I keep getting e-mails from people who think we should stop pressing Obama on torture. The basic argument is, would you rather have this inquiry or would you rather have health care? I think it's becoming clear that we may not necessarily need Obama, himself, to launch an inquiry. But be that as it may, I want to push back against this idea that the only job of a great politician is to set a list of achievable priorities. It's, of course, a large part of the job--but the other part is making sure as many of those priorities get done as possible.
I expect a lot out of Obama, mostly because of what I saw in the campaign. He was not a politician simply capable of taking what was given to him. Not to rehash this, but that was I saw in Hillary. Obama was the politician who was capable of creating more, of expanding the coalition. People laughed at a lot of us Obama supporters when we talked about expanding the map. I begrudge any of that. In 2004, none of us thought that a Democrat running in 2008 could win--not just Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania--but Virginia, North Carolina and Indiana. Had someone told us this would happen, we would have assumed it was some grizzled white war hero, not a black community organizer, who'd done this. You don't get to win, in the manner Obama won, and not have some demands put on you,