In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Compromise: Not a 4-Letter Word" (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/05/opinion/sunday/compromise-not-a-4-letter-word.html), Friedman blames Republicans for failing to reach compromise solutions with President Obama. Friedman concludes:
"These hybrid solutions are not how to split the difference. They’re how to make a difference. But they only get forged if Republican leaders take on the Tea Party — which transformed the G.O.P. into a far-right party, uninterested in governing — and remake the G.O.P. into a center-right party again. If that happened, I’m certain that a second-term Obama, who is much more center-left than the ridiculous G.O.P. caricatures, would meet them in the middle. Absent that, we’re going to drift, unable to address effectively any of our biggest challenges or opportunities."
Sure, it's all the Tea Party's fault and has nothing to do with Obama.
But of course Friedman ignores the insights of moderate Republican Olympia Snowe, who retired from the Senate yesterday, and who was one of only three Republicans in the US Congress who voted for Obama's economic stimulus plan in 2009. Everyone - except Friedman - remembers how she told Jonathan Karl in 2012 that she had not had a face-to-face meeting with Obama in two years, and when asked if she had to grade Obama on his willingness to work with Republicans, she replied that he would be "close to failing on that point" (see: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/power-players-abc-news/frustrated-senator-olympia-snowe-gives-obama-f-101657433.html).
The reality is that Obama during his years in government never learned to compromise, and we are witnessing the consequences.