Well, I'm glad you asked.
Many progressives believe Obama has been a very good president who has done the best he could despite being hamstrung by Republicans in the Senate. The crux of this argument is that Obama could not pass any more progressive legislation than he did because he did not have any way to block Senate Republicans from filibustering it. What was he supposed to do, these people ask, force the bills through at gunpoint? What could Obama have done?
I respect this viewpoint, but I think Obama could have done a lot. And in this diary, I'll explain how -- how Obama muffed the best chance in a generation to put America back on a progressive path because he wasn't willing to play political hardball with members of his own party. Fair warning: in doing so, I'll be explaining why I am extremely angry at and disappointed in Obama. Readers should know, however, that I will vote for him in November 2012. I recognize that no better option is likely to emerge. In fact, that is why I am so angry at Obama; because in muffing this chance for a progressive America, he ensured that it will not come again for a long time, if ever.
Admittedly, all this is water under the bridge now. But I think it is worthwhile to analyze it anyway, because 2009-2010 will be looked at as the critical political turning point of these years, the moment when American politics "failed to turn." The next time Democrats get a chance like this, I want to know exactly what happened over the past two years, exactly what went wrong. What could Obama have done?