Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Truth About President Obama

On Wednesday, President Obama was a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. It was a weird interview, which started fairly jovially and ended with the president looking annoyed at Stewart's line of questioning, with the host calling the president timid in his policies in spite of the promise of audacity which he used as a backdrop for his campaign.

Just over a week earlier, the always fiery David Michael Green had already explained why the president's performance fell so egregiously short of the high expectations progressives had two years ago:
Perhaps a better explanation for the failure of Obama and his ilk to fight hard for the country’s welfare and for progressive values is that he is no progressive at all. I’ve been arguing that for a long time, and he is certainly helping to reaffirm that notion right now by appealing a federal court decision ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, a policy which he claims to oppose. But, in fact, the Obama ideology ship sailed a long time ago. He previously also went to court defending the Defense of Marriage Act. He bailed out Wall Street a hundred pennies on the dollar, and demanded nothing of them in return. He has tripled the US presence in Afghanistan, and is bombing the snot out of Pakistan. He has not closed Guantánamo, and has an even worse record on civil liberties than Bush and Cheney did. His health care bill is a total gift to insurance corporations, and now we’ve just learned from Tom Daschle that the president had never considered the public option at all, having cut a deal with those corporations in advance promising that there would be no such component in the legislation. And so on, and so on. Stupid voters make the erroneous assumption that politicians like Bill Clinton are liberal because they are Democrats, and because the right and the media keep telling them that these guys are liberals. Most of the country has now done the same for Obama, but of course the opposite is true. So maybe the explanation for his failed presidency is simply that he has adopted the same regressive policies that have been killing the country for three decades now.

But, wait! Green has another theory about the president's failure, and it is certainly not out of the realm of possibility that he may be right.

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