His interpretation of the voters' message strikes me as odd. The overwhelming message I heard was that people are scared to death of this mounting debt and the socialization of health care and other sectors of the economy.
Especially coming from this intransigent "superjumbo Democrat," this constant talk about consensus is very hard to take, particularly when he cites areas such as "transparency," a promise he campaigned on and serially obliterated. Consensus is way overrated in the first place, but it's patently ridiculous for him to pretend he even aspires to it. It's his policies that people are most horrified by, not the lack of smooching across the partisan aisle.
Indeed, Obama outright rejects the idea that voters repudiated his agenda. Read the transcript if you doubt that. Just as he's been saying for a year or more, Americans are simply frustrated that economic recovery isn't occurring more quickly. But it is occurring, mind you, just not fast enough for the ignorant, impatient electorate.
He is convinced beyond the slightest reflection that his pump priming with borrowed money from the private sector is the only thing that saved us from a depression; never mind that the unemployment rate persists much higher than he promised. So we mustn't bother him further with our silly concerns about the mounting debt, because he saved us from an "emergency." As nothing will ever disabuse him of that myth, it's pointless for us even to approach him about compromising on his major economic policies.
When we have a president who believes that the government, not the private sector, creates jobs and who believes that extending unemployment benefits ad infinitum is not only the compassionate thing to do but also the healthiest thing for the economy, where can you begin?
I'll tell you where you don't begin: in the quixotic pursuit of a consensus that he has no intention of achieving. Neither should we have such an intention. This is a war of ideas, and we must suit up for battle.