Monday, August 31, 2009

Liberal/Left Unhappiness With Obama

Howard Kurtz, WaPo media critic, writes about liberaldom's growing unhappiness with Obama:

"I'm concerned as to whether, in trying to reach out to the middle, he is
selling out his base," says Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page. "I find
myself saying, 'Where's that well-oiled Obama machine we saw last year?' . . .
Maybe he's being a little too cool at this point."

David Corn, a blogger for Politics Daily, says that despite a
reservoir of support for the president, some of his policies "have caused
concern, if not outright anger, among certain liberal commentators and bloggers.
It's been a more conventional White House than many people expected or desired.
. . . He's made compromises that have some people concerned about his adherence
to principle."

Perhaps that's why a recent Frank Rich column in the New York
Times was headlined, "Is Obama Punking Us?"

Rich says by phone that there is "a kind of impatience" with Obama as
his initiatives stall, but that the 24-hour news cycle is producing a rush to
judgment just seven months into the administration. "The big mistake made
in looking at him during the campaign was that he was a wuss or an academic or
professorial and couldn't rise to the occasion, and he did," Rich says. "It's
too early to talk about whether he's strong enough. He's got to be pretty damn
strong to have won the campaign. . . . Of course he's not the messiah. He never
was going to be the messiah."

But the sense of letdown is palpable. Krugman wrote recently that "Mr.
Obama was never going to get everything his supporters wanted. But there's a
point at which realism shades over into weakness, and progressives increasingly
feel that the administration is on the wrong side of that line."

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