So it is with the Republicans and their media allies. The party of Barack Obama's inauguration is over. They assume business as usual is about to return.
But it isn't. This is something Netroots bloggers don't understand and don't yet accept. They are watching Republicans perform the same hissy fits as before, and expecting the same beat-down they always got under Bush.
Recent moves by the President, aimed at gaining some Republican support for his stimulus plan, knowing he will need to stay strong in order to win future fights over health care, are seen by these observers as evidence the President doesn't get it.
In fact he gets plenty. He always has.
The appearance of leaning over backwards toward your political enemies is an integral part of the dance.
President Obama faces a situation with analogues to both the crises faced by Lincoln and FDR. Like Lincoln his opposition is southern, racist, and intransigent. Like FDR, he faces knee-jerk pro-Wall Street habits gained over a lifetime, habits that won't change overnight.
He needs to give them some rope, then have the country pull on it. This includes the Netroots.
The best thing the Netroots can do for the President right now is tend to their business. Grow your strength in the marketplace. Building a liberal media infrastructure around DailyKos, The HuffingtonPost, and TPM is the best answer to the "media filter" bloggers like Digby complain about.
It's her understanding of the political nature of media that makes Tina Brown's Daily Beast so potentially important. It is simply a more conservative clone of Huffpo. It is the major media's attempt to replace blogging with a sort of proto-media blogging, in which those figures Brown (and thus New York) "vets" are the bloggers who are heard on the TeeVee, and the rest just aren't. It's phony equivalence applied to the blogosphere, where (guess what) it doesn't work.
Our job is to make certain it doesn't work by doing our jobs better than they do theirs.
If Atrios and Digby and Kos aren't ready for their TV close-ups, then they need to find colleagues who are, and get them on the TeeVee. Booking agents are anxious to get more liberals on, but if you're not going to compete in the market then the phonies will do just as well. If you're not going to get in the game, in other words, you can't complain when you don't win.
As to what happens next, right now we need to support the President. As loudly as we can, as often as we can. He's not going to give us everything we want right away, but he has already given us plenty, and when he says march, we need to be ready to march.
When the bipartisanship dance is over, he will let us know. And then we need to be ready to charge.