Will new House Speaker John Boehner really be his own man? He's told the Tea Partiers that "I will never let you down", and has probably just closed the prison door on himself. Republican intransigence was the reason for the difficulties faced by Obama in passing his radical bills, but so too was the way in which the whole project was undertaken - the BBC's Mark Mardell has it on the button:
It didn't help that the bail-outs of the banks and the car industry were disliked by left and right. To the left, they were helping the rich and powerful corporations which helped create the mess. To the right this was a Big Government takeover of the economy.
There was some terrible politics. Regardless of its merits or otherwise, health care reform looked like a muddle, badly sold, badly explained - and the eventual bill was the mangled result of the sort of horse trading people thought they were voting against.