The implicit theory of political change here, that pivotal members of congress undermine reform proposals because of “the White House’s refusal to push for real reform” is just wrong. That’s not how things work. The fact of the matter is that Matt Taibbi is more liberal than I am, and I am more liberal than Larry Summers is, but Larry Summers is more liberal than Ben Nelson is. Replacing Summers with me, or with Taibbi, doesn’t change the fact that the only bills that pass the Senate are the bills that Ben Nelson votes for.Applying this logic further south, Calderón may be the one who will be remembered as the president whose reforms didn't go far enough to make much of an impact, but as a practical matter of identifying the root of the problem right now, it's not simply because Calderón didn't push hard enough, as Leo Zuckermann has argued. It's because he doesn't enjoy a legislative majority, and the PRI wasn't interested in a thorough energy reform, or a deep fiscal reform, or what have you.
Of course, that's not universally true; on some reform issues, the blame starts with the PAN.