An Obama-Republican governing alliance? Yeah, right

An Obama-Republican governing alliance? Yeah, right

For President Obama and his party, Tuesday night’s midterm results were nothing short of brutal.

Voters’ deep misgivings about Washington and Obama’s leadership put Republicans in charge of both chambers of Congress next year by margins that upend politics and governing just as the 2016 presidential race gets underway.

Obama proved to be correct when he predicted the midterm map would be tough for Democratic candidates this year, but his public warnings that Republicans have “bad ideas,” and that divided government leads to endless stalemate, fell on millions of deaf ears.

For a politician who once filled stadiums with roaring crowds and championed his vision of “one America,” the prospect of spending his final two years in office negotiating every legislative millimeter across the table from House Speaker John Boehner and new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is a rebuke by any measure.

Boehner likes to say Obama isn’t to be trusted, and McConnell’s outspoken ambition was to limit the president to one term. To expect a companionable alliance to blossom out of GOP victories and Democratic defeats is a stretch.

After six tumultuous years of experimenting with collaboration, confrontation and crafting end-runs around Congress, sometimes in the same week, what lessons will Obama draw?

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