Monday, December 21, 2009

[AMoMaI] Disappointed with Obama?

BA et al.:

Disappointed with Obama? Certainly not! He's been exactly what I said he would be, only less effective at it. His definition of "bipartisan" is - as I stated long, long ago - "Republicans should join us in what we're trying to do, or they should get out of the way and let us steamroll them." I must say, though, I didn't know he'd have as little stomach for the steamrolling as he turns out to have had.

In 1991 I looked closely at Bill Clinton to see if he would be a viable centrist candidate alternative to George H. W. Bush. Suffice it to say that I did not look long before I was determined to do all I could to keep him out of the White House. I would have rather said, "I was wrong" than feel vindicated after two terms, but he was exactly the President I thought he would be only worse.

In 2006 I looked closely at Obama to see if he would be a viable centrist candidate alternative to what the GOP might put up. I read his first book and loved it. I started to read his second book and hated it. It's not the Audacity of's just Audacity, and his administration has reflected it. Not merely such wasted opportunity to move forward, we have moved backward in our politics and in our safety in the world. I think if I were invited to the White House for another Beer Summit (c'mon, are we serious?!), I would enjoy greatly dialoging with the President and First Lady. I think my kids would enjoy playing with their kids. I am so proud of our country for breaking the color barrier in the White House (though this is NOT the same thing as race not being an issue in the election, with so many more people voting FOR Obama because of his race than voted AGAINST him because of his race, neither one being a legitimate reason to cast a vote). And I do not toss out the same "He's not MY President" stuff that so many Bush-haters spewed about GWB. Obama is my President; I just didn't vote for him, and I wish he had not won. He's done some good things, but more often than not I range from displeased to really upset in response to his rule. It is not simply that he is pursuing an agenda that drives me nuts - granted, I know it's one that you guys like muchly - but he is doing it so poorly and messing up so many things domestically and internationally in the process.

I think Brian's Jimmy Carter allusion may be a good one. Obama apologists blamed Obama's early missteps on "the right wing" who wanted nothing but for him to fail. At this point, still so early in his term, it's tough even for the apologists to defend him. The key to it all for me remains what has bothered me for so long: He is air, "sizzle without the steak" as David Gurgen wrote nearly two decades ago in the NYT magazine about White House communications, empty rhetoric that more and more people are coming to realize they cannot believe because there is nothing behind the speech but the speech. As BA's piece says, as soon as controversy arises he makes like Dennis Miller on SNL's Weekend Update and says, "IIIIIIIIIIAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMOUTTAHERE!!!" But that's how it's been since campaign days. Friends with everyone without discretion, and shame on someone for impugning the integrity of his friends, until a friend gets inconvenient and then he gets thrown under the bus. Even Grandma got thrown under the bus.

Forgive the rant...haven't had much opportunity to do so. Thanks, BA, for the invitation. Now, have at it, guys!

Merry Christmas to all. May it be a blessed holiday for your families, and as Tiny Tim said, "Tip-toe..." No, wait, wrong one. "God bless us, everyone."


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