Three years ago, Barack Obama’s unlikely presidential dream was given wings by rapturous Iowans — young, old and in-between — who saw in the fresh-faced, silky-voiced black senator a chance to leap past the bellicose, rancorous Bush years into a modern, competitive future where we once more had luster in the world.He is completely totally ineffective. The Democrats need to replace him in 2012 or else they are giving the Republicans the US presidency on a silver platter.
“We are choosing hope over fear,” Senator Obama told a delirious crowd of 3,000 here the night he won the Iowa caucuses.
But fear has garroted hope, as America reels from the latest humiliating blows on the economy and in Afghanistan. The politician who came across as a redeemer in 2008 is now in need of redemption himself.
Faced with a country keening for reassurance and reinvention, Obama seems at a loss. Regarding his political skills, he turns out to be the odd case of a pragmatist who can’t learn from his mistakes and adapt.
“We just wish he’d be more of a fighter,” said one influential Democrat with a grimace. Another agreed: “You can’t blame him for everything. I just wish he would come across more forceful at times, but that is not the dude’s style. Detached hurts you when things are sour. You need some of Clinton’s ‘I feel your pain’ compassion.”
The president has been so spectacularly unable to fill the leadership void in Washington that the high-spirited Michele Bachmann feels free to purloin Obama’s old mantra.
“The power behind our campaign is hope and a future,” she chirped to a sparse crowd Monday in Atlantic, Iowa. “That’s all I believe in.” That and making America safe for old-fashioned light bulbs and not those weird curly ones.
Obama has spent a lifetime creating his persona — superior, wise, above all parties and interests, all-seeing, calm, unflappable.
But as Drew Westen, a liberal psychology professor at Emory University wrote in The Times on Sunday, puzzling about what has happened to his former hero’s passion, the president never identifies the villains who cause our epic problems.
It’s unclear, Westen wrote, whether that reflects his aversion to conflict or a fear of offending donors, or both.
Obama’s assumption that you can rise above ascribing villainous motives has caused him to waste huge chunks of his first term seeking bipartisanship from Republicans who were playing him for a dupe. And it has led to Americans regarding the nation’s capital as a place of all villains and no heroes.
Obama campaigned on ending the pointless wars of Bush. But this week 30 US soldiers died in one attack in Afghanistan. Supposedly the US went in to punish al Qaeda in that land for the 3000 Americans killed on 9/11. But here they lose 1% of that total in one muddled mess of a "fight" with the Taliban. A total of 1,650 have died over the last 10 years. That's 50% of the lost lives in 9/11. What kind of "retaliation" is that? The US did a fine job in October 2001 thru Jan 2002. At that point they should have declared victory and gone home with the message of "you mess with us again and we will be back with twice the firepower and will come down twice as hard on you". That's what was needed. Not a 10 year "nation building" exercise for a hopelessly corrupt regime. But Obama came to office and doubled down on Bush's mistakes! Pathetic.