Behind any big historic political bargain there are usually big, bottom-line self interests. The case of the tax deal negotiated by the Democratic White House and Republican Leadership is no exception.
If the president can let go of his attachment to his postpartisan self-image and embrace the policies Americans want and need, they can be his North Star. But he needs to get over his reflexive distaste for the "old dogma" of the "left."
What lurks behind Obama's North Star rhetoric is his apparent conviction that only economic improvement, not political battles, are important for gaining back political ground for the Democratic Party.