Obama's negative force field

By tradition, the office of the U.S. presidency is one of the world’s most durable political institutions. Bill Clinton survived impeachment and Ronald Reagan weathered Iran-Contra. They emerged and even flourished.

But this hasn’t been a traditional presidency. Mr. Obama insisted on a higher bar. He said he would be different, that he wouldn’t be part of the “politics as usual” in Washington. From the beginning, Mr. Obama said he was first of all about hope, and then change.

Hope may be the most totally positive, good-vibe idea that exists. But what has been striking about Mr. Obama is how relentlessly negative he has been in selling his notion of hope. …

Instead of the positive, even healing, presence voters expected in 2008, Barack Obama has become a one-man negative force field. He shoots out negative vibes not merely by force of personality, but because that’s his default political strategy. The game plan has always been diminish the opposition, and then divide and conquer. Well, the chickens are coming home to roost, because just now it’s looking more like divide and founder.