This year, more Democratic candidates seemed to apologize for the health-care law—notwithstanding its imperfections, their party’s greatest accomplishment in generations, the fulfillment of a century-long dream—than to proclaim it. Compromise, timidity, and the ugliness of the legislative process—not all of it unavoidable—have exacted a steep toll. Even Obama’s temperament has become a political liability. In 2008, his calm was a synergistic counterpoint to the joyous excitement of the throngs that packed his rallies. In the tidy, quiet isolation of the White House, his serene rationality has felt to many like detachment, even indifference. For him and for the country, the next two years look awfully bleak.