Has he finally realized that you can’t rub the belly of the beast that wants to eat you, that you have to fight your way off the plate and bring the monster to heel?

Has he come to understand that Americans value valiant struggle over bloodless surrender?

Does he have any interest in becoming the Obama of people’s imaginations, the one they thought they saw through the showers of streamers, and explosions of confetti in 2008 — the man who only ever existed in their own minds?

Is the “transformative president” more than an opportunistic transformer, shifting shape to suit the moment, but truly settling on none?