John Cassidy of The New Yorker considers the newly-assessed liberalism of Obama.
"But what sort of 'liberal' is Obama? And is he really one at all? If he is, he represents a curious blend of liberal intent and conservative instincts, insisted über-blogger Andrew Sullivan. 'But beneath all of it is a Toryism of sentiment, a Burkean and Niebuhrian understanding of liberal progress, a president with a grasp that tragedy and paradox stalk the human experience,' Sullivan wrote on Monday, '…a fusion of that great conservative insight into human affairs with that great liberal passion for a better future for more and more human beings: something perfectible, but never perfect.'
"I’m not sure what this highfalutin passage means—has any President ever served four years without realizing that the world isn’t perfectible?—but it demonstrates an old truth about Obama, which he acknowledged during the 2008 campaign: people see in him what they want to see. Critics on the right see a radical socialist. Critics on the left see a smooth-talking sellout. Some more centrist Obama supporters see a great, and greatly underappreciated, progressive leader."
The rest, here.