It is no exaggeration is say that God only knows what the answer is, but at least exaggerated talk of President Obama's unprecedented powers of political manipulation as well as talk of the vastly exaggerated power of the bully pulpit are being laid to rest.
Perhaps we are, finally, recentering our brains to the cold reality of largely immovable forces--forces endowed by neither particular virtue nor intrinsic evil. It's all just politics--politics neither post-partisan nor post-racial nor post-anything.
Just the plain, old-school politics of conflict, jockeying and horsetrading.
And in that, at least there's some clarity.