EJ Dionne sees a newly aggressive Barack Obama recognizing that he can put Republicans on their heels with financial reform. Republicans for the first time "are uncertain as to whether resolute opposition to a Democratic idea is in their political interest," he writes in the Washington Post. "Suddenly, it's Democrats—and, in particular, the often conflict-averse Obama—who are relishing a fight." For them, it's a win-win: Either they get a bipartisan bill or an election issue.
In a similar vein, Gail Collins thinks the GOP is fumbling: The "leadership originally seemed to believe that financial reform could be a replay of health care reform, with a political payoff for total obstruction," she writes in the New York Times. "They’re discovering that the only real similarity is that both are almost impossible to explain. People love their doctors, but they tend to hate their bankers. Nobody is going to scare voters by predicting that if the Democratic bill passes, they may not be able to keep seeing the same hedge fund manager."