Even brilliance has its blindspots. Maddow's seems to be her continued fascination with Republicans who vote against their own proposals. It is not befuddling at all. With rare exceptions, Republicans never favored the positions they espoused in the first place.
Robert Gibbs recently expressed his frustration with what he called the "professional left." Who would have thought that Obama's biggest problem in his first few years in office would be one of communication?