It isn't simply that Obama feels constrained by political realities in Congress, although that's part of it. It's that he believes that the best way to accomplish the most change is to let Congress legislate and let the President build public support for the end product, which still conforms to the goals that Obama laid out during his campaign. Don't confuse bipartisanship with consensus; bipartisanship refers to outcomes, and the outcome here won't be liked by Republicans. Consensus refers to the process and to the way in which the public perceives the issue.Does this explain the lack of movement on LGBT issues? Somewhat, but it still doesn't excuse the administration's recent actions and inactions. Especially since the vast majority of the public is already behind a repeal of the military's misguided Don't Ask Don't Tell policy.
Marc Ambinder has a great piece on President Obama's methods and possible reasons for the seemingly slow pace of change. It is a great reminder of just how much things have changed already--and how much more is at stake. Ambinder explains what he sees as Obama's methodology and the meaning of consensus:
Posted by Madison Brookshire at 8:56 AM