The right is exploding in indignation. As for the left, Tina Brown’s cover title, Why are Obama’s critics so dumb?, gets it right, even if Andrew Sullivan’s nervous writing on the subject gets it wrong. Anyone believing Pres. Obama would have a presidency any different than has manifested is dumb. However, it’s certainly not because Obama’s long game will outsmart his critics, as Sullivan posits.
It’s because there was nothing in Obama’s past that pointed to decisive progressive or F.D.R. leadership, which has resulted in many of his current critics on the left being disappointed and disillusioned. The media in ’08 never bothered to tell that story, with the very few who did, of which I was an early writer, being vilified for our efforts.
I have chronicled why since 2007, having interviewed and talked to some of the Chi-town crowd who saw Obama rise (in 2007) while following candidate Obama on the trail in early 2008. I outlined it further in my piece, “Not Disappointed in Pres. Obama.”
The Obama supporter in the video shown here is “not disappointed by Pres. Obama.”
I’m not either.
The difference is that I’m not as exhausted as this particular Obama supporter seems to be, because I don’t feel the need to defend him or attempt a pitch on his presidency that comes with no enthusiasm and gives lesser of two evils as the foundation. Watching the video is actually depressing instead of convincing.
I’m also not disappointed to say most of the things Pres. Obama has accomplished most any Democratic president would have also done, which may be part of the reason most die hard Obama fans always end up their arguments talking about the appalling choices on the right.
It’s what has led me to the view from a recovering partisan outlined in “The Party’s Over.”
The exhausted Obama supporter in Newsweek‘s case is the conservative who recently endorsed Ron Paul, Andrew Sullivan, whose rhetorical flailing can’t do anything but remind everyone of his convoluted and corrupt theories of intelligence and race, which is mixed in with his bankrupt C.S.I. ramblings on Sarah Palin paternity, which I chronicle in my book. But who can forget Sullivan’s main case for Pres. Obama in ’08, his face. Fan politics has never been so fully defined.
That Andrew Sullivan is for reforming entitlements, and fiscally conservative, is unlikely to be remembered in his case for Pres. Obama. There are few heartfelt endorsements coming from anywhere, with “Republicans are Worse” the main Obama reelect theme. Torture runs deep on pluses with Sullivan, as it should, and DADT is important, a policy who’s time had come, with activists the prime movers on this one. Sullivan’s certainly not concerned about the erosion of women’s individual freedoms, which exploded when Pres. Obama refused to make the economic case in 2010, handing legislatures across the country over to the right that led to an assault on unions, the middle class and a war on women’s rights. He seems unmoved by the Bush-Cheney neoconservatism in Pres. Obama’s foreign policy, including indefinite detention cloaked in the window dressing of an executive order that is more marketing than substance, because the un-American option remains a choice.
However, the real issue with Sullivan’s case on Barack Obama’s 8-year, long-haul case is that it is inarguably the worst Republican field in modern history. No one doubts Pres. Obama is beatable, but in order to do so you at least have to nominate someone for whom voting is a worthy exercise and viable option that doesn’t make you gag. That someone so unloved, barely respected, even vilified by conservatives, will be the Republican nominee proves that the challenger Pres. Obama will likely face is someone for whom conservatives can barely vote.
Mitt Romney is a one-percenter in an Occupy era who can’t even close with Republicans.
Sure he’s the best candidate among the field, but what does that even mean this year? Better than Rick Perry, who can’t remember three bullet points of his own philosophy? Better than big government conservative Rick Santorum who doesn’t believe in birth control, thinks gays are worse for children than an orphanage, neither stance embraceable by independents, and is a “pro-life” politician who has a blood lust for war? Jon Hunstman, the smartest man in the field— Oh, right. A better choice than the hypocritical Newt Gingrich, an ethics challenged, multi-married opportunistic, tantrum prone priss who would rather take his party down by challenging their core foundation with gas bag rhetoric based on lies to get it done?
Then there is Ron Paul, whom Sullivan endorsed recently. Paul is more anti-war than the once anti-Iraq war market-pitching, regime change, indefinite detention backing “Democratic” president. Paul also wants to take on the drug war, something that hits minorities more than any other policy, and honor civil liberties, which Sullivan conveniently ignores for the very reasons I just stated in the previous paragraph. He simply can’t vote for the Republican rabble. Paul also doesn’t have a path to win, so Obama’s the next best stop for Sullivan, an obvious lesser than other evils voter.
He’s not alone.
So, if Pres. Obama succeeds in beating Mitt Romney, assuming he prevails, is it really due to the President’s long term strategy? No, it’s not. It’s due to voters feeling they have no other choice, because it’s been obvious for some time the American electorate wants one, including Andrew Sullivan.