Obama's tantrums won't end gun violence

Obama would surely blame the other side for the sorry state of our politics. Didn’t Mitch McConnell have it out for him from the beginning? Hasn’t every attempted compromise been slapped away?

But it matters when the president of the United States decides that democratic persuasion is a fool’s game. It encourages the kind of will-to-power politics we see on the left and right. In this view, opponents are evil — entirely beyond the normal instruments of reason and good faith. So the only option is the collection and exercise of power.

When the main players in our politics give up on deliberative democracy, it feels like some Rubicon is being crossed. Our system is designed for leaders who make arguments for their views, seek compromise and try different policy angles to break logjams. And when they lose, their proper recourse is . . . to make more arguments, seek other compromises and try different policy angles.