Back in 2009 during the first year of the Obama Administration, I argued that the existing Constitution – not the original meaning of the Constitution, but the one that is actually enforced – places significant checks on fundamental institutional change, such as that adopted during the New Deal and the Great Society. The most significant check was the midterm elections following a presidential election. There was a limited amount that most administrations could accomplish in two years and, if the country opposed their changes, the midterms would put an end to it. The changes accomplished in those two years were unlikely to constitute fundamental institutional change. Both the New Deal and the Great Society had more than a two year period before midterm elections (in 1936 and 1966) largely stopped their radical change .
The 2010 midterm elections ended the ability of the Obama Administration to pass fundamental institutional change. In part due to the unpopularity of Obamacare, the Republicans picked up 63 votes in those elections, took the House, and prevented the Obama Administration from passing any more fundamental changes through legislation.