There is a desperate, near pathetic, quality to President Obama these days. He pleaded with a crowd in North Carolina yesterday to urge Congress support his jobs plan if they “loved him.” Never mind love. Voters and elected Democrats don’t even respect him. Republicans don’t fear him.

As Karl Rove points out today (my comments in brackets), “Part of this on-the-record Democratic criticism is a reaction to Mr. Obama’s arrogance and aloofness [it is not just Republicans who find his condescension intolerable] . . . Part of it is the concern that the president has turned the DNC into an arm of his re-election campaign [not normally an issue when the president is a positive factor for down-ticket candidates]. . . And part of it springs from the unreasonable expectations among some Democrats [and clueless liberal pundits] who anticipated an even more radical agenda from Mr. Obama.”

When a president is failing, he acquires new troubles. Obama surely exemplifies this phenomenon. Obama’s jobs plan is now under assault from his own party. It sort of messes up his plan to run against the “do nothing” Republicans when Democrats mercilessly attack the plan.

The problems will soon multiply for Obama, as they do with any president who is on the ropes. How will he hold his troops in line for the remainder of his term? He won’t for now it is every man for himself. Can he expect Senate Democrats to block every effort from the House Republicans? Not if the red state Democrats want to win re-election.

It also poses some tricky problems for the 2012 campaign. What Democratic congressman in a swing state wants to be seen with him? Do Democratic senators in unsafe seats (e.g. Florida, Ohio, Missouri) really want him in their states throwing red meat to the left? Well, he’ll be there because these same states are critical to Obama’s re-election efforts. Be prepared to hear that a slew of Democrats have “scheduling conflicts” and regret they can’t be with the president. They’d prefer he raise money and stay out of sight.

The task here for the Republicans is to remain sober, on message and constructive in offering reasonable measures to address our economic woes. If they do that and don’t nominate a candidate so extreme or unserious that voter will hold their noses and vote for Obama, 2012 should be a very good year for the GOP.