Q&A #1 -- Will Obama Lose The Lefties?

 Eager to participate in "Ask Me Anything Friday," "LorenzoJennifer" asks, via email:

 [Barack Obama] has thus far been far more moderate than his more progressive and idealistic followers had expected. In your opinion, will there be a backlash of some kind from what may be legions of disappointed and disenchanted Obama followers?

My guess is probably yes, but that's the least of his worries -- ranking somewhere behind, you know, presiding over the worst economic downturn in anyone's memory. Obama has to assume, I think, that reality is going to test everyone's patience with his administration for the first year or two (at least). So far, surveys suggest that Obama is building up a strong current of goodwill and confidence heading into that. If progressives lose patience first, frankly that probably helps Obama politically, by showing that he's willing to stand up to the base in his attempts to do what's best. (In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he deliberately slashes some lefty sacred-cow programs early, just to prove this point.)

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