The American Prospect's Jamelle Bouie makes the case that Republicans, by refusing to work with the president, have made him a lot more liberal.
I think it’s best to understand this as part of a deliberate strategy. Rather than try to beat Obama with a more compelling vision of the country’s direction, Republicans have tried instead to break his presidency with categorical opposition to his policies, a wide swing to the right, and a campaign of constant demonization. The hope was — and remains — that this would alienate and anger voters, and lead Republicans back to the White House.
Now, that still might happen, especially if the economy backslides into stagnation or recession. But if it doesn’t, and Obama wins re-election, then conservatives will have given themselves the worst of all possible worlds: a reinvigorated administration that now understands the futility of working with Republicans. Freed from that concern, the administration can push a bit further to the left than it would have if Republicans had chosen to compromise through Obama's first term.
Read Jamelle Bouie's entire piece at the American Prospect.