Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why Obama disappoints

It seems to be my day for echoing Kevin Drum, who passes along this from M.J. Rosenberg, recording the Obama disenchantment of himself and his friends:
They all supported Obama in the primaries and all celebrated his election. They are all left-of-center.

And they all feel let down by the administration right now. They are still Obama supporters but, unless something changes, he will soon move in to the territory both Clinton and Carter inhabited. He will have our support because he's a Democratic President up against utterly unpatriotic and selfish lunatics, bigots, and troglodytes. It will be simply be the "consider the alternative" kind of support.

We had hoped for much more. We wanted to feel what our grandparents and great-grandparents felt for FDR — that he was out there battling for working people, the unemployed, and, frankly, an America strikingly different than the one they were living in....I want FDR style politics and TR style rhetoric ("the bully pulpit"). Right now, I don't see it. Neither does columnist Herbert. And, yes, I recognize the constraints. But Presidents have to transcend them, or at least be seen as fighting like hell. I don't see that happening.
Sounds correct to me. Take my pet issue, torture. We were supposed to think Obama was foregoing prosecutions, or even investigations, because they would interfere with his program. But what is his program? What does he stand for?

Obama wants to be *for* without being *against* anyone, at least anyone American. That may be a fatal mistake. I don't need to hear about GOP obstructionism and craziness from blogs. I need to hear about it from the President.


  1. He's broached the subject on a few occasions, but I agree that I want a bit more backbone and vehemence. I also want torture abolished and Gitmo shut down. I don't really think that's too much to ask for, but the author you cite is correct: my anger isn't going to make me suddenly vote Republican (or Tea Party, for that matter).

  2. A man that doesn't stand for something, will fall for anything. Quaint. Simple. True.

    Disappointed, yes, I am.


  3. I'm just worried about Obama's lukewarm liberalism facing some presentable wingnut in 2012. The electoral college is weighted towards large empty red states.