As for the idealistic avatar of hope and change from 2008, who led the nation to believe that he was something new and different in politics, he has been revealed as the biggest cynic of them all.
Moreover, where his campaign against Hillary Clinton in the primaries and John McCain in 2008 seemed to hold out promise of a newly competent progressive crowd, those hopes have all but vanished in the legendary incompetence of the Obamacare rollout.
Here was the president's signature program -- what Social Security was to FDR, Medicare to LBJ -- and one month into launch, it is grist for the mills of Saturday Night Live and Comedy Central.
Observing the rollout, one begins to appreciate what George Wallace meant when he talked of Washington being a city of "pointy-headed bureaucrats who can't park a bicycle straight."
And though the Obamacare website will one day be repaired, and people may begin to sign up, the land mines in Obamacare are by no means all exploded. We will be walking right through them.
As Obamacare requires the cancellation of insurance plans and forces Americans to buy more expensive insurance than they want, this will inevitably raise the cost of health care for the nation.
And when the employer mandates cut in, many businesses will halt hiring at 49 employees to keep out of Obamacare, as others cut part-time workers to 29 hours a week to escape the mandates.
This cannot but adversely impact an economy whose growth in job creation under Obama has been anemic at best for five years.
Obama and cohorts are celebrating an historic achievement in passing Obamacare. But as one looks at Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Puerto Rico, Detroit and Illinois, the truth seems obvious.
The welfare state that began with Bismarck is reaching the end of the line, just as the private sector that generates the wealth to sustain that state is now, almost everywhere, buckling under its weight. The deficits stretch to the horizon. The debts rise inexorably.
Across the West, neo-socialism is out, the new austerity in.
And of all the great advances proclaimed by progressives over a century and a half, from free schooling to Social Security, Obamacare looks like it will eventually be ranked among the last -- and the least.