Oh, my: Barack Obama is still more than a month away from assuming the presidency, and already there are reports about "the left" being dispirited about change they no longer believe in.

These fears -- in this case expressed by a rather small number of bloggers and writers -- are aggravated by praise for Obama's transition choices from conservatives who seem relieved that the president-elect is neither Lenin nor Robespierre.

There is nothing new about anxiety among progressives that the candidate they just elected is destined to break their ideological hearts. In his journals, no less a loyalist to John F. Kennedy than the late historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. expressed dismay during the 1960 transition period over Kennedy's apparent attraction to "a collection of rather respectable and conservative names for the Cabinet."

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