A buddy of mine said to me back in December of '08, "Man, it's going to be a long eight years." It sure looked like it at the time. As SteveP also pointed out, we have no power. We're losers. Yet here we are 13 months later with the House almost assuredly flipping R and the Senate a coin toss. Obama is a lot more liberal than advertised, he over-reached, and he left the nuts and bolts to Congress. Congress is an inherently verminous place. So much the more when one party controls both houses. Yep, Republicans too.
Which is where pragmatic, post-partisan Obama should have stepped in - no, he should have consulted with Republicans and presented a bi-partisan blueprint to Congress. This was his chance to shine. I'd say he voted present, but pragmatic, post-partisan Obama was an illusion from the get go.
I know nothing I say will change your mind if you believe Obama has managed the health reform process well or even competently. From here he blew it big time. Electoral fortunes can change, but at this moment in time he's eight months from a wave election followed by two years of hearings in front of Republican-chaired committees. I don't think anyone saw that coming.
As to whether he is leading us to ruin (you started this, and since I just threw a couple more snow leopard pelts in the potbelly stove...), one thing they did learn us in Texas schools is math. We've already added more to the debt in one year than under Bush in eight. If the cost of this health bill doesn't vastly exceed projections it will be the first time an entitlement hasn't. Again, what percentage of the GDP can the government consume before it has a detrimental effect on our capacity to grow?
You and I are already upside down $100 trillion in unfunded entitlement liabilities. Realistically, Obama is just another in a long line of captains on the Titianic as it continues on the course Admiral Roosevelt plotted. That doesn't mean he needs to start throwing life rafts and deck chairs in the boilers to hasten our voyage.
Regardless of who started it, it is unsustainable. We're pretty much doomed since no one has the stomach for the harsh measures needed to avert disaster. Particularly the public. So why complain? By the time the bills come due I'll have had a good run or by the grace of God, these Marlboros, and the moonshine I cook up in an old truck radiator I'll be deep in the all-forgiving ground. Unless I'd give off more carbon dioxide being cremated...