In the fourth quarter of his presidency, without another race to run, Barack Obama has gone to war with what he sees as an out-of-touch, stuck-in-old-thinking Washington liberal elite — Elizabeth Warren’s the most famous member, but AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka and a coterie of Hill Democrats are up there with her.
Obama advisers say the president sees Democratic opponents of his trade agenda as just as detached from reality as Republicans in Congress who held four dozen Obamacare repeal votes or turned raising debt ceilings and fiscal cliffs into government crisis carnivals.
West Wing aides point to last week’s NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll that showed deep and wide Democratic support for trade. Obama’s own poll numbers are up. And so a president who views his left-wing detractors as knee-jerk ninnies (as opposed to his view of himself as a true progressive who never acts out of politics, only taking positions because he’s thought things through more thoroughly than his opponents) has decided to let loose, they