More: Nate Silver comments on the kerfluffle
I suspect that for most liberals, any real sense of progress has now been lost. Yes, the left got a good-but-not-great health care bill, a good-but-not-great stimulus package, a good-but-not-great financial reform plan: these are a formidable bounty, and Obama and the Democratic Congress worked hard for them. But they now read as a basically par-for-the-course result from a time when all the stars were aligned for the Democrats -- rather than anything predictive of a new direction, or of a more progressive future. In contrast, as should become emphatically clear on November 2nd, the reversion to the mean has been incredibly swift.Even more: Obama and the Agent problem
What liberals haven't had, in other words, is very many opportunities to feel good about themselves, or to feel good about the future. While the White House has achieved several wins, they have never been elegant or emphatic, instead coming amidst the small-ball banality of cloture vote after cloture vote, of compromise after compromise.
Meanwhile, the White House has had two incredibly cynical moments in the past several weeks -- Gibbs' rant today and the premature firing of Shirly Sherrod three weeks ago. Both reflected politics at its worst, the clumsiest possible efforts at "triangulation".
Even yet still more: Yelling at liberals is one of the White House's few joys.