It is irrational to treat people as if they are rational. We all intuitively believe everyone else is like us—thus smart people make the mistake of thinking others think like them, and mediocre minds make the same mistake. I went to blue-collar public schools, where the other kids assumed I was cheating on tests because they couldn’t imagine intelligence. It appears that Obama cannot imagine stupidity.
Though of course the Republicans’ leaders aren’t stupid. Just completely divorced from love of country. It’s the bulk of their followers who are. I read their comments in NYT comment threads, and the “up is down,” “black is white” statements made with utter sincerity are breathtaking.
Obama also fails to comprehend emotional reality. That the election was more about tribe than economics. That people will vote against their material self interest consistently—if you get them thinking tribally.
A compromiser’s skillset is useless against a foe who has no intention of compromising—just of using negotiations to run out the clock. The Chinese are like this. Ditto the Republican leadership.
I should add that, win or lose, the Democratic leadership continues to do everything in its power to make white working stiffs vote Republican, because they've embraced ethnic/racial advocacy instead of principles. And because they continue to coddle public employee organizations, which voters perceive as disproportionately ethnic.