A friend asked my opinion on Obama's Presidency to date.
It is a terrible domestic start:
1. He has not done a single thing to advance the cause of the populist base that elected him.
2. He has been snookered over and again by Wall Street in a very embarrassing way. Worse, the financial result is the strengthening of nonproductive financial institutions and a system that abuses poor and middle class people and enhances a culture of entitlement. His revelling in that culture (trips to NY for a play and Martha's Vineyard) is embarrassing.
3. His health care initiative fails to take a fundamental position (to wit, a premise- government provided health care for everyone not currently covered) and the destruction and likelihood that nothing gets done is reminiscent of the failures of Clinton on this very issue (not surprising given that Clintonites are running the show)
4. He has allowed the conservatives to steal the populist initiative; something that will be hard to recover
5. He has allowed his most potent weapon, mybarackobama.com, to atrophy, an inexcusable error.
Obama has had some success- stimulus package, Sotomayor, foreign policy- but the high profile failures and lack of understanding who got him elected and not advancing critical initiatives on their behalf is mind boggling.
I hope he wakes up in time, but I am afraid we misunderstood what he meant by Change. We thought he meant to Change some terrible policies and restore the American Dream. Apparently, HE meant to Change the system to a more cordial bipartisan one...he has tried and the other side only views this as weakness and an opportunity.
Obama's need to be liked is crushing his every initiative.
Hopefully his desire to be like Lincoln will allow him to (eventually) be like Lincoln who floundered before he woke up and steamrollered everything in the path of his initiatives. Unfortunately BO does not have a John Hay- strong young patriotic intellectual - around to urge him to do this.