The relentlessly independent-minded Matt Miller argues today that he’s aware “who the real villains are at this volatile moment.” His piece notes that he realizes it’s “Tea Party Republicans” who’ve been reckless, who’ve undermined confidence in the United States, and whose actions have weakened the country.

But, Miller adds, he’s mad at President Obama anyway. Kevin Drum’s reaction resonated with me.

Honest to God, Republicans must all be sitting in their back rooms and just cackling like hell right now. Think about it. They developed a strategy to hamstring the president completely — a strategy that’s bulletproof thanks to our country’s Constitution — knowing that it would rally their base but also hoping that it would cause moderates and lefties alike to become disgusted with Obama’s weakness even though we all know who’s really responsible for what’s going on. And it worked! In fact, it’s worked better than they could possibly have imagined. They can probably barely keep from spitting up their beers right now.

We are such chumps.

A couple of weeks ago, the day after the debt-ceiling agreement was announced — a deal I repeatedly condemned, by the way — I asked, “Am I supposed to be angrier with the radicals who held a gun to our heads, or those who prevented them from pulling the trigger?”

Even among those who know “who the real villains are,” there’s apparently still some ambiguity about the answer.

Based on nothing but my own perceptions and recent experiences, I’m often surprised at how common this is. I’m on a number of email lists, for example, with fellow lefties in various circles, and I’d say the criticisms of Obama on a daily basis, particularly over the last month or so, outnumber criticisms of Republicans by at least 50 to 1. These are folks who know full well who’s chiefly responsible for the nation’s self-inflicted wounds, but like Miller, emphasize the fact they’re “mad at Barack Obama” anyway.

The unstated message seems to be, “Sure, Republicans have become an American nightmare. That’s obvious. In fact, it’s such a given, it’s not worth talking about. Instead, let’s denounce the White House….”

But as Kevin noted, if we all know who’s actually responsible for what’s going on, maybe it is worth talking about, rather than playing the game the way the right prefers?

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.