Yet, on the other hand, when I count down the changes the president and his team have made, they are close to remarkable in a real political world, not some shimmering Camelot.
Most agree he has avoided the major recession his big-talking predecessor left him, and the present team is ready to reinstate meaningful regulation. And as of this writing, it looks as though a health care reform bill will actually pass Congress, in itself an accomplishment of Rooseveltian proportions.
In one short year, Obama has changed the entire lexicon of political parlance in America. Who at the top talked seriously about global warming and environmental change before? And he has changed the vision of the world toward America. The Copenhagen climate conference, which certainly had its inevitable comical U.N. moments, was a real start in an area where there was nothing but stasis before.
Yet we, the American people, have been trained over the last 20 years by television and modern mercantilists to want, even demand, immediate gratification. Obama is smart and elegant and decent, but I fear to tell you, my fellow citizens, that he remains only a man. There -- it's out! The bunnies he can pull out of his top hat are no more consequent than any magician's, but the long-range change he is trying desperately to set in motion is very, very real.