Paul Krugman, in today's NY Times, has pretty much given up on Obama:
Whatever is going on inside the White House, from the outside it looks like moral collapse — a complete failure of purpose and loss of direction.
So what are Democrats to do? The answer, increasingly, seems to be that they’ll have to strike out on their own. In particular, Democrats in Congress still have the ability to put their opponents on the spot — as they did on Thursday when they forced a vote on extending middle-class tax cuts, putting Republicans in the awkward position of voting against the middle class to safeguard tax cuts for the rich.
It would be much easier, of course, for Democrats to draw a line if Mr. Obama would do his part. But all indications are that the party will have to look elsewhere for the leadership it needs.
I have occasionally given Obama the benefit of the doubt with respect to the limitations of the politically possible. I can't anymore. Those bastards need to be fought. They need to be called out, called by name, and fought. Their history is potted. Their understanding of economics is wholly potted and, if implemented or even taken seriously, would be a disaster for the country and the world, even, be it noted, rich people running a business. Their leading media spokesmen tell black folk to take the bones out of their noses and slander Jews as Nazi collaborators and puppet masters. Perhaps their most visible political figure can't speak coherent English, knows nothing about anything, and maligns the grizzly bear, a noble beast, by claiming it as her own. They have said, outright, that they won't pass or even allow to the floor a single Democratic initiative unless their every desire is conceded. If ever there were a time to stand one's ground, to yield not at all, to make your opponent pay a political price, this is it. If ever there were a time when there was less to lose by doing so, this is it. The Democrats don't do that, Obama doesn't do that, they'll get rolled, and, worse, their failure will be attributed to their policies rather than their character.
Recovery from this disaster, not just of the economy but of the polity, will be too slow, too late, far from assured, and will cost lives as well as treasure. It'd be precious were this political, moral disaster fought with the same resources that the possible bankruptcy of the Bank of America and AIG were fought. Wouldn't it?