Atlantic's Molly Ball, in "Sorry, Democrats: 4 Ways Progressives Are About to Have Their Hopes Dashed," fails to mention four realistic hopes to be dashed. The four she cites are entitlements, Elizabeth Warren, filibuster reform, and climate legislation, yet the last three were hardly ever the stuff of which "progressive" dreams are made of--or at least I should think not.
Warren making a big, populist slash? Not for some time; that was never in the cards. Real filibuster reform? Even if this were possible, what bills from the obstructionist Republican House are to be not filibustered? And if meaningful climate legislation is a progressive hope--again, with this House?--then progressives are actually less hopeful than they are simply delusional.
On entitlements, though, Ball writes:
Back in 2011, during Obama and House Speaker John Boehner's failed attempt at a big deal on the debt ceiling, Obama was theoretically open to the kinds of changes Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is now advocating, such as raising the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67 and increasing premiums for recipients with higher incomes.
Given Obama's fresh and quite powerful leverage, I can't see him returning to 2011 options. I might be wrong, tragically wrong, but I just can't see the political or fiscal or policy benefit in it.