Republican strategist and TIME columnist Mike Murphy suggests President Obama is making a “titanic” mistake by continuing to operate in a constant campaign mode.

White House aides are fundamentally misreading the political landscape if they think a barrage of fiery stump speeches and campaign-style advocacy will achieve anything in Washington. In reality, the it-is-always-a-campaign thinking will subvert any chance for a meaningful Obama success in his second term.

There is no doubt the Republican Party faces a crisis in the broader electorate, particularly with the young, female and Latino voters who will be critical in the 2016 presidential election. But the immediate political battle is not about votes at the 2016 ballot box. It is about votes in Congress, where in the short term the Republicans are actually in a far stronger political position than the President.

Unlike his congressional opponents, President Obama faces a merciless countdown clock. In about 18 months, the national political agenda will become hostage to the 2014 midterm elections. After that, a high-stakes 2016 presidential-nomination contest will shift into high gear inside both parties. The President has little time to waste.

The White House realizes this and has come to the shaky conclusion that the President’s best tactic is to continue the campaign theatrics and force the GOP-controlled Congress to bend to his will. Showing the hubris of all things Obama, the White House has forgotten that while he won re-election fair and square with about 66 million votes, 61 million other Americans voted to fire the President. Many of those anti-Obama voters live and vote in the 232 congressional districts firmly held by Republicans. It is terribly naive to think that stuffing e-mail inboxes and presidential hectoring on the stump will persuade those voters — and their members of Congress — to support the President’s decidedly left-tilting second-term agenda.