“American liberalism has always had a reputation for fractiousness and frantic self-critique. But even by those standards, the current bout of anguish over the Obama presidency seems bizarrely disproportionate,” wrote columnist Ross Douthat. Many on the left complain that President Obama compromises too much and isn’t aggressively liberal enough (while conservatives and tea partiers argue the opposite). Douthat contends that the problem is liberalism’s inflated view of what it thinks a president can accomplish, and the struggling welfare state worldwide. “It’s not that he hasn’t done a great deal for liberals during his 18 months in office,” Douthat wrote. “It’s that liberalism itself may be running out of time.”
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