Barack Obama has scored major vistories with the help of -- will you believe? The Republicans! Before the lame duck Congress left town, the President was able to secure repeal of the anti-gay legislation known as 'Don't ask, don't tell'. He sought and won extension of unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed. On the Foreign policy front, he was able to get his nuclear arms reduction and verification treaty with the Russians ratified by the Senate with strong bipartisan support.
How did this happen? President Obama 'tricked' the republican leadership into his trap. For months leading-up to the mid-term elections, Mr. Obama had been publicly against extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest earners; that being the only bargaining tool republicans had for opposing literally every legislative item of his presidency, Mr. Obama smartly gave-in to their demands for the tax-cuts. In doing so, he avoided the "tax-and-spend" montra that is always thrown at the democrats - and forces the republican party to do something that they have not done since President Ronald Reagan, provide a vision - with specificity - publicly to the American people.
Mr. Obama, after suffering potentially devastating losses, have come back BIG by moving to the heart of the American electorate - that crucial center which is the 'sweet spot' of American politics. The Liberals have no where to go and the stakes remain too high for them not to vote in 2012 - and for Obama. The economy is improving and the unemployment picture gets better by the week. It seem without fighting for extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, the republicans have nothing else to offer the American people -- except reading the Constitution to them from the House floor. That helped the unemployed!!!