While he puts the usual liberal spin on it, Greg Sargent at WaPo is correct that Obama sees his path forward as overwhelming Republicans. Sargent writes:
Yesterday, President Obama used his Inaugural Address to lay out an expansive case for progressive governance, one rooted in the country’s founding, history and identity, vowing action on everything from climate change to immigration to voting reform to gun control to expanded civil rights for women and gays.
What knits all these specifics together, however, is the speech’s implicit recognition that in order to accomplish any of these goals, he will have to defeat the opposition, rather than win it over. Indeed, one of the most significant things that happened yesterday is that Obama signaled recognition of the true nature of the implacable opposition he faced during his first term and will inevitably face for the duration of his second one. This means a second term in which Obama, rather than forever chase after the illusory notion that he can secure bipartisan cooperation through outreach and charm — not to mention adopting Republican ideas outright — will resort more directly to executive actions and to mobilizing the public to force cooperation wherever possible.
I disagree as to the cause and history. Obama only has engaged Republicans begrudgingly and only when some small bones needed to be thrown in order to achieve near total victory.
Remember Obama’s infamous statment “I won” when Republicans tried to have input on the Stimulus Plan? That attitude, at the start of his first term, carried through on virtually everything.
But I largely agree that the next four years will be Obama trying to steamroll Republicans and Republicans trying not to be steamrolled.