It feels like everything and nothing is occurring on the Hill these days.

Democrats in Congress are caving on Iraq, compromising on trade, backtracking on ethics reform and pushing for an immigration bill that nobody likes.

Governing with a razor-thin majority ain’t easy. And Democrats have done a robust and effective job at oversight, as promised. But they still lack either the backbone or the discipline to take real risks and fight the status quo.

It was fascinating to hear Nancy Pelosi hint that she will vote against her own House’s latest Iraq funding bill. Could you imagine Tom DeLay acquiescing like that? Not to suggest that DeLay is a model for governance, but he would’ve pushed to get what he wanted–and only scheduled a vote once he did.

Ditto on immigration. Immigrant rights groups like the bill that passed the Senate last year, under Republican rule, better than the accord struck last week.

Even popular and straightforward measures, like raising the minimum wage, have been stalled for months.

Yesterday House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer released a five-month progress report, trumpeting Democratic successes. It was an odd bit of timing.