Honestly, I am not worried about the tea party movement. They (and their effect on the GOP) are handing Obama and the Democratic party everything they should need to hold onto or even increase their majorities in the senate and house.
What I'm worried about is that they won't grab onto those teacup-nuts and use 'em to knock down some bodies. What I am worried about is that Obama will react to a mid-term "whacking" as Clinton did.
No, not by having an affair--by all accounts President Obama is deeply and passionately in love with his wife, and devoted to his family. But by resorting to the straddle-every-issue, don't-offend-anyone strategy that Clinton embraced from (at least) 1994-1996.
Howard Fineman, HuffPo, today:
The tax-bill fight is revealing a crucial fact about President Obama's new, post-"shellacking" White House: it is increasingly being run by veterans of the Clinton era.
The significance of this staff shift is beyond the operational. The Clinton-era alums, by outlook and experience, represent a centrist, pragmatic, pro-business "wealth-creation" wing of the Democratic Party that flourished during the Clinton presidency in the 1990s.
Outside the White House per se, the president is getting key support from John Podesta, whose Center for American Progress has placed dozens of staffers in key positions inside the administration.
CAP supports the tax-cut deal, perhaps not surprising given that Podesta was once Bill Clinton's highly regarded chief of staff.