Obama needs a dose of ideology

His legislative accomplishments are altering the American landscape. But the president can't prevail politically without that old time religion

Robert Shrum

Seldom, for any president, has there been so wide a gap between the magnitude of achievement and the measure of the polls. In any event, what the scholars of the next generation will credit to Barack Obama won’t be enough to mitigate Democratic losses in the midterm election.

The president has been vindicated in his decision to push for sweeping progressive change, culminating in Wall Street reform, in his first two years. Imagine trying to push that, or health care, or the largest economic package in history, or a wholesale revamping of the college loan program to benefit students instead of banks through a Congress that next year will have many more Republicans, more bitterness and more modest results.

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