Same Song, Second Verse

President Obama has been making a fair amount of noise lately about how, having endured his first term in office, he’s become wiser in his application of the powers of the presidency. So how is he applying his newfound insights to the upcoming negotiations over the fiscal cliff? Well

He will travel beyond the Beltway at times to rally public support for a deficit-cutting accord that mixes tax increases on the wealthy with spending cuts … 

Mr. Obama will keep his grass-roots organization in place to “have the president’s back,” as its members like to say, on the budget negotiations and other issues in the second term. Democrats concede that the network has not been a particularly effective legislative lobby to date. But they argue that when it was activated to pass payroll tax cuts and low-interest student loans, the pressure made a difference.

Yes, that magical grassroots coalition; the one that is so effective that it convinced Congress to give people free stuff. How do they do it?

If the president had been paying close attention during his first term, he may have noted that these barnstorming tours tended to decrease America’s affection for him. Better to stay in Washington, keep your head down, and do the job.

Lesson not learned. Prepare for four more years of coast-to-coast hectoring.