Think back to the government shutdown in the 1990s precipitated mostly by an impasse between the parties over Medicare and Medicaid funding. Most of us remember that as the event that stopped the so-called “Gingrich revolution” in its tracks because Bill Clinton out-maneuvered Newt. I’m sure you'd get a different story from liberals and conservatives about how that all went down, and a different account of what it all meant in the grand scheme of political things. But I’m pretty sure they’d all tell you a story about a political contest between Clinton and Gingrich, each speaking authoritatively for his own party.
Compare that to the way Obama is positioning himself with respect to the prospect of a government shutdown now:
Got that? If negotiations over a continuing resolution covering the rest of the year break down, Obama wants you to remember him as the guy who tried his best to broker an agreement between Harry Reid and John Boehner. Isn’t it astounding that the president is pretending that he isn’t the guy who speaks authoritatively for the Democratic Party when we have divided government?