The Kindness of Strangers II
Recently, I asked why the hell Obama is supporting Lincoln in Arkansas and Specter in Pennsylvania. I think I get it now. It isn't 11 dimensional chess. It isn't even 2 dimensional chess.
I think the logic is that those two will be senators for another 8 months no matter what the voters want, and that after those 8 months are over (with time off for elections, Christmas and it's not done for a lame duck congress to do anything controversial leaving about a week or two) it won't be possible to get anything -- anything through the Senate.
The next congress is basically irrelevant. Everything will be blocked. So the only thing that matters for US legislation for the forseable future is sucking up to current senators.
Depressing but very plausible.