Mr. Obama and his top aides have in recent days launched a rhetorical
assault against their own supporters, telling them to “buck up” and
“stop whining” in advance of the election on Nov. 2. In interviews,
they have expressed anger about the lack of enthusiasm for what the
Obama administration has accomplished. NYT, 28 Sep 2010
Sure, I’ll vote for his party again. How could I do anything else? I’ve never considered sitting it out—-that’s the kind of purist suicide that has helped to bring forth some of the true monsters of history.
I don’t have a beef with his domestic agenda. I’m impressed by some of his accomplishments, especially on health care, which represents a useful set of new boundary conditions for further improvement. In some areas like financial regulation, I’m surprised he’s done so little, given the circumstances both fiduciary and political. After all, there are a lot of guys at Goldman and the other large investment banks who should be doing time for criminal fraud in the mortgage resellers market—-a call even a lot of investors would approve, not to mention Joseph and Josephine Retirement Fund down on main street, the Independents who put Obama into the presidency.
The one big issue that carried Obama into office is the one that he hasn’t delivered on—-the war. This is where the real passion of progressive ire is coming from. Drawing down in Iraq to 50,000 hostages to fortune is not a brilliant result to be sure. But ramping up in Afghanistan is nothing more than the perpetuation of war crimes committed throughout the preceding Bush administrations. The invasion of Afghanistan was always a dubious proposition in terms of ‘wars of right’. On a far more pragmatic plane, it has done nothing to make us safer. The militarization of our response to the 9/11 attack has been an unmitigated disaster in almost every dimension. What we needed (and lacked in the run-up so glaringly) was and is better intelligence and better police work. What we got is GWOT.
People my age, even some who felt differently at the time, have had enough of this militaristic self-immolation. We still remember with deep distress and enduring outrage the johnsons who couldn’t help but insert us and the dicks who couldn’t pull us out. The issue transcends Republican and Democrat. Nothing brands Obama more completely as not about change than his persistence in this reflexive war. It has poisoned our relationships with our allies and others around the world, inflamed our domestic discourse to the point of insanity, and emboldened all sorts of little domestic Hitlerites who in a country more faithful to is founders would be laughed out of the media and out of our faces. I never expected Obama to blaze any kind of trail into Leftwing Glory. But I guess it was too much to expect him to have the common sense to just stop all the killing. If anyone came into office with the opportunity to change our utterly ineffective efforts to protect our “homeland” (hard not to feel a hearty ‘heil’ coming on when I hear this phrase even now) it was Barack Obama. Yet he has done nothing to make us safer.
I’ll vote for him—-but without any diminishment of my feeling that we’re headed down a slippery police state slope which will make him—-and us—-look like a modern US version of the Weimar republic.