Despite all the complaints from both left and right, I think Barack Obama is a promising president, whose tenure has largely been wasted on the financial crisis so far. Nonetheless, he does have some decent achievements to point to, most notably on health care, and there is a lot more he could accomplish with adequate Congressional support.
Hopefully, today’s elections will be less dire for the Democrats than many have been expecting.
While some of the complaints about Obama from the right have been non-sensical (all that secret Muslim / socialist stuff), what really seems to endanger him is a loss of enthusiam from his core supporters. Certainly, he could have done more on issues like gay rights and climate change. Nonetheless, it doesn’t make sense to punish him for inadequate action by rewarding those who will do even less on those issues, or even try to roll back the modest progress that has been made.
The Republicans seem to understand the value of unity and pulling together far better than Democrats do. That may be a big part of why they seem to be so much more effective at driving their agenda, despite how it tends to serve the needs of a powerful minority more than those of the population at large.