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A liberal finally ends a (political) love affair with Obama

Like the proverbial straw that finally breaks the camel's back, I guess the time has come to end my admiration for President Barack Obama. I guess the end came with his recent broken promise — he has now retreated and agreed to keep Guantanamo open, and commence with the military trials. But, the disillusionment had been building for at least a year.

I quickly add: Sure, I will vote for him in 2012. What other choices do we have? It is absolutely pathetic that we vote for someone because the other candidates are worse. But my support, adoration, and involvement will be far more tepid than the enthusiasm he generated for me — and millions others — in his exciting win in 2008.

And though the Guantanamo decision was the end of the road for my belief — and hope — that "change" actually was going to come to America, it was not a single position or action that caused me to end my support. Rather it was a long series of bad and disappointing decisions that finally created a mosaic of him being "just another president willing to accept the decline of our country as we slide down a slippery slope to an America badly in need of help."

Moreover, there is also the element of duplicity in his actions versus the promises made in 2008. That would not be unusual for politicians; it is done all the time. But this time the fall for me was further, because I actually thought we had something "different" this time. We didn't. Same old same old, I guess.

First sign: the health-care bill
It really started with the health-care bill. In many respects the conservatives are right; it is not a particularly good bill, and it was cobbled together in an atmosphere of compromise. What was really needed was at least the public option — and even better, a single-payer plan. And to even get close to those two elements, we relied on Obama to lead. He sat on the sidelines, coached and commented — but his actions to excite the public (and support for his hard-fighting legislators) were nonexistent.

I had hopes he would get us out of Afghanistan quickly. This war is a travesty. It is depleting us of blood and treasure. It is a mockery of homeland security. It has doubtful international benefits to us. It has virtually no redeeming national value, and now even the majority of Americans want us out. That appears to matter not to Obama, who is just another president under the influence of his generals. We did not need that; McCain would have filled that role even better. We needed someone with guts and independence. No luck there.

He promised "he would walk the picket line" to support unions. This is his time. This is his moment. There is a lot at stake in the Wisconsin union revolt; it goes to the very heart of helping the "have nots" against the powerful "haves." OK, so he is occupied with other issues and is unable to come to Madison. But he is not even there in spirit. He would have a huge inspirational effect on the brave and hardy protesters protecting a valued American liberty: the right for all workers to bargain for better wages and working conditions. No one home there either.

Obama's tax-cut compromise
But perhaps his very worst decision, and one with immense implications, was caving on extending the Bush tax cuts. Getting wealthy Americans to pay their fair share was absolutely essential to the future of America. This was not really a "tax" issue at all. It was one of the terribly skewed distribution of wealth in our country. It could have mitigated the huge advantages the rich enjoy in our economic system.

But it was even more than that. It was getting the resources to improve our crumbling infrastructure that is turning us into a Third World country in terms of roads, bridges, dams, water systems and 21st century transportation. And yes, even education. We are falling behind in all these areas. Cutting them further on the altar of deficit reduction is not going to make for a better country. The revenue side of the equation has to be addressed. Obama opted out.

Internationally, we remain on the wrong side of history. Our support of the Egyptian revolution was weak. We are convoluted by the events in Libya as Gaddafi pounds a ragtag group of rebels from the air. Our policies and relationship with dictators is not much changed from those of previous presidents. Seemingly, it is one of trading the liberty (of others) for the temporary illusion of security, recalling the well known Benjamin Franklin quote: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." No doubt Obama knows this quote; he just forgot about it.

Some progressive strides
Certainly, the president has made some strides in redressing issues that liberals have an interest in: Wall Street and credit card reform; getting some health-care reform, inadequate as it is; and he is apparently making progress on repairing the economy damaged by eight years of the GOP and Bush.

But that is not what liberals really bought into in 2008. We thought we were getting change we could believe in. We believed we had a president with a progressive agenda. We believed he was going to do what he said … and promised. He did not deliver that to us, and we are disappointed.

What we have here folks, is just another politician rushing to the center, compromising his platform and preparing for his next election rather than taking the country in a significant new direction that it demands and deserves.

As in all classic love affairs, breaking up is hard to do (as the song goes). But sorry, Mr. President, it is over. I wish you well. Maybe you will surprise us and even change (they say some men do). Yes, there will be tears, not for me, but for my country. It is time to say "goodbye."

Myles Spicer of Minnetonka has spent his business career as a professional writer and owned several successful ad agencies over the past 45 years.

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Comments (33)

In 2008, a common theme and bumper sticker was, "Bush's Third Term, McCain". The phrase was parroted by many Obama supporters, and some wore it on their car bumpers. Though I still see a lot of Obama bumper stickers, I no longer see that one. It seems, they all got scraped-off.

For better or worse, some of both, we are in Bush's Third Term. Obama delivered the second in a series of large stimulus packages; they both were epic failures, worsening rather than improving economic conditions. Bush's war in Afghanistan got super-sized and continues today. Gitmo is alive and well, with it's military tribunals. The Patriot Act and its warrantless wire taps are still in play. Speaking of privacy, have you passed through an airport in the past six months?

These are some of the same things that were used to vilify President Bush,and to galvanize the Bush hatred.

I haven't decided who will get my vote in 2012, but I know who will not. Looking at transcript of the President's speech last week at Florida's Miami Central High School, I think his campaign has begun.

If Hillary were to break away, to make her own run at the presidency, this spring would be the time.

I, too, am deeply disappointed in President Obama. It is clear to me that he is psychologically unable to be even the LEAST bit confrontational when approaching those who disagree with him.

Not only is he unable to ever say to someone "you're wrong," even when that's absolutely, demonstrably, factually the case, but he can't even edge up to it by saying, "you're misguided," or "what you're suggesting has been proven not to work for the vast majority of Americans."

All he is able to do is play "nice." All he is able to do is try, over and over again, to find a way to compromise with others, even if that means giving up everything he believes in and giving them everything they want.

President Obama, and several of the other Democrats in Washington, seem to have such an abiding and deeply dysfunctional need to "go along to get along," seem to have such a dysfunctional need to trust others, and such an inability to judge when others are worthy of their trust; they are so afraid of invoking enmity in their opponents (while remaining completely unaware of the massive enmity that's lurking just below the surface) that they are incapable of even taking notice of the fact that they are being played for fools in each and every negotiation.

I may very well vote for President Obama in the next election, but, I fully expect that, by the time he leaves office, the right wing will likely have moved the country as much farther in their direction as they did over the Bush years; the center (with the President's cooperation) will have shifted even farther to the right, NOTHING truly progressive will have happened, all because President Obama has a complete inability to say to his opponents, "No, that wrong. I will not do it. I will not support it's being done. I will not stand by and allow it to be done."

At best President Obama will be seen as a caretaker president who warmed the presidential chair and maintained the status quo (or let a fair amount of it slip away, especially the social safety net, while, at the same time, never, ever asking anyone to pay for the government we have (and need).

We agree completely Greg -- that is the basis of my complaint. Early on, in what he attempted in the "spirit of bi-partisanship" he folded to the Republicans, and they rubbed his nose in his weakness. I had hoped we would get a blend of FDR's creative policies, and JFK's charisma; what we got was Carter's timidity and G.W.Bush's policies extended.

This could have been an incredibly exciting moment for America. I know of one woman whose husband died, and she requested contributions be made to the Obama campaign. The country was energized. Even those who do not regualirly vote came out. The stage was set for true change in our country. It did not happen!

Frankly, I had even hoped he would opt to be a one term president who would leave an indelible mark on America with policies and programs that would make significant differences. Instead, we got a politician compromising himself to be re-elected. We've been there, done that, to often.

Thank you, Myles.

I think you have eloquently voiced the sentiments felt by many who see themselves as liberals, moderates, progressives, or just plain independent thinkers. The verdict, in my opinion, is starkly simple. Obama is an embarrassing disappointment!

But to be fair to him, he had been giving us early warning signs of his character ...the bowing to the Bushes, to foreign kings (tyrants), and to political winds even before they have started blowing.

Yes, I voted for him enthusiastically the last time. But I won't this time. I think I will vote for Ralph Nader this time (like I did in 2000). Tell me, is Ralph running?! :)

Very honestly J.J. my vote will still have to be for Obama -- done without much enthusiasm, and definately without the passion we felt for him in '08. A lesson I have learned in life is that sometimes was have to choose between "the least bad choice". Nader cannot win, and to me has problems of temperment; the Republican candidates would make our country worse not better; if the GOP gets control of both houses we will almost have a replication of the 8 Bush years. In the end, by deduction, it comes down to a re-election of Obama.

There is also the faint hope that as a lame duck, he will show some guts and fight; and propose programs that can make a real difference to America.

Further on this topic, and in particular on Nader ... unfortunately, I don't think he'll be running ... but he still has interesting things to say, especially about Obama (source: hotair.com) ....

“He has no fixed principles,” Nader said, of Mr. Obama. “He’s opportunistic — he goes for expedience, like Clinton. Some call him temperamentally conflict-averse. If you want to be harsher, you say he has no principles and he’s opportunistic.”

“He’s a con man,” Nader continued. “I have no use for him.”

“Obama’s position has been that the liberal, progressive wing has nowhere to go, therefore they can’t turn their back on the administration. But a challenge will hold his feet to the fire and signal that we do have somewhere to go,” Nader said.

“I’m not foreclosing the possibility [of running]… There are just other things to do,” he continued. “And it’s time for someone else to continue. I’ve done it so many times. When I go around the country, I’m telling people they need to find somebody.”

JJ; if there is something worthwhile in 2012, my preference would be to see a primary challenge to Obama (my choice is Bernie Sanders). Obviously it is a "gesture" more than a reality; but the value would be to push Obama a bit more left in his promises; and more iportantly to force him to articualte exactly what he promises to do if elected. I think Wisconsin shows there is a constituency out there willing to fight, be heard, and hopefully vote -- and make a real change in the country for the next presidential term.

Myles, you have described my reaction to the Obama presidency perfectly, and a lot more politely than I could have. My last straw was the open contempt for "liberals" expressed by former and current members of Obama's team. They have invited us to stay and be spat upon or leave, and I have chosen the latter. They believe, and you are reinforcing that belief, that we have nowhere else to go. Well, we do. I cannot vote again for Obama, no matter who he is running against, because he has demonstrated that it doesn't really matter. Michelle and Sarah? Bring 'em on.

What Obama and cronies need to know is that people like us will not in fact cave and vote for the "lesser" evil. They need to know they will lose all of us, period. Ralph is not running? Keep an eye on Feingold and the progressive movement he is starting up. We desperately need a progressive labor party, and what is going in Wisconsin may be the kernel that can get it going. Do not underestimate the power of disaffected voters as they realize how badly they have been fooled, even some of the Tea Partyers will eventually see light; after all, they have the feeling that their government has not been working for them, and so do we.

When Dayton began his run for governor by stating straightforwardly, "Tax the Rich", I told those few who would listen, "Don't underestimate the power of that position." Someone nationally will articulate the need to correct the shameful unbalance of power of the 1% over the other 99% of us, and it will have a galvanizing effect.

Donald
Agree with all, except Sarah and Michelle.

Possibly the 2010 election has been misread for a couple of reasons. First the incredible power of the right to "buy" the electoral process with Citizens United. And second, the failure of the left base and a vast majority of "have nots" failing to turn out to vote. But to say our country has swung that far to the (Tea Party) right, is probably incorrect.

When voters are asked specific questiions such as those you note, they almost always respond in ways you suggest (taxing the rich a bit more is the best example).

If indeed Obama has lost his base -- or even just turned them off -- this will make a Democratic win in 2012 much harder, again with the money the right wing has and will invest.

"First the incredible power of the right to "buy" the electoral process with Citizens United".

Myles:

The actual mid-term spending doesn't support this assertion. Again, the Democrats significantly (30%) outspent the Republicans. It is not a case of the Democrats not having the money to get their message out.

An excerpt from a 10/26/2010 NY Times article,

"Democratic candidates have outraised their opponents over all by more than 30 percent in the 109 House races The New York Times has identified as in play. And Democratic candidates have significantly outspent their Republican counterparts over the last few months in those contests, $119 million to $79 million."

Stev
The whole issue of funding -- who, how and how much, is now very murky (dangerously so). Yes, the Dems may have outspent the GOP, but there are huge outside groups who now influence elections even more than the parites themselves. Many reports on this; the one below from Mother Jones, just one example. Forgetting partisanship, it is sad it has come down to this in our democracy.

"But the big story of the 2010 midterms, as Sid Mahanta and I point out today in a new MoJo video, is the massive fundraising and spending clout of shadowy outside groups that, under federal tax rules, don't have to disclose their donors until well after Election Day—if ever. These secretive players, including group's like the Karl Rove-backed Crossroads GPS and the American Future Fund, could spend upwards of $400 million by the time this election is over, cutting attack ads targeting candidates across the country".

The labor unions play no small role in funding campaigns.

There are some telling graphs in this report, all based on data from Federal Election Commission, released February 7, 2011. A lot of money was spent by the unions, and no surprise regarding which party benefited.

Public sector unions spent over $14,000,000 in the midterms alone. Then they sit across the table from those they help to elect, and negotiate a deal for the taxpayers to fund. If those they support lose, negotiations are tougher, like in Wisconsin,

Why is it that liberals never seem to like democratic presidents? They did not like Clinton or Carter when they were in office, though we seem to like both of them more now. Liberals did not like Truman either. Protested and drove LBJ after one term! The image of Kennedy is easier to like, but he had the Bay of Pigs fiasco and cut the top marginal tax rate. What's to like about that?

Put them up on a pedestal, then knock them down. That is a strategy!!

Bill
That is way too simplistic. I liked FDR very much, and always liked Truman (certainly the most honest president in modern times). I admired JFK for his charisma and leadership qualities. LBJ did lots of good things liberal like, but got turned around on the Viet Nam war. Clinton was OK too, and left the country in pretty good shape.

For better or worse, our country has a two party system that invites compromise -- I understand the result of that.

Obama is exceltionally bright and has many qualities liberals can "like"; but my complaint is we did not GET what we bought into (I guess to some extent bait and switch). I thought we were getting a powerful progressive president with a game-changing agenda. We didn't. We got just another president who is moving the country in pretty much the same direction as others before him -- including Bush. You can make a judgement as to whether this is good or bad, right or wrong -- but it is not what we expected...or hoped for. Thus, the disappointment.

Reluctantly, I agree. I now regret not voting for Hillary. Obama has reached out, compromised, done everything except fight back. It seems the right knows they can say and do anything, because Obama's rebuttal, if any, will be tepid.

Obama appears to see himself as a good manager. But a manager is not necessarily a leader. There is a difference.

That said, I will of course vote for him in the general election, if he's the nominee. But if a viable opponent enters the primaries, well..., we'll see.

Obama is an extraordinary value for the American public. He could make millions in income in the private sector. He makes black Americans feel like they have a chance. He does the best possible with what he is given. We are lucky to have him in the job. I like his "Advising the Advisors" initiative.

Remember, the Democratic Congress voted for the bailout against the wishes of the majority of Americans. No bankers went to jail for criminal activities. The bankers own both the Democrats and the Republicans. FDR's reforms, the basis of the middle class, have been removed by both parties. Also, Democrats opposed trying Guantanamo detainees in their districts.

In addition to above examples of Democrats supporting the worst Bush abuses, remember that the Republicans had a stunning victory across the nation in the most recent election.

Democrats,even in Wisconsin, probably did not bother to vote. Why should Obama pay attention to Democrats if they do not care enough to vote. Obama will deal with the power brokers if Democrats no longer vote. Democrats did not vote because Democrats in Congress vote like Republicans.

I believe that the answer to political balance is to require public campaign financing with no private money. Term limits are another good idea.

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Myles, your article was thoughtful and thought provoking and I generally agree with it. I would add a couple observations. First Obama did clearly state during the campaign that he would prosecute the Afghan War. So it is understandable but also unreasonable to be disappointed that he is doing what he said he would do. Too many Democrats missed this then and now. But I believe Democrats are a party not opposed to war but only opposed to Republican wars. Look at our quick and unfortunate endorsement of Ashwin Madia and the lack of a peace plank in the Platform..

Second, my disappointment centers most around his poor negotiation skills. On several occasion he lays out his offer and then negotiates from there rather than negotiating from strength. This is the 'inexperience' that Hillary brought up and that lead me to be luke warm about his candidacy.

Finally I would add to the list of disappointments the inadequacy of Wall Street regulatory reform and not going after the bonuses. I think it was the latter that pushed independents over the edge in 2010.

Having said that I enjoyed his campaign voice in the 2010 election and I enjoyed his state of the union confrontation of the Supreme Court.

We Progressives have to acknowledge that there is a center and there is a conservative tilt to the country. We need to tamp down our expectations. Still, had he been more effective as you describe he may have brought the center with us.

He lied and I fell for it. This is a bigger downer than Clinton!

So why would you vote for Obama in 2012??????

Andrew
Your comments are generally correct and thought-provoking. Yes, he did say he would move the focus from Iraq to Afghanistan, but he ratched up the trrops to a new higher level (shades of LBJ and Viet Nam); and most recently has caved to Gates and the generals in waffling on a time line for withdrawal.

Your comments about having to negotiate with a balky congress are also true -- but he exhibited poor leadership qualities in many of the issues -- health care and the Bush tax cuts most notably.

He has many good qualities. He is certainly bright and has an incredible grasp of the issues and what is happening in our country. That only makes is worse, for me, for reasons unknown he is unwilling to change the direction of these trends. Thus...my disappointment.

Last week while surfing through the mid-range digits on the flatscreen, I re-discovered Representative Dennis Kucinich on C-SPAN. If Vermont's Bernie Sanders is America's Senator, then Ohio's Dennis Kucinich is America's Representative. Would that Mr. Obama have breakfast with them twice a week.

My bumper sticker is more than a year old, so it is already fading:

"Franken/Grayson 2012"

We wouldn't be in this situation if Ralph Nader hadn't run in 2000.
Because of him and those that supported him we got 8 years of George Bush.
It has been proven more then once that this country will not vote for a ultra Liberal President.
So go ahead and stand on your principles
and we'll see what kind of President Michelle Bachman will be.

There were some early signs, such as saying after a first-ever sitdown with Dick Cheney that Mr.Cheney "made some sense." Hence Guantanamo stays open as those neocon "realists" like Cheney wish.

And the assignment of designing and passing a health care bill that would attract Republican votes (as if) was given to Blue Dogs only. Liberals on the Senate committee that did the creating were not allowed to offer amendments to the committee. Obama's old friend from Chicago who had been a strong advocate for universal health care was not allowed access to the president to discuss it, but the insurance and drug companies sure were.

It would seem the fight has to be made in the states. Vermont will very possibly soon pass a universal single-payer health care that will save it a lot of money while leaving no one out. In Minnesota, we can work toward the passage in the next session of John Marty's Minnesota Health Plan, a plan that would do the same for Minnesota.

(Guest speakers on the Minnesota Health Plan in your neighborhood or for association you belong to, anyone? See MUHCC.org.)

As a left-of-center voting independent, I agree completely with the article. I bought the Hope and Change message too, and I too have been bitterly disappointed. It's a shame, but a young candidate who seemed to offer so much has turned out to be: better than Bush, but not as good as Clinton, and not even remotely in the same league as the truly great presidents.

On some of his own major issues, he has failed to lead. He has compromised away core principles. To cope with the financial meltdown, he surrounded himself with the men who caused it, investigated no one and prosecutes no one. He knows we need more revenue and he knows where to get it, but passes, allowing the debt crisis to grow all the faster. He pursues an unpopular and pointless war in Afghanistan when the nation can no longer afford imperial adventures. He inspires us with no great dreams or national goals, and mortally wounds one, the space program, in the name of budget cuts. He disappoints on environmental and climate change issues. He seems content merely to keep the ship from listing as it rides lower and lower in the water, bumping against bottom and taking on water.

I too will almost certainly vote for him in 2012 if only to help avert a worse alternative, but without much enthusiasm. Other than for president, I may have to start voting Green. They have no chance of winning anything, but at least I'll feel like I'm voting for someone with an honest agenda who more or less represents me.

Oh, and to the 2008 Hillary supporters: you were right and I was wrong. She would have made a better president. Perhaps she still can, although she seems to have given up on that.

While I appreciate the sentiments and postions articulated int he article and in the comments my own disappointment is less with President Obama and more with the party structures, the "surge" voters and progresive organizations. In all honesty I was a strong and ardent Clinton supporter and focused my efforts in'08 on local elections because the sting of the loss was great, I believed that Mr. Obama was as Robin Morgan said, "just another slick pol" and I had no desire to add into the extraordinary fervor that did at times seem like his supporters expected the second coming.

I am disappointed with the DNC/Organizing for America neither of which did one lick of organizing after the election-the only communications I got were appeals for contributions. I did not receive one email or call during the healthcare debat, financial reform debate or on any other issue to call my Congressman and Senators. Unbelievable given that the President proposes and the Congress disposes. I believed, wrongly obviously, that the leadership of party structures (DNC/Organizing for America) fully understood the need to keep people activated and supporting/pressuring their senators and congresspeople as needed. It did not happen and still has not-when was the last time you saw or heard from Chairman Kaine? If one was not paying attention, you would think Howard Dean was still Chair of the DNC.

I am disappointed with the "surge" voters who did not bother to show up in the midterms and with young voters who also did not show up. While we had a respectable turnout in Minnesota,it was not anywhere near what should have flowed from the 2008 turnout. Democracy is not a one vote deal and the reality of what confronted this president and the new Congress as they were sworn in simply begged ongoing activist support. I get it that people were already disillusioned and dispirited and this leads me to the progressive organizations.

In my memory and view it took relative nanoseconds before the left (I am proudly apart of this) and progressive began handing out sharp criticism of the President. I was frankly stunned by much of it as it did seem people were not really listening. To paraphrase a piece NY Times columnist Gail Collins put it, this man rarely said the word Democrat in the campaign, said he was going to seek for common ground and where did we think the meeting would take place-left field. Those who expected this were not listening.

I was also quite disappointed that the very same organizations and political pundits who made the case for electing candidate Obama by articulating how far right we had moved in the Bush years, how many policies needed to be undone, how much needed to be changed and how big the blow of the financial meltdown. The only way that the criticism made sense to me is that those offering it either did not believe what they espoused during the campaign and/or the really did believe Mr. Obama was the political version of a second coming.

All of this is to say, before we focus our disappointment on the President I believe we need to each reflect on our own actions and participation. How many calls to have you made to your Senator, your Congressperson, your local and state elected officials. How many rallies, forums, political gatherings did you help organize or attend when the Tea Party was gathering steam and did you not only turnout to vote last November, did you encourage others to do the same.

I will vote for President Obama and I will work to turn out the vote, not for him but for the progressive principles I hold dear and know I must work everyday to assert.

Rosemary
I could not agree with you more! The DNC is essentially non-existent, and that could be fatal in another election, because organizing and funding will be essential. Kaine is incredible inept, and does not have the skills to run a 21st century campaign. He is an old pol with legacy ideas; when what is needed is a high energy leader who understands the communication needs in today's media-driven world.

And yes, we seem to have lost the "surge" that was so evident in the 2008 campaign (witness the results of 2010)

Politics is no longer simply "local" it is national because of the media. This does not bode well for adopting and gettng a progressive agenda

Myles,
Thank you for the response(and for over-looking mis-spellings and syntax errors). I agree that politics is national because of media, but I do believe progressives still have the edge in people, we just need to unite and motivate. Take heart and remember the quote from Margaret Meade, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." The proof of this pudding is what the Tea Party was able to achieve, we just need to find ways to be as outrageous without being as outraging and vicious as they. The other thing I would say is look to all the changes being made everyday in the departments and the bureaucracy-they are many and will make out lives better. perhaps President Obama's grandmother, like mine, admonished him that if he took care of the little things, the big things would take cae of themselves.

I feel impelled to make a commentary on Minnpost.
This article just ran in the Strib, and immediately got 60+ comments. Almost all were conservatives whose sole theme was "I told you so". The comments were essentially inane, ideological, and even abusive.

On the other hand, the comments offered in Minnpost were generally thoughtful (even if not supporting my position) and intelligent.

My compliments to Minnpost and its readers for creating a forum for such discussion -- much needed in our country at this time.

I knew the fix was in by 2007, when the mass media began acting as if Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were the only candidates for the Democratic nomination. If those were the candidates the mass media were pushing, I wasn't going to trust them.

Having taken a minor role in the local Kucinich campaign in 2004, I knew what a real progressive populist looks and sounds like, and I could tell that Obama was no progressive populist. He was just "playing one on TV." He had the tone of voice and gestures right, but if you actually listened to the content of his speeches, you realized that he wasn't saying anything. (This is in contrast to Kucinich, who talked about very specific proposals concerning health care, agriculture, and trade.)

Still, I voted for Obama, and Sarah Palin was the reason. Later, as Obama left us progressives with one disappointment after another, I began to wonder if the seemingly nonsensical choice of Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate wasn't a ploy to force fence sitters to vote for Obama.

My best hope is that the demonstrations in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and other states where the fat cats are waging war on the middle class embolden a challenger from the left for Obama.

Meanwhile, the right-wing media press on with their Big Lie technique of portraying Obama as a "leftist radical," when he is actually doing the bidding of the right wing in the areas of foreign policy and education and has instituted toothless "reforms" of the health care and financial sectors that still let the corporations do most of their dirty work.

Let me say in as sympathetic a voice at possible (maybe raising my pitch at the last word of each sentence?) that I have no sympathy for Mr. Spycer. Politics is not about euphoria, it's a long, hard slog thru the swamp. I also voted for Obama and probably will do so again but I never felt the political euphoria. That once in a lifetime feeling happened to me in 1960-61 -- my excuse is that I was just 7 years old at the time.

Although I also am losing patience with Obama I give him credit for being a canny poker player with a mediocre hand, and perhaps now the Hawaiian in him is trying to surf over the current wave of conservatism instead of being swallowed by it. "BTW" we _are_ at war and Guantanamo is an a inspired choice of location for a POW camp, as long as we are willing to follow international law regarding POWs.

I hope the Obama generation will stay in the fight, even as their romantic guerilla warfare turns into trench warfare.

Kurt
I disagree with your contention "politics is not about euphoria". I CAN be. I have a freind whose brother died during the campaign, and the widow asked that any donations be made to the Obama campaign! That is eupohoria -- or at least powerful committment. I have been involved in politics for 50 years (was the state chairman for Stevenson). Sure it is a hard slog -- but once in my lifetime, I had hoped for something different. Didn't happen.

I do agree with 1960. I vividly remember the day Kennedy was shot (actually I was lunching at the Minnesota Press Club that day). If there was "euphoria" in the Kennedy years it was because there was a sliver of "Camelot" to his adminstration, and I have felt his death was a massive game-changer for us and the world

Because he has not ordered a boot on the ground, the President (CIE) can bomb Libya on a scale that can best be described by the price tag of $100,000,000 per day, he can claim that he has not invaded Libya.

Clearly, this is Bush's third term, but on steroids.