This is a little old, but Maureen Dowd wrote a good column last month after President Obama went to Dover Air Force Base to salute 18 caskets returning from the wars. In it, she talked about the challenge he has faced: "What he had in mind for renovating American society hinged on spending a lot of money on energy, education, the environment and health care. Instead, he has been trapped in the money pits of a recession and two wars." She preceded that with this line, which I thought really captured a reality of human existence, both in our struggles as a nation and with our personal demons:
It’s nice to talk about change, but you can’t wipe away yesterday.