I’ve decided to resist criticizing Barack Obama until after the inauguration and state-of-the-union. Even then, I’m not sure how strident I’ll be complaining about the president’s tendency to fold too soon or trade away his leverage or reward bad behavior by his opponents.
Sure, the details of the fiscal cliff deal are a little hard to swallow. But I can appreciate the president’s impulse to get this off his plate – for now.
We need a little more time to enjoy and celebrate his re-election; to remember how brutally he was attacked, disparaged and undermined by his enemies for four years; and how he – and we – beat them soundly two months ago.
Whatever his concrete accomplishments turn out to be, Obama has transformed American politics and life. A loss in November would have made his presidency something of an historical anomaly. With a second term, we enter the Obama Era, a permanent expansion of the American franchise; breaking through barriers of race, immigrant status and sexual orientation.
Progressives will certainly be frustrated and disappointment over the next four years. But I intend to impose a little self-discipline for at least another month. It’s easy. I’ll just channel all my resentment to House Republicans.