Courtesy of Tyler Cowen @ Marginal Revolution once again, this Ross Douthat column from NYT seems to track with one of my posts yesterday about Obama alternatives. Obama can't act by fiat. Perhaps, as Garry Wills has argued, he's been somewhat self-limiting out of excessive caution, but he can only do so much so fast. The other issue Douthat raises (citing Cowen) about what will and won't work deserves the healthy skepticism that Cowen & Douthat accord it. I've been intrigued by the stimulus vs. debt reduction debate going on between some very smart and capable people; however, in the end, we don't know which course of action will bring us the promised land. We should, I suggest, try to avoid obvious harm. Finally, liberals (a term I hate to have to use, so indefinite and at times pejorative) don't appreciate what Obama has done. If nothing else, some health care reform that brings us within reach of universal coverage is a tremendous accomplishment, as Douthat notes.