To the sneering disappointment of the puritanical left, Obama has turned out to be pretty much exactly what he said he'd be during his '08 campaign: flawed, exceedingly moderate, a resolute compromiser, overly pragmatic when he should've been a badass, temperate when he should've been white hot and furious, offering concessions when he should be bringing the hammer down.
In short, Obama has failed. He has not at all been the delicious chocolatey superjesus of radical sociopolitical transformation most on the hard left hoped, prayed and sacrificed precious Prius bumper ad space [thought] he would be.
Hence, the conundrum. Given all this mealy disappointment, how now to best rally the troops and get out the vote in 2012 with anything resembling the passion and fervor of 2008, so as to defy any further sickening GOP onslaught? How to champion a guy who has been such a general liberal letdown, even though, when all is said and done, he's been mostly completely remarkable?...
Now, you can argue, as I often still do, that Obama has a sense of the long view like no president in our lifetime. He seems to understand that his true positive impact will be felt cumulatively, over time, way down the road (your kids will love him). He thinks not egomaniacally, not insta-gratifyingly, but historically. This alone makes him one of the most remarkable politicians of any stripe, now or ever.
And this is precisely the problem. As it stands right now, by the inflammatory, Glenn Beck/Charlie Sheen standards of the day, Obama isn't merely annoyingly calm and liberally imperfect, he also just a little bit ... boring...
So while libs can whine all they want about Obama's imperfections and so-called failures, the instant you turn it all around and look at the alternatives, and then hitch them to the current GOP-led House's plans to gut the budget and spew hate on women and gays, the arts and the poor, promote Islamophobia and kowtow to the rich, well, suddenly Obama shines all over again like the gleaming savior we all want him to be.
Suddenly all the complaining turns into nitpicking. Suddenly that vague dissatisfaction is instantly overshadowed by this shuddering, sour tang deep in the gut that just about screams OMFG, thank God Obama's there, how much worse off we'd be without him, how much good he's actually accomplished, how blessed his articulate intelligence, how proud we are every time he travels abroad -- please, please, please don't ever leave and sorry we complained in the first place and oh my God please don't leave.
Yes, it's moral and political relativism, writ large. Who cares? What else could it ever be? So count your presidential blessings, libs, for while they may be tattered and rashy and often pinch and ride up, they are, on the whole, still plentiful and hugely impressive and just shockingly better than any alternative you can name, much less vote for. And you know it.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
"Count your presidential blessings, libs"
Mark Morford has some words for the "professional left" in his column titled The Great Barack Obama Conundrum. You'll need to plant your tongue firmly in your cheek as you read this one.
Posted by Nancy LeTourneau