President on many occasions and I continue to be disappointed by some of his decisions. I am all for standing on principle as an outsider. However I also realize that politics is a different game. Politics is a game of give and take. From what I can see, the President is playing this game to the best of his abilities. He has limited support from his own party (the left and right both attack his policies), he has absolutely no support from the Republicans and very little support from the coalition that elected him.
All I hear from the progressives at this point is how the president isn't living up to the legacy of FDR. Well FDR had a chance to put health care for all in place and he bargained it away. He got nothing( I'm assuming those on the left would have been happy to do away with social security as well because getting only that would have been seen as a "compromise"). . Ted Kennedy had a chance to champion Jimmy Carter's deal for health care for all working Americans and he decided to go for it all we ended up with nothing. Kennedy did it because he wanted to run for President and didn't want to rubber stamp the Carter agenda. No one talks about that either. (But according to the left, that decision should be applauded because he stood on principle. Never mind the fact that he later in life said it was the biggest mistake he ever made in his political life.)
I have no idea what the standard is for this President. If he had stood on principle in the health care debate (meaning single payer), we would now have nothing. If he would have stood on principle during the fight for financial reform, we would have nothing. This president doesn't need to grow a set, he has a set. He has decided to set a course of attainable progress. It doesn't help him with the left (who want some progressive superman to take down the Republicans without so much as a nod to the procedural rules of Congress that wouldn't allow such a thing), the right continues to call the President a socialist, a communist, a traitor, a Muslim terrorist, etc. How much bravery do you think it takes for someone to act even though they know it will curry no favor with either supporters or detractors?
Frankly I'm of the mind that the President should just finish out his term and go on to become extremely rich as the foremost citizen of the world. Because even if those in the US don't appreciate him, he is without a doubt the most admired leader in the world today. If the US doesn't want him, then I guess we don't deserve him. I'm not defending his decisions. I've been just as disappointed in some of them as some of his most vocal critics have been. But I do understand political reality. And after the next election, when those on the left will be, I assume based on their current rhetoric, celebrating the end of the term of the great appeaser, we'll all get a dose of political reality, Republican style. And that, my friends, is all I have to say about that.