“If you’re the president, who do you negotiate with?” Democratic strategist Doug Thornell asked rhetorically. “It takes two to tango, and Republicans have decided to sit on the sidelines.”

Still, Obama needs things to go his way in the second half of the year, otherwise his remaining ambitions will likely peter out, unfulfilled.

Months ago, optimistic Democrats in Washington felt that they had a shot at seizing control of the House in 2014. Obama in May said, “We’ve got a great chance to take back the House.”

Political handicappers disagree, with some now predicting the GOP could easily expand its majority next year.

Put it all together and it is easy to understand why even allies of the administration are becoming concerned.