In the New York Post, John Podhoretz blames President Obama and voters for dire times in this country that cast a grim light on the birthday festivities. The first seems correct, for a number of reasons. But the electorate has a few things in its favor that look to a happier end.

People voted for Obama for a number of reasons, not all of them bad.

It was not wrong to want a minority president. It was not wrong after eight years to want to change parties: The system is built to swing between center-right and left-center; and parties and movements get worn-out and stale.

It was not wrong to think in the financial crash of September '08 that the Republican Party was unfit to hold power: People who blame Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. and President George W. Bush for their problems should recall that before the crash McCain had been leading, and it was the fractious, bizarre and chaotic response of the Republican Congress, played out in two weeks of cross-factional brawling, that turned the country against all things GOP.

The Berlin speech was inane, but the "One America" speech touched the hearts of good people. The vote may have been a mistaken one (in the view of some people extremely mistaken), but it was not without reasons that might have seemed telling to sane and intelligent men.

Obama won, and it soon became clear he was left, not left-center, and that the "One America" that he wanted was one wholly run by his side. Reaction came fast.

Rick Santelli's rant on Feb. 15 was the Paul Revere's ride of the Internet, and within days tea parties were everywhere, run not by Republicans, who still seemed to be in the fetal position, but by unaligned voters who had given Obama their trust and his victory, and were in the process of taking them back.

Tea Party supporters walked into a fusillade of press opposition, in which they were mocked, ridiculed and harangued by "reporters," compared to the Ku Klux Klan and domestic terrorists, and even maligned by members of Congress, who made up stories about racial slurs. In fact, their rallies were peaceful and largely good-humored (at least much more so than anti-war rallies), and the only (two) occasions of violence were perpetrated on Tea Party members by liberals who were angry at them.

With no funds, no organization (except for the Internet) and no leaders to speak of, they pulled off astonishing feats. They put the fear of God into wavering Democrats, and turned passage of health care from a "slam dunk" into the mother of all Phyrric victories.

They took down Creigh Deeds, D-Va., Gov. Jon Corzine, D-N.J., and Kennedy heiress Martha Coakley, D-Mass., and gave Republicans footholds in very blue precincts. They fought the press to a standstill, and even defeated it: After health care was rammed through with bribes, threats and payoffs, the papers of record ran breathless odes to Obama's colossal accomplishment.

No one was buying, and within days they were forced to print stories about why this achievement was doing him no good at all. In November 2008, Obama won purple and red states and won independents by substantial margins; in November 2009 (and January 2010) he lost purple and blue states as independents had fled. He hasn't been stopped, but he's been checked severely.

This is a sign of the health of the country. The Tea Party worked by the book through the system, exercising its rights of free speech and assembly. The electorate voted. The system is working. Obama is failing. The country is fine.

Examiner Columnist Noemie Emery is contributing editor to the Weekly Standard and author of "Great Expectations: The Troubled Lives of Political Families."