It"s not the word his opponents use for him, because it might ruin their rather stupid meme that the president is ineffective or hasn't done anything. Today's momentous and justbipartisan Senate bill for health insurance reform shows us yet again not to under-estimate this president's patience, perseverance and ... ruthlessness. Being ruthless doesn't always mean jumping up and down or hurting people (although three Somali pirates know that when Obama needs to pull the trigger, he can). Ruthless means sticking to a strategy even when everyone else is panicking, even when your own side is yelling at you and the other side is engaged in such loopy propaganda it's painful.
But as a reader noted, think of what Obama might have done by the end of his first year, if his current momentum is sustained. He will have passed a huge stimulus bill that averted a second great depression and invested a huge amount in green energy and badly needed infrastructure; he will have passed the comprehensive health insurance reform that has eluded Washington for decades; he will have made a critical decision on Afghanistan (I hope it's for a responsible withdrawal); he will have begun the process of leaving Iraq; he will have presided over the breakneck restructuring of GM and Chrysler and steered the US economy into an actual recovery; he has - more powerfully than even I expected - transformed the image of the United States from the nadir of the Cheney years; he will have stopped torture; he will have done a small part to inspire the Green Revolution in Iran and yet also engaged its regime in ways not seen since 1979.