In light of the news today ((http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/113431-white-house-unloads-on-professional-left)), I wanted to take a look at what Obama has done. Looking through some of the legislation he's passed ((http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidency_of_Barack_Obama#Major_legislation)), it seems on the surface glance that he's done some good work. Of note are, of course, the health care bill and the financial reform bill. I've read and heard a lot of left-biased news regarding such legislation, and how they are weak. While I agree that the legislation could have been stronger, or perhaps his administration could have fought harder for certain provisions (public option in the health care bill comes to mind), at the end of the day, he had to be pragmatic to get the legislation through an obstructionist opposition. While it's easy to get caught up in "what has he done for me lately", if you take a look at what Obama has done, it isn't nothing. Of course, people will always want more than you give them, and while I think the "professional left" that Gates targets has a lot of good ideas, let's hope that people understand the reality of politics, especially with the way Congress has been for this administration.
In terms of the financial reform, there are a bunch of things that the left has problems with, and I didn't follow the legislation as closely as I did with the health care reform, but one sticking point I seem to recall was how weak the Consumer Protection Board was (it could be tied down by red tape due to people being appointed by the people in charge). Anyway, I'm not too sure, but quickly glancing over a summary of it ((http://banking.senate.gov/public/_files/070110_Dodd_Frank_Wall_Street_Reform_comprehensive_summary_Final.pdf)), it seems to do a decent job at making sure another shit storm can't happen.
Finally, there was recently education reform, passed with the health care reconciliation bill. ((http://www.politico.com/livepulse/0310/BREAKING__Reconciliation_bill_posted_.html)) ((http://edlabor.house.gov/blog/2010/03/student-loan-reform-whats-in-i.shtml)) The student loan reforms are a major step forward, and I am very glad to see this administration address the all important issue of education.
There are always what-ifs, especially if we don't consider the difficulties in working within the political area, but given what he's had to work with, I think over-all, Obama has done a good job.