I can’t keep up with the progressive (and I mean that in two senses of the word) disappointments over Obama. (See this NYT editorial.) Clinton supporters understood that she is a politician, and we knew her positions. But a lot of progressives thought that Obama was different, that he was above partisan politics, that he shared their views.
Some thought the same of Bill Clinton before he was elected president, and they ended up feeling angry and betrayed by some of his policies and actions. This colored some people’s reaction to Hillary’s race for the nomination. Now the cycle is repeating itself with Obama.
I wish we could break free from the media game of building up people and then tearing them down. I don’t mean that we shouldn’t discuss Obama’s faults, or problems with his policies. I mean that people shouldn’t have turned him into the next American idol because that guaranteed disappointment would follow.
At first, I was tempted to disavow my support for Obama and tear the bumper sticker off my car. Truly, this is more than merely disappointing — it’s a betrayal of progressive values that, in a very real way, propelled Obama to the nomination in the first place. It’s also a reminder why I supported, and voted in the primary for, John Edwards at the outset. After all, how many votes does Obama gain by flip-flopping on FISA? On balance, I think he risks losing far more by reversing course than he does by sticking to his original position — anyone who would refuse to vote for him for opposing FISA isn’t going to vote for him now that he supports it anyway; i.e., it’s not a deal-maker, but it easily could be a deal-breaker.
And yet, I have difficulty completely abandoning the Obama camp, at least just for this one transgression. Yes, it’s a significant one, and it bodes extremely poorly for the future. Will a President Obama be as malleable, as willing to defer to the anti-American “conservative” elements of government, who deplore and dismantle the rule of law at every turn? I fear the answer to that question now. But I’m forced to admit that the only realistic alternative to Barack Obama is a dysfunctional enemy of truth and law with a hair-trigger temper and a propensity to crash and burn, whether it’s planes or campaigns — Huggy Bear, of course.
I can’t do it. I can’t give up on Obama, not now. But, as one Greenwald commenter noted, it’s only because of LOTE: Lesser Of Two Evils.
I fucking hate American electoral politics and the shitty choices we’re given.
So it was a shitty week. It’s the general. Crunch time. And not for nothing but as to Obama on abortion, John Cole lays it out pretty well right here:
Let me break it down for you. This election is not going to move the high court to the left. Period. The next justices to retire are the “liberal” wing of the court, and even if Obama is able to clone and then nominate zombie William Kunstler twice, the basic make-up of the court will not change. It will still be 4-4 with Kennedy in the middle. And that is the very best Democrats can hope for in the first Obama term. The absolute best.