Democrats in Congress are discovering what it's like to live in the worst of all possible worlds. They are condemned for selling out to President Bush and condemned for failing to make compromises aimed at getting things done.
The column then goes on to talk about the attacks upon Congressional Democrats from both the electorate (where the approval rating for Congress continues to sit in the basement) and from two of the leading Presidential candidates, Sen. Barack Obama and former Sen. and Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards. This is the first half of the formula - the rock, if you will. There is nothing uncontroversial about this.
To the other part, being criticized for not compromising enough, the only evidence he presents is a letter from Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to President Bush, in which the to insist that President Bush do real political work (i.e. compromise) rather than make demands and refuse to budge until the Democrats accept the Administration line. While Dionne notes that this is "fair", he doesn't expand on this point, and it begs the question, obviously, of just who it is that is demanding the Democrats "compromise" to "get real work done".
Since this has been a theme the President has used, in speeches, press conferences, and the like, for the past couple weeks, the answer is clear. Besides the President, we have the constant bleating from idiots like David Broder about "bipartisanship", which is another term of art for "compromise". It all ends up in the same place, however, when dealing with this Administration - the toilet.
The Democrats real problem is not that they are caught between the Scylla of public disapproval and the Charybdis of their own refusal to deal honestly and above board with the Bush Administration. Rather, they are caught between the increasing anger and frustration of a public who elected them to stand up to the Bush Administration, and an entrenched, corporate bought-and-owned party "leadership" that refuses to upset their paymasters by actually confronting head-on the radical refusal of the Administration to budge on issues. Only idiots worry about compromise and bipartisanship - and only weaklings and cowards care about what those idiots say.