Got an hour to spare? Watch the full 60 minutes Obama interview:

It’s more worthwhile than the earlier press conference where everyone asks a “big” question with little follow-up.

The thrust of the interview is Obama defending and taking responsibility for previous “emergency” actions and the necessity of health care reform, while also talking serious about wanting to govern from the center and compromise with Republicans moving forward. I expect it’s sincere and will carry over to practice on his part, though nothing is certain.

The very large unknown is what Republicans will actually do once they finish their victory lap and assume power in January. Based on the right’s rhetoric, plenty of people on the left are pessimistic–apocalyptic, even. Nothing’s going to get done, nuclear winter, end of the world, etc.  See these five clips if you need proof (for if you’ve been hiding under a rock or something).

I’ve thought about those and other scenarios (see here for Ross Douthat’s take), and in truth I cannot begin to guess what will happen when Republicans’ extra-super-overheated campaign rhetoric meets the reality of governing. So much is possible, ranging from new kinds of matter-antimatter explosions to lots of productive compromising behind closed doors (while publically posturing and ramming plenty of DOA legislation through the House to keep their base happy, of course).

But no matter what happens–no matter WHAT, come hell or high water–I can offer one prediction: the left is going to become ENRAGED and pissy about Obama’s triangulation. Expect to hear volumes on how he’s aloof, not arguing forcefully or charismatically, betraying progressives, not representing “us” nor using his bully pulpit enough to stand up for the True and Just Liberal Priorities We Elected Him For, etc. etc. To hear them tell it, he’ll be throwing teachers and poor people and puppies under buses left and right.

And we’re going to hear about caving. The leftosphere’s favorite word, caving. Lots and lots of caving. There will be caving with frosting and sprinkles on top.

Update: Behind window number onetwo

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