As President Obama begins his second term in office, surely things will be different than they were during the first term. He is more experienced and probably less idealistic today than he was four years ago.
To the dismay of many liberals and progressives, Obama spent much of his first term - especially in the two years since the GOP won the House majority - trying in vain to negotiate with the Republicans in Congress, even as they systematically rejected almost every generous compromise that the president offered. Unfortunately, most of the compromises were one-sided.
I think he finally got the message, as the Obama of recent weeks seems much less conciliatory. He is still reasonable, but he is also stronger, tougher, and more assertive. It will be interesting to see how this affects the dynamics in DC moving forward.
On a less hopeful note, I fear that he will continue down the darker paths in the so-called war on terror, like drone attacks, targeted assassinations, and the continuation of injustices at Gitmo. Because of this, we must remain vigilant and vocal.
The delay of the Keystone XL pipeline demonstrated that organized protests can have a positive effect on this president's actions. We must continue to organize and challenge him to do what's right.
This second term will determine Obama's legacy. Let's do what we can to ensure it's a positive one.