Brad DeLong shares some nuggets from Grunwald's book, including this quotation of Obama: "Look, I get the Keynesian thing. But it's not where the electorate is."
Imagine if President Johnson said "Look, I get the equality of the races thing. But it's not where the electorate is".
Democracy is important, but it doesn't determine scientific results and it is also a process. That means that at the very least you speak clearly to the public on the science - you have an obligation to be honest. It also means that you can persuade the public you think public opinion is wrong. It's not a hard case to make and Americans are intelligent. Finally, democracy doesn't delegitimize your Constitutional authority. The electorate said their piece to Obama in 2008. They said he would do a better job leading the country through the crisis than McCain and Palin. He should take their word for it, and so should Congress, and do what they think is right. Future elections are there to discipline public representatives, but they are not there to turn republican government into a perpetual plebiscite. Man up. And if you're not re-elected but do the right thing that's four years well spent.