After the 2008 election, Republicans pressed their views in a supposedly bipartisan meeting with the new president.
"I won," Mr. Obama said dismissively and arrogantly.
So much for changing the tone in Washington.
Well, he didn't win on Nov. 2 -- suffering historic and embarrassing losses for his party in Congress, even for a midterm president.
Now, Republicans can say, "We won."
Indeed, every Republican senator has vowed in a letter to block all other extraneous legislation in this lame-duck session until the so-called Bush tax cuts are extended past Dec. 31 and a bill funding the federal government is passed.
Democrats have yet to propose or pass a bill funding the government for the current fiscal year.
The "mainstream" media will likely try to paint Republicans as obstructionists. The truth is, they're speaking for the majority of Americans, who want the economy dealt with before anything else.
Unless the tax cuts are extended, all of us will see our taxes go up in just a few weeks -- which will be yet another body blow to an economy struggling to recover from 9.6 percent unemployment and uncertainties and fears surrounding U.S. tax policy, the viability of the dollar and the teetering world economy, most conspicuously seen in Western Europe.
It's frankly beyond amazing that Mr. Obama and congressional Democrats are so unable to focus on that -- especially considering the "shellacking" Mr. Obama admits to having absorbed at the ballot box on Nov. 2.
If it takes a strong and principled stand by Republicans to help him and his cohorts in Congress get focused on taxes and spending, so be it.
They won, right?
Thank goodness they did. Otherwise, who would force Obama and the Democrats to focus on the taxing and spending -- their second-biggest obligation after keeping us safe?
Instead, Democrats, who are losing control of the House in January, want to rush through a bit of social engineering -- making the children of illegal aliens legal, and allowing gays to serve openly in the military -- as well as serious foreign policy -- a landmark nuclear treaty with Russia -- all in the harried last days of a session of a Congress that has already essentially been fired by the American people.
However they are portrayed in the media, Republicans are forming a firewall against this distracting nonsense and trying to get Washington focused on preventing huge tax increases in January -- and preventing the government from having to shut down for lack of funding.
If the tax cuts expire, middle-class Americans will instantly see hundreds of dollars more in taxes being withheld from their paychecks each month -- by one estimate, more than $400 a month for an income-earner of $80,000.
This dithering on the tax cuts has gone on far too long. Everyone has known for a decade they'd expire without congressional action. Now all of a sudden, just weeks before the disastrous tax hikes would hit, the president's chief adviser says there's a sense of "urgency"? What a cock-and-bull story that is!
The pressure is on. Democrats will have to deal with this now and decide, once and for all, whether raising taxes by millions of dollars in a recession-weakened economy is something they really want to do.
If so, we all will have lost.