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Obama agenda: One nation, divisible?

The Washington Post: “For 2011, Obama’s third year in office, an average of 80 percent of Democrats approved of the job he was doing in Gallup tracking polls, as compared to 12 percent of Republicans who felt the same way. That’s a 68-point partisan gap, the highest for any president’s third year in office — ever. (The previous high was George W. Bush in 2007, when he had a 59 percent difference in job approval ratings.)

In 2010, the partisan gap between how Obama was viewed by Democrats versus Republicans stood at 68 percent; in 2009, it was 65 percent. Both were the highest marks ever for a president’s second and first years in office, respectively. What do those numbers tell us? Put simply: that the country is hardening along more and more strict partisan lines.”

Politico writes that Obama is “being joined by a critical mass of Washington influentials — witnessing the inability of the two parties to find common ground on the budget in 2011 — who are ready to discard the old ideal: Politicians huddling behind closed doors to cut deals is no longer viewed as necessarily even a desirable scenario, much less a plausible one.