Some people are already writing off the Obama Administration. I think that this is too soon. My brother and I go back and forth on this constantly. So arguments that I hear are that he's pushing too fast and that his agenda is too ambitious. From the WaPo: "from the WaPo: Obama has long argued that these initiatives cannot be delayed in the face of the current crisis, despite their budgetary implications and the strain they will put on the legislative process. But he faces a major fight on virtually every one of those proposals, particularly health care and energy.

Already it's doubtful that he can win passage for his ambitious cap-and-trade proposal. Health care talks are progressing but the key will be whether Obama can win support from some of the major business constituencies, thereby neutralizing an important part of the coalition that sank Bill Clinton's health plan. And yes, he also wants to reform Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

On North Korea (and Iran) there seems to be at least two views: 1) a hard line view embodies by Bolton in an AP story today referencing North Korea: John R. Bolton, who was Bush's U.N. ambassador, said Tuesday in an interview: "North Korea is never going to give up its nuclear weapons program voluntarily. Neither is Iran. And the idea you can talk either of them out of their weapons is not only misguided it is dangerous."

"The more time you talk, the more time they have to improve their programs," the former chief of international security at the State Department said.

2) a more optimistic view, as suggested by a former Clintonite:

Another view was taken by Susan Shirk, a professor at the University of California, San Diego. "Let's not overreact," the former Clinton administration State Department official said. "The North Koreans have done this before. It's part of their negotiating strategy.

"It does not mean the end of dialogue and negotiations," she said in an interview. "The North Korea problem is one of the toughest nuts to crack diplomatically. It is too early to say it is hopeless.

I am more sympathetic to the second view. I think we already tried being bellicose and threatening under Bush and we got nowhere with either N.Korea or Iran. As the prof says: these are tough nuts to crack. So why not approach negotiations from another, fresher perspective? There is a risk, to be sure, but I think it's way too early to begin griping about the Administration. I think they realize what they are facing on the domestic and international fronts; the risks are huge, but isn't that what we elect a President to do, to make the big decisions? Believe me, I will be the first to criticize the Administration when they screw up, but I just think it's too early to begin hurling the brickbats--with certain exceptions. The Justice Department's handling of the Bagram appeal is VERY TROUBLING, I thought that it would have followed Boumedienne, which I believe is the correct way to go. If the detainees at Guatanamo have the right to challenge their decisions in Cuba, I don't see how that changes just because they are farther away. I read Boumedienne as suggesting that and I don't know how the Supreme Court can, post-Boumedienne, hold differently. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

What do you think, is 12 weeks too soon or not to begin criticizing the Administration? Has enough time elapsed for Obama to have accomplished anything of substance? Seems to me that there's much sturm und drang over style rather than substance.