John Brummett makes the argument that President Barack Obama will now try to govern as the leader of the American people, not the Democratic Party.

It comes down to this: What happened to Obama over the last two years was that he seemed obsessed with his party’s heritage from 1948, when Harry Truman was the first Democrat to push for universal health care, rather than with his own moment, 2009 and 2010, when the great American concern was fear of a lost competitive position in the world, primarily, but not exclusively, to China.

But didn’t Obama already try to transcend party? Didn’t he learn that when the other party cares nothing for transcendence, things can get quite grid-locked?