Eight months into it, it now seems pretty clear that the Obama administration is finished.
Since I never assumed he would be a progressive once elected, any bitterness that I feel is not rooted in his failure to become the new FDR. However, I am irate that, in domain after domain, President Obama has become the personification of the very Bush administration policies that Candidate Obama so roundly criticized. And I feel deep hostility toward him about the betrayal of legions of voters - especially the young - who believed his message of hope and thought they were getting a president on their side, not Wall Street's.
More on that in another column. Right now, the question is what comes next? The Obama presidency is probably already toast, though of course anything can happen in three or seven years. But he is on a crash course for a major clock cleaning and, what's worse, he doesn't seem to have it remotely within him to seize history by the horns and steer that bull in his preferred direction. Indeed, near as I can tell, he doesn't even have a preferred direction.
What all this suggests to me is that Obama and his party will manage by 2012 to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and return the GOP - and probably an even nastier version of it than the Bush-Cheney junta, at that - to power. It suggests that the Democrats, who were riding high six months ago over an all but destroyed Republican Party, will be switching places with them within three years time, if not sooner. And all because of their own cowardice, corruption and ineptitude. This outcome is hardly inevitable, but it is fast approaching. Looking out over the horizon, I see five key factors most likely to effect the health and longevity of the Obama administration, and not one of them looks positive.
I too believe that Obama has already failed. Though let me be the first to say that I would love to be wrong. Perhaps by committing these words to LJ, I can taunt fate into making a fool of me. And Obama will suddenly and miraculously actually bring the troops home, close Gitmo and outlaw rendition, end unconstitutional wiretapping, and oh yeah maybe do something about universal healthcare?
Sure. Sure that'll happen.