for the past couple of days, obama sounds like he did when we voted for him. since he got in, he has seemed more interested in making nice with republicans who clearly didn't care what he did. the man is bloody brilliant--it took him a year and a half to figure out what any bright ten year old could have told him? finally, finally! he is addressing that! but why spend the first half of his term making useless compromises that doomed him to inefficiency? his own politics are way too "moderate" for my tastes, but they are something, and it's that something that caused many of us to vote for him. does it take a huge downturn in the popularity of his party to de-wimp him? does it take a looney pastor threatening to burn the koran to make him see the terrifying upsurge of bigotry against muslims?
people who want conservatives in office will vote republican; people who want liberals want real liberals to vote for. hell, at this point in our history, even leftists want real liberals to vote for. it was true with clinton, and it's even truer now. and the haters--the birthers, the bigots on all levels--will keep making up inane stories about him, because that's what they do. he's a secret muslim, and therefore a terrorist, since islam isn't a real religion; only christianity is a real religion. he's also a socialist--thus possibly the one radical islamacist socialist in the world. he is raising the taxes of small business owners, and pretty much everyone else. facts are irrelevant.
it was so weird watching his speech about the supposed end of the iraqi war. his affect was the worst i've ever seen it. it was the first time i've noticed him reading from a teleprompter; he was lifeless, like a kid whose lit teacher is forcing him to read out loud from beowulf. i couldn't beleive the energy of his speech for the democratic candidates earlier this week, the intensity of his defense of islam.
is it too late? the rise of the nutso far right makes it more important than ever to keep the country in Democratic hands. we can't hope for even intelligent right wingers any more; they're getting driven out of their own party.
maybe his return to the old, vital, risk-taking obama will fire up the democrats running in november. they need fire; they need to convince the disaffected liberals that they're worth bothering to vote for.
the Great Hero of 2008 is gone, but that was bound to happen. honeymoons don't last. maybe, just maybe, this echo of the candidate who made us hope can evoke some of that emotion again, even if only an older-but-wiser version.
is this too pollyana? maybe. but i never thought he'd get in to begin with. on that november night, while i was watching msnbc's election report, i had almost just shrugged and gone to bed: i didn't need the bad news right away. and then they said it. obama had won. i refused to get excited; it was clear that he hadn't--olberman and maddow were indulging in wishful thinking. i had to go through every channel twice before i beleived it. america had elected a black president. a liberal black president.
so maybe a little hope isn't a bad thing, even at this stage. for now anyway, i'm holding on to it. i hope our president does too.