We should not ignore, though, that there is a disturbance in the Democratic force.
Progressives want to stick with Barack Obama because they perceive him as one of them and expect he will push their progressive agenda as best he can. But some progressives are deeply worried about his drone war. They are worried about civil liberties. They are worried that he is, and in fact he really is, to the right of George W. Bush on this issue. The progressive agenda conflicts with his civil liberties stance.
This is but one example. If the President pushes forward with any entitlement reforms or anything else that looks to be in the direction of the GOP, the fractures will exacerbate. If he does not, he risks the public who supposedly wants compromise looking at him as too uncompromising in the same way they’ve looked at the GOP. He cannot afford the public getting tired of him, but he also cannot afford his party growing weary of his positions.
This all puts him in a precarious position. Made worse, as he adds new faces to his cabinet, he is not adding men of particular policy depth, but more men of the same persuasion. That will lessen debate. That will lessen the ability to think outside narrow parameters.