The difference between the two Presidents is what Obama is denying. Clinton was not imprisoned by ideology at all. He was a pragmatist. He wanted to be president and, as we know now, to indulge certain appetites. He was very willing to move about as needed and he signed, for example, welfare-to-work reform. Were Obama to suggest such a thing we can safely assume his buddies at Acorn would set themselves on fire. I don’t expect to see anything but lip service from Obama on anything in any way contrary to his stated intent to “fundamentally transform America.” I don’t think his ideology will permit any real movement.
This is, ironically, good news. The prison in which he has placed himself is so small and so confining, he is doomed to atrophy. As members of his own party come to grips with the reality of a presidency doomed to failure and a president destined for humiliation, they will distance themselves as best they can. This has already begun. He will be more and more isolated, more and more alone. The public, already waking up to the untenable costs – economic and human costs - of implementing his ideological agenda, will soon desert him personally as well, leaving him without political capital to spend or influence to wield.
Thanks to the fact that Obama is very much the ideologue he claims not to be, the destruction he might have caused will be less than we feared, and more temporary than we imagined.