Starting in this week’s magazine, I’ll be writing a weekly column chronicling the Obama administration’s first 100 days. What I’m interested in is the mechanics of changes, that is where the various choke-points are in DC that thwart needed reform, and how successful Obama, Democrats, progressives and others are in opening them. (In a similar vein, Sirota’s got a smart column out today about the difference between hope and change.)

My first column, on the inauguration is here. The opening grafs:

Three hours before Barack Hussein Obama took the oath of office to become the nation’s first African-American president, the crowd already looked impossible. Gazing west from the Capitol, you could see them: an incomprehensible mass of peaceful citizens, overwhelming every monument, impediment and security banner that had been put up to contain them. The sight was so arresting that when the senators marched out onto the rostrum, Patrick Leahy and Orrin Hatch stopped to snap photos.

My first thought, as I took in the sight from the press stand, was that I wanted them all to stay.