President Obama’s stated public aspirations all seem to follow a predictable pattern. First he makes grandoise statements of principle, and asks that we hold ourselves to these high standards. Then a test to apply these principles will come along, in the form of a legislative or political event. At that point, difficulties will arise. And then the President will gradually retreat from his position, until almost nothing left of it remains. Weary and disheartened, he then abandons the field, wringing his hands about the failure of the system to live up to his high ideals.
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