Thursday, October 8, 2009

Our Decreasingly Hilarious Political Situation

John Stewart is a funny guy -- I wish I could share in his willingness to make fun of President Obama's craven betrayal on DADT (video link).

As with the failures in reforming health care, restoring the rule of law, addressing climate change, and too much else, the margin of good feeling for this administration and the Democratic party as a whole is thinning down to zero. I'm all out of benefit-of-doubt grants.


Domestically Challenged said...

What? Dale? Obama love is fading? (big grin) I feel an "I told you so" coming on but I'll bite my tongue a while longer... wait to see what he does in response to the request for 40K more troops first... Oy!

It kills me that he is called too liberal and socialist by the Cons. In my book he is not liberal or socialist enough. He just fooled everybody (except for me , of course) with his "purrrdy tawk". He does not have the power to make the changes so many were hoping to see him make. They placed the world of optimism upon his shoulders and honestly expected he would be the one to change our world. But, how could he? I mean, really, how could he?

Dale said...

DC, thanks. Honestly, the Obama love was never strong -- voting involves making choices between concrete alternatives. Between Obama and Clinton, I favored Obama, mostly for prudential reasons (i.e., she would have energized the far right).

Later, between Obama ? Biden and Warmongering-Dotard / His Retarded Girlfriend, I favored Obama-Biden. Love never entered the picture.

For all the talk of Obama's vagueness, he has abandoned some rather specific pledges. He pledged a more open approach to health care reform. He said he'd toss out DADT. Etc.

Above all, he spoke frequently of the urgency of cutting through the sluggishness of our political process and getting things done that have on the table but held up for ages. Where's the boldness? When was the last time he said or did anything -- anything at all -- that reminded you of "the fierce urgency of now" or all the talk of "hope"?

More often than not, I get the impression of a man who had a crush on the presidency. Or perhaps he's a child who wanted a puppy. Now that he has it and has to 'deal' with it, he's no longer interested.

That's not so unusual -- what's unusual is that his campaign was organized on the theme of countering exactly that kind of dynamic. He was going to be the guy who cut through the crap and the cynicism and restored some sense that giving a shit about politics and voting could have some kind of payoff for everyday people.

No, he didn't promise everyone the moon, but he did claim frequently that he would get some good -- imperfect but good -- things done. Where are they?

Mike said...

Dale, I can't say I had high hopes for Obama. It's just so hard in this political climate to accomplish anything,much less anything major. I just wanted a return to basic competence and reason, and he has pretty much fulfilled that. I think it's also important to remember that his time in power is still measured in months; he has time, and as Andrew Sullivan has noted, he plays for the long term. He's almost guaranteed to disappoint many people, but at least he seems to be an intelligent, reasonable man without irrational biases. It's perhaps a bit sad that the previous administration set the bar so low, but I'm glad Obama has cleared it easily.