Chait is exasperated with liberals' disappointment over Obama, "a president with the most effective progressive record in more than four decades":

Liberals tend to imagine progress occurring in a blaze of populist glory, but almost inevitably it requires grubby compromises with powerful and unseemly interests. Medicare, Social Securitythey were all half-measures that involved a devil’s bargain. In 1949, Arthur Schlesinger identified the “doughface” progressive tendency as a discomfort with the realities and compromises of governing. “Politics becomes, not a means of getting things done,” he wrote, “but an outlet for private grievances and frustrations.”

I don’t think this trait describes all of Obama’s (or Clinton’s) liberal critics, and certainly not [John] Judis. But it does reflect a persistent liberal uneasiness with power.

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