Instead, Obama needs to say something like: “Now, to my Republican friends. I have made repeated calls for bipartisanship. You have refused to respond in kind, repeatedly. Your Senate leader has said that the most important item on his agenda is not getting the American people jobs, but making sure I lose mine. So far this year, I’ve met you more than halfway on the budget and the debt deal. I have shown my good faith. You haven’t shown yours. I’ve tried to do it the nice way. You keep wanting to fight. So now, if it’s a fight you want, it’s a fight you’ll get. Not for me, or for my job, but for the American people, for the unemployed and the underemployed and everybody whose lives are made tougher by this economy. That’s a fight I’m thrilled to have, because I am on their side, and you people are on the side of the top 2 percent.”
The next day, he needs to fly down to Cincinnati and give a fiery speech somewhere in John Boehner’s district. Then he needs to hop across the bridge and deliver another stemwinder somewhere in Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky. On his way back to Washington, he should stop off in Eric Cantor’s district and give another speech there. And then keep at it—three appearances a week in places well chosen for the leverage gained from being there. And take some risks, go to red places, places where he knows he’s going to get 40 percent of the vote, like Texas. Get it?