Then we have the bit below I noted from Chait.
Now we have this from Peggy Noonan. Obama's speech was quite good, I think, at delineating the differences between the GOP and the Democratic party over budgetary and fiscal issues. Obama framed this as a debate over values. Naturally, because he is running for office for Pete's sake, he framed those values and issues to his advantage.
But Peggy Noonan is aghast - AGHAST I TELL YOU - that Barack Obama would dare - DARE - campaign for the presidency. In an election year no less. I mean the nerve!
Part of the problem - and Chait has highlighted some stories from last summer to this effect - is that Obama has been so desperate to "get stuff done" that he has occasionally acted as a supplicant to the GOP leaders of Congress. The so-called Grand Bargain Obama offered was really something that Bush would have been embarrassed to propose on his own.
But now that we are in campaign mode, the GOP is SHOCKED that Obama would have the audacity** to attack the GOP for the things they are saying in public. After being called illegitimate by large segments of the GOP for three years (over his birth certificate, being a secret muslim/gun control advocate/servant of our enemies) Obama has actually decided to strike back.
To listen to a GOP debate was to listen to a barely coherent, frothing attack on just about anything Obama has done as President (or more frequently, things they imagined he'd done as President). Now, he's actually going to defend himself and the GOP has retreated to the fainting couch..
Again, this is how you know you are winning.
** (Of hope? No.)