Obama believes Republicans will eventually embrace bipartisanship. I hope he's right but I fear he's wrong. They want to take back Congress the way Newt Gingrich retook the House (and helped Republicans retake the Senate) in 1994 -- with hellfire and brimstone. Once in control of Congress, they'll be able to block Obama's big inititiaves on health care and the environment, stop any Supreme Court nominees, and set up their own candidate for the White House in 2012 [Rovert Reich, "Why Republicans Won't Support the Stimulus," Robert Reich's Blog, 2009.02.09].
The Republicans are playing to win. If Obama starts throwing elbows (and he's from Chicago, so you know he can), it will only be a practical response to the Republicans' desperate ploys to reverse the decline of their power.