A two-term president enters his lame-duck year feuding with a Congress controlled by the opposition party. The majority party in the House complains the Senate's filibuster rules thwart the will of the people. Both sides of the aisle are disappointed a year-end omnibus bill doesn't do justice to their legislative goals. And conflict in the Middle East creeps into political discourse at every turn.
December 2015? Nope. Rewind eight years, to 2007, when dynamics were remarkably the same, even if most of the people and party identifications were different. Back then, President George W. Bush was finishing up his seventh year in office. But it was the first year he had to face Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress. It was a conflict-driven year, with Bush wielding his veto pen multiple times and beating back Democrats' attempts to put conditions on funding for the war in Iraq, a campaign promise they rode to majorities in 2006.