The irony is pretty amazing. Sen Ted Kennedy tried for decades to pass health care and now a Republican has taken his seat who is swore to stop the bill. I figured Health care was pretty much dead last summer--a few small reforms maybe. I don't know if the loss in Mass. will light a fire under anyone in Congress (in either House), other than to make the Democrats worry about their upcoming elections in 2010. It's too bad.
Enthusiasm for Obama--we really wanted serious change--is waning for sure. My husband made the good observation that Obama can inspire, but he can't actually lead. This seems increasingly true. Yes, he had a giant mess from Bush plus the economic meltdown to deal with, but he seems unable to get his party in Congress to agree to anything. Presidents can't control the action of Congress, so it isn't like a parliamentary system. As one Speaker of the House once put it (I'm quoting from memory, so check this if you want to use it), "We..respect the president, but we don't work for the president." Still, he left too much to the (lack of) imagination of Congress.
It's not surprising that the President's party loses seats in the off-presidential election year. The question is how many will they lose come November. Democrats will have to look like they can get something done or the economy will have to improve for average Americans.