It is not so much that America is ungovernable, as that Mr Obama has done a lousy job of winning over Republicans and independents to the causes he favours. If, instead of handing over health care to his party’s left wing, he had lived up to his promise to be a bipartisan president and courted conservatives by offering, say, reform of the tort system, he might have got health care through; by giving ground on nuclear power, he may now stand a chance of getting a climate bill.Wrong! Obama did offer to negotiate over tort reform and was rebuffed by the Republicans. And what of the three months was given over to Finance Chair Sen. Max Baucus to come up with a bipartisan healthcare reform bill? The strategy of the Republicans, which Sen. Grassley, minority leader of the committee, explicitly gave away, was to slow the process down and hope that lighten would strike and kill the bill. Sure enough, lighten struck in Massachusetts, but didn't quite kill it.
But for the Economist to totally absolve the Republicans for any responsibility for the gridlock in Washington is laughable. They are tacitly portrayed as this poor, ignored collection of principled conservatives. When, in fact, they are a wrecking crew, bent on the destruction of the Obama presidency.
As Obama has learned, it is very hard to find common ground with people whose fondest wish is your utter failure.