This is what happens when a middle-aged rocker goes out on the road with no new material. Hecklers show up. Reviewers slam him. He gets irritable. And so too with President Obama: His Midwest bus tour is bombing.

The Post reported:

President Obama used some of his harshest words of the burgeoning 2012 presidential campaign Monday, criticizing the Republican candidates for their opposition to raising taxes as part of a deal to lower the nation’s debt.

Obama, who kicked off a three-day Midwest bus tour Monday focused on the economy, cited comments made by Republican presidential hopefuls at a GOP debate last week. . . .

Obama, who arrived in a special black armored bus, didn’t announce any new ideas, but he repeated calls for pairing measures to tame the deficit with efforts to boost the economy.

Nothing new, just bitter recriminations.

USA Today observed:

Continuing his Midwest bus tour, President Obama found himself on the defensive Monday night in Iowa, as some self-proclaimed supporters accused him of compromising too much with Republicans.

“I know it’s frustrating because the other side is unreasonable,” Obama said as he defended deals on the debt ceiling, the George W. Bush tax cuts and the health care plan.

Life is so unfair. The other side won’t listen to him.

My gosh, even Chris Matthews had a queasy sense things were not going well. (“It seems like something Tim Pawlenty would’ve done.” Yowser.)

The bus tour suggests a paucity of self-awareness in the White House. The president and his political hacks seem to believe their own press clippings, that it is hope and change time all over again. The president and his advisers have always overestimated his ability to sell his agenda. But now he has no agenda; only sneers and frustration are being doled out. It’s not surprising things aren’t going well.

He should go on vacation, think about what he wants to do and come back without the chip on his shoulder. If he has something worthwhile to say, the media and voters might actually listen.