From The Daily Beast, for the president to have a chance at becoming another FDR, he needs a big push from the left; denouncing the Obama administration’s missteps or worse doesn’t get us far — it promotes exactly what the president’s adversaries seek; if only Obama's performance mattered more: The last year has taught a hard lesson about the power of a determined minority to keep the majority in check; and the dangers come after Year One: History has taught us not to take presidential first years too seriously. From Esquire, whaddaya mean Obama hasn't done anything? A blow-by-blow breakdown of the young president's first year reveals that today's frustration stems not from a lack of policy so much as a lack of common ground. On the first anniversary of his election, Obama's promise of change remains unfulfilled — but he could yet be one the of the greatest presidents America has ever had. More and more on The Audacity to Win by David Plouffe. Why hasn't the lunatic fringe shut up already?: Charles Pierce on how Obama's first year became a dangerous time for democracy. What if Hillary had won? Imagining the past year had Clinton clinched it in November. Why is Nancy Pelosi always smiling? Like Obama, she is more pragmatist than liberal ideologue; unlike Obama, she doesn’t care what you think of her; in fact, she may not even know. Defending a bomb-thrower: Thank heavens for Alan Grayson, who’s bringing moral backbone to the health-care debate (and more). The consciousness of a liberal: Wallace Shawn (aka "Vizzini")'s Essays is a rare contemporary example of artful, eloquent leftist writing (and more).

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