By Ron Fournier, National Journal
To voters angry at Washington, President Obama has an explanation for the deepening of gridlock, incompetence, and zero-sum gain thinking during his five-plus years in office: It's not his fault.
Not that finger-pointing solves anything, but Obama wants you to know that it was Republicans and the media who put his presidency on ice. At a fundraiser in Chicago on Thursday night, Obama said:
"You'll hear if you watch the nightly news or you read the newspapers that, well, there's gridlock, Congress is broken, approval ratings for Congress are terrible. And there's a tendency to say, a plague on both your houses. But the truth of the matter is that the problem in Congress is very specific. We have a group of folks in the Republican Party who have taken over who are so ideologically rigid, who are so committed to an economic theory that says if folks at the top do very well then everybody else is somehow going to do well; who deny the science of climate change; who don't think making investments in early-childhood education makes sense; who have repeatedly blocked raising a minimum wage so if you work full-time in this country you're not living in poverty; who scoff at the notion that we might have a problem with women not getting paid for doing the same work that men are doing.