Does democracy hinder progressive governance?

Is Barack Obama as bad as, or even worse than George W. Bush?
This question has been asked by many liberals since the Prism revelations. One way to answer this question is to look at a range of policies (torture, detention without trial, regime change, extra-judicial killings), figure out which is the ‘Left’ position and the ‘Right’ position, and then plot where Bush and Obama belong on the spectrum.