Michael Barone

And on Obama's failure to reach a "go big" budget agreement with House Speaker John Boehner last summer, Lizza presents only the White House talking point: "conservative colleagues rebelled, and Boehner withdrew." He doesn't mention Republican claims that Obama upped the ante, demanding more tax increases.

Lizza's White House sources apparently didn't leak any memos about some of Obama's more recent actions, but his article provides a jumping off place for understanding them.

As in Chicago, Obama seems to live in a cocoon in which Republicans are largely absent, offscreen actors that no one pays any attention to.

His personal interactions are limited to his liberal Democratic staff -- and to the rich liberals he meets at his frequent fundraising events. He has held more of these than George W. Bush, who in turn held more than Bill Clinton.

Two decisions in particular seem tilted toward rich liberals. One was the disapproval of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, even after it survived two environmental impact statements.

Obama says he wants more jobs and to reduce American dependence on oil from unfriendly foreign sources. The pipeline would do both, and is endorsed by labor unions. But Robert Redford doesn't like Canadian tar sands oil. Case closed.

The other astonishing decision was the decree requiring Catholic hospitals and charities' health insurance policies to include coverage for abortion and birth control. Here Obama was spitting in the eyes of millions of Americans and threatening the existence of charitable programs that help millions of people of all faiths.

Catholic bishops responded predictably by requiring priests to read letters opposing the policy. Who's on the other side? The designer-clad ladies Obama encounters at every fundraiser. They want to impose their views on abortion on everyone else.

Obama fundraising seems to be lagging behind its $1 billion goal, and Democrats fear Republicans are closing the fundraising gap. So Obama seems to be concentrating on meeting the demands of rich liberals he spends so much time with.


Michael Barone

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM