The story of the first half of the president’s term of office doesn’t fit with either party’s chosen narrative.

Democrats like to ignore their total dominance of the government during that period because they seek to escape all responsibility for the miserable economic conditions that still prevail in much of the nation. They don’t want reminders that Obama came to power with no need for Republican cooperation and that he made no serious effort to secure it: with filibuster-proof control of the Senate (60-40) and a crushing majority in the House (256-178), he could pass Obamacare without a single Republican vote and enact his stimulus package with the approval of no GOP House members and only three senators.

This recent history hardly comports with the Democrats’ chosen emphasis on GOP obstructionism: in that first half of the Obama term, Republicans managed to obstruct virtually nothing, as Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid pushed through all of the president’s most important legislative and budgetary priorities. Their problem wasn’t a lack of achievement, but rather the dubious nature of those achievements, with deeply disappointing results for the national economy and the daily struggles of ordinary Americans.