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“Which is it? Friends, I usher you on a tour of the liberal mind,” Mr. Tomasky said.

“OK, what I’m about to say isn’t true of everyone, of course. But there is a general thing: liberals are happy being unhappy. Or worrying. We’re (I very much include myself) big worriers. …

“In addition, there is a general tendency to accentuate the negative. Partisans of both sides focus on what has been lost in compromise, but there is a crucial difference in the quality of complaint. Conservatives tend to look upon compromise and shout: ‘Betrayal!’ Liberals have more often tended to sigh: ‘Well, I figured as much.’ The blogosphere has given liberalism an often necessary jolt of the former disposition, but it’s still the general reflex of the liberal mind (again, including my own) to assume the worst and nod knowingly as it inevitably happens.

“Well, today, I announce my emancipation from such habits. Goodbye to all that. The stimulus bill, imperfect as it is, does indeed represent an enormous political victory for Obama. For reasons tactical as well as substantive, liberals ought to declare victory and dance on the vast empty tundra that is the Republican present.”

Hard to govern

“Either Congressional Democrats went from undeniably brilliant to unbelievably inept in just a few weeks, or being in the majority in Congress isn’t nearly as easy as being the opposition, Stuart Rothenberg writes in Roll Call.

“Those seem to be the two obvious alternatives that follow from the problems Democrats have had selling an economic stimulus package that began with considerable public support and the backing of a popular president. I’ll cast my vote for the second alternative,” Mr. Rothenberg said.

“As Republicans on Capitol Hill are now finding, being in the minority actually can be a lot of fun, even if it is inherently frustrating. They can’t dictate results, but they sure can cause problems for Democratic leaders.

“However, Democrats shouldn’t overreact to their current problems, which range from the party’s handling of the economic stimulus bill to the tax problems of some of the president’s Cabinet nominees. Even with all of their party’s recent stumbles, the president and congressional Democrats will end up looking pretty good if the economy rebounds and Americans start to feel better about things.”

• Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or e-mail Greg Pierce.