I think Mr. Begala is wrong. President Obama is aware that any more stoking the flames will not work in his favor.
Why increase the level of rhetoric in defense of a Democratic Congress that has drawn him and government so far to the right that it is now misaligned with the center-right tendencies of its citizenry.
This is all part of Mr. Obama’s predicted move to the middle. While he would prefer see his party in power, it would benefit him more as a “centrist” to have the Republicans win the House this fall. This way he has the opportunity of looking like a stabilizing force in 2012, sitting between the two chambers and the two parties. If anything, he needs to tone down further any remaining partisan rhetoric.