Let's take a quick glance at the current landscape: Obama has passed the biggest reform of our health care system in decades, including near universal coverage; for all the criticism Obama took about the length of his Afghanistan deliberation, including that he was projecting a lack of resolve that would undermine the cause, we now have an undeniable momentum that's likely making some a little too optimistic; the Administration's efforts in Pakistan have resulted in some very positive trends, including an increased willingness to take on the Taliban; the reset with Russia has resulted in a new nuclear arms treaty, along with moving the Russians far closer in line with us in terms of sanctions on Iran; the economy is poised to start creating jobs; so on and so on.
It really is too easy to forget that anything meaningful or hard requires a long game.
It's also easy to forget that, post-Reagan, the GOP has abandoned any pretense of a long game. Their sole objective for the past generation has been controlling the flow of money to the most powerful, which in turn ensures continued power for their party. Any means, any collateral damage, any geopolitical implosion -- it's all acceptable so long as the rich get richer and the Republicans stay in power. Listen to Rove echoing Atwater, listen to any conservative pundit (in essence a conservative politician without a constituency to placate), and you'll always hear the same refrain: "[This political decision/position] is/is not how you win elections."