piece Obama wanted.