When compared with the early months of Obama's presidency, the GOP's overall gains are striking. A year ago, Democrats held a 26-point advantage on dealing with the big issues; that lead is now six points. At the one-month mark, Obama's lead over the Republicans on dealing with the economy was 35 points; it's now five points.
Who could have guessed this would happen? All Democrats did was spend the better part of a year working on a very big issue called health care reform, and messed it up terribly. They wasted months and fought among themselves like children in an effort to protect the special interests. They removed the very popular public option and repeal of the anti-trust exemption to make the private insurance companies happy, and let a handful of senators hold the bill hostage until they filled it with all sorts of unpopular giveaways, pork, and carve-outs. Even after doing all this, they still failed to pass a bill. As a result of wasting months on health care, Democrats were unable to get another jobs bill passed, deal with finance reform, or fix our student loan system to help middle class families.
Democrats attempted to deal with a big issue and failed. Amazingly, the American people, as a result, no longer trust Democrats' ability to deal with big issues. Failing to govern has done incredible damage to the Democratic Party's brand.
Now, ask yourself, if you were Republicans, would you throw Democrats a lifeline by agreeing to a bipartisan compromise on health care reform? Politically, it would be a terrible move to actually give the American people the idea that Democrats are capable of governing by helping them pass any form of compromised health care reform. That is why bipartisan health care reform will not happen. Proving that Democrats are incompetent is more important to Republicans than any policy changes on health care that Obama could offer.