“Maybe the dogs didn’t like it”

Two findings stand out. First, contrary to many predictions, there is no evidence that health reform has become more popular in the six months since its passage. And second, the item about which there is the least controversy among experts and knowledgeable figures in both parties—namely, preventing the global financial system from collapsing—enjoys the least public support of all.

The art of democratic leadership is to mobilize public majorities around measures that promote the general welfare. Judged against that standard, the past two years have been a failure—even if one believes that everything on the Gallup list was necessary and wise.