Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus remembers the thrill of President Obama's first inauguration, the possibility it presented of real change in DC. But she's not getting suckered in this time around. "It has been a long four years since that joyous moment on the Mall," she writes. "The next four, I fear, will feel even longer." Obama's old promises to change politics as usual sound nothing but "sad and naive" now.
It's partly his fault, thanks to inept negotiating and his failure to build relationships, even with members of his own party. But Marcus says no Democrat could have overcome the astonishing "ferocity of Republican animus" directed the president's way. The current debt ceiling fight suggests we're in for more of the same. "Inaugurations reflect the apex of democracy, the peaceful transfer or continuation of power," writes Marcus. "But this one occurs at a moment when our democracy seems incapable of fixing the serious problems the nation confronts." Click for Marcus' full column.