Its no wonder that many of us are saying "WTH? Why now? You want to jump ship just when we're starting to make some progress?"
To be honest, I've been trying to understand this particular variety of Obama Derangement Syndrome for quite a while now. It doesn't speak well to the potential for what the late Sen. Paul Wellstone called "the democratic wing of the Democratic Party." Politically, that's where I've tended to find my "home" for years now. But I find that I have almost nothing in common with them these days.
The only thing I can make of it is that these folks never contemplated what it means to be on the inside of the political game as opposed to the outside. They got so used to being cynical about government that they don't know what it means to actually govern. So even when we've got someone in a power position on the inside, the cynicism prevails and their only recourse politically is a freefall into libertarianism.
Due to the fact that this is a really big country with lots of divergent views on politics combined with the fact that we still have at least the vestiges of a democratic republic, governing is always going to be about compromise and incremental steps towards change. If someone like Sen. Bernie Sanders could get elected president, much less actually govern when he got there, I suspect he would have given it a go by now. I'll at least give him credit for knowing better.
The other thing these folks seem to have missed is that they never learned the historical lesson about how outside activists have actually accomplished change. President Obama remembers:
Everyone who realizes what those glorious patriots knew on that day -- that change does not come from Washington, but to Washington; that change has always been built on our willingness, We The People, to take on the mantle of citizenship.While they spend their time ranting about what President Obama has/has not done, the real change agents in our past spent their time convincing the people that change was necessary. And eventually the politicians took note. As the saying goes..."when the people lead, the leaders will follow." That's how democracy works.
What I learned a few years ago from Al Giordano is that to be that kind of change agent is inglorious work often done in the trenches rather than in the spotlight. These folks thought President Obama was going to do it all for them. And when that road got difficult and strewn with too many compromises, they started abandoning ship. A moment in the sun (ie, on the Daily Kos recommended list LOL) with their ranting and raging was the alternative course they took.
Sometimes I can despair about what this means for the future of the "democratic wing of the Democratic Party." And then I remember the group President Obama was talking to here.
In addition to what he accomplishes in office to slowly turn this ship of state in a more progressive direction, they will be his legacy.