There are two pressing reasons that I find Obama's current stasis so worrisome. One is that we're at a dangerous time, given the world economy, and on the right, Obama's election has worsened a 20-year pattern of Republican obstruction and destruction (and it's got an undercurrent of hate and demonization that can't be denied.) At the same time, Obama has an incredible moment to articulate what Democratic leadership stands for: Improving the lives of ordinary Americans, protecting the country from the unbridled, deregulated dangerous corporate excess, and moving boldly on problems, like climate change, that require boldness and leadership. Between the BP oil disaster and the near-collapse of the world economy thanks to the finance industry – both have in common a corporate arrogance that big risks to make big money were worth taking, no matter the impact on the rest of us – Obama has the perfect context for laying out why government matters, and why Democrats run the government best. Instead he's carping about "folks up there" in Washington and complaining that if he'd tried to regulate the oil industry before the spill, people would have said bad things about him. Grow up, Mr. President. (Joan Walsh, “Protecting the Obama brand,” 13 June 2010)
As Obama frustrates more and more of the left, how sure is the Republican leadership that its own people won't develop more love for the man?
As Obama responds to every crisis in a distant, unemotional, unresponsive, withholding manner, how sure are we that the American people won't respond to him PRIMARILY by distinguishing themselves from the disloyal "complainers," and actually increase their attachment to the man, in hopes thereby of receiving more love.
During a time that is proving itself rotten primarily by previous excess, how sure are we that we would actually be comfortable with a president that did all we would ask of him? Maybe his role now is to prompt out those who maintain such hubris for the rest of us to swarm over and dissolve, so we can feel like we're at least beginning to make some amends?
- - - - -
Guests tonight include ...
I think some people here have a chance to be invited to Obama's next basketball game / water fight, and some don't. When the disloyal finally reveal themselves, do those who remain true feel a rush of satisfaction and a sense of election? Maybe at some point our commander-in-chief will encourage you to put a clamp on us, or at least suggest in some way that he might notice your efforts if you were to serve your country in this most appropos of ways? After all, how is he to be expected to get anything done when those now most guilty -- those abandoning him on the left, who should be steadfast behind him after their withering after decades of Republican system-sullying -- suggest to all that what-have-you-done-for-me-lately support, is all the support this president should expect?
- - - - -
He's compromised, just like you
Being a corporate democrat does not mean being the corporations' man: it means being the peoples'. When the first wave of lefties expressed their dismay at Obama's betrayal (over healthcare, where it came to a head), other democrats, including many of those now composing the second wave of lefties to near abandon him, ridiculed their brethren for not realizing the always obvious: that Obama was the man of his previous in-plain-view record, and would always be attendant to corporations' needs / requests and all other in-this-time unavoidable political realities. That is, the label "corporate democrat" proved hardly libel (for Obama, not for the complainers), and rather just another reminder that he was a complex, nimble, realistic man -- the only kind of person who could be counted on to help navigate our way through very compromised times.
Now a second wave is right-ready to reject him, and "corporate democrat" is again used to disparage him, when it will prove once again to remind people that Obama, like you, who hears almost nothing in any medium that doesn't have a catch, who is subject to possible manipulations from beginning of morning to end of day, who grew up knowing it spoiled to expect mommy and daddy to give us what we want, AND WHO FINDS HIM/HERSELF ALMOST COMFORTABLE WITH THIS ENVIRONMENT, is part of the same story-universe as you are, and will ultimately be responsive to your needs for plotting, climax, sacrifice; and is not in the least bit related to people like Hillary Clinton, who you sense could never be sufficiently "tarred" by whatever corporate influence to not seem a 60's hippie who could come close herself to truly do without the cheeseburger, the bathroom smoke, the suspect bit of extra-something on the side.
I'm sure Obama will one day seem very uncompromised -- and we will be shown -- but right now we enjoy how his delays, his watering-downs, his indirectness, is working to make squack those we will soon have not the least bit of tolerance for.