One year after being sworn into office — and even that was an adventure — President Obama is struggling to enact his agenda.
It's been a disappointing first year.
Obama's health care reform plan is on the ropes — and even if it's passed, it's been so watered-down and changed by Congress to appease the major players in the game that it's uncertain how much it will actually help.
Many Bush-era policies remain in place regarding executive power. And we're still embroiled in a pair of costly overseas military operations that the nation couldn't afford in the first place and certainly can't now.
Any Wall Street and banking reform has yet to be delivered, and if it ever is there's no guarantee that it won't be merely window dressing, allowing the Captains of Industry to continue rigging the system in their favor while typical taxpayers get the shaft.
The domestic economy continues to be sour, with many Americans unable to find meaningful employment.
And Obama's ambitious promises to run a transparent administration seem to be largely forgotten.
But the disappointment is tempered, at least for this writer, by the sheer magnitude of the mess Obama inherited:
Huge deficits amassed largely through unecessary military action and irresponsible tax cuts. Two wars with no clear end in sight. A decimated domestic economy.
It hasn't been a transformative year for America by any means. But that might have been too ambitious a goal. As I noted more than a year ago, it could take years — if not decades — to dig out of the mess we made for ourselves in the first several years of the decade that was.