Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
We've been negligent in not linking to a column our own Alan Ehrenhalt published today in The New York Times. He offers a reminder to Obama fans that the last two Democratic presidents also took office alongside congressional majorities that seemed promising for their agenda, yet Carter and Clinton failed to push through much of their plans because of factional rifts or congressional logjams.
Obama faces a different challenge:
The Democratic Party in Congress is no longer the fragile and ideologically disparate group it was in 1977 or even 1993; it is now a remarkably cohesive left-of-center majority, with the presence of several dozen fiscally conservative "blue dog" Democrats in the House only a minor obstacle to its unity. Now the question is not whether the next Congress will be willing to support President Obama's vision, but whether this majority will want to move further in a liberal direction than the country wishes to move.
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