Chait argues that Obama’s second term will be defined more by “what the Republicans in Congress decide to do” than by Obama himself:

We like our presidential dramas. We want the Obama era to revolve around Obama and produce a character narrative that will eventually produce grist for 800-page tomes that will be Father’s Day gifts decades into the future. Obama has done his job extremely well, by my reckoning. But that is all he is — the head of one, equal branch of government, a man we have hired to do a job. Our need to elevate him into a monarchial figure not only causes us to persistently misunderstand the world around us, but is also detrimental to the habits of self-government.