As I write this, I am seated on my favorite couch. Immediately above me on this couch are two large memorabilia frames. Within each frame are various front pages of newspapers and magazines, bumper stickers and buttons, from a certain day in November 2008. By the end of the previous day, well over 130 million citizens of this country had cast a ballot in an election that the entire nation knew was historic. And when those votes were counted, a significant majority of them had been cast for someone who embodied a feeling that from the ashes of corruption, greed and a tattered economy would rise a fresh start and a new approach embodied by an elected leader who was the first of his kind: a president who broke the stranglehold of the traditionally privileged and represented the ultimate manifestation of the American dream.
It's no secret that for many, the policies borne on the wings of the change they hoped for have not yet come to pass. There have been successes, to be sure, but what many view as failures have been hard to swallow not just owing to a failure to implement a desired progressive policy such as a public option or stronger regulations on Wall Street or polluters. Rather, the failures are perceived as that much greater because of the singular opportunity that the 111th Congress provided.