Prez Contradictions Caught Up With Dems
Obama can't do big things while avoiding fights
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2010 1:22 AM CST
President Barack Obama smiles before he speaks at a campaign rally for Martha Coakley at Northeastern University in Boston last week.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – The contradictions inherent in what President Obama promised to do have caught up with the Democrats big time with their loss in Massachusetts, writes E.J. Dionne Jr. The president couldn't accomplish big things while also changing the tone of Washington, or deliver sweeping change while also steering clear of ideological battles, Dionne writes in the Washington Post.

These tensions within "Obamaism" have ended up alienating both the president's base and independent voters, Dionne writes, causing a loss of support for the Democrats in Massachusetts that can't be blamed solely on Martha Coakley's shortcomings. Obama needs to resolve these contradictions fast and "come out fighting," Dionne warns. Obama "may not be entirely comfortable with this, but now he's fighting for his political life," Dionne notes.