I suspect that most of those on "my side of the aisle" voicing disappointment with the change we can believe in of the 2008 Obama candidacy have mistaken what he meant by change. I suspect that many of them added words identifying pet hopes of their own to the word change, and when President Obama failed to institute change in policies affecting those hopes, they felt let down.
I don't mean to say that their individual hopes and dreams were not worth hoping and dreaming for. I just think that perhaps his vision of change was the very thing that so many disappointed people dislike most about the man.
Because I believe his vision was the very one that he tried over and over and over again to realize. A post-ideological governance. Which is turning out to be more difficult than stopping war, legalizing pot, or single-payer health care.
This was my Facebook status this morning:
I think perhaps we could benefit from a college or even highschool course called POTUS, in which students are presented over the course of the semester with a variety of decisions to make and an even greater variety of possible consequences, both real and political.
I am nowhere near qualified to teach such a course, but if I were I would assign these three readings for this week's homework assignment:
The Obama Memos, The Making of a Post-Partisan Presidency, by Ryan Lizza in the January 30th issue of The New Yorker tops the list.
It paints a picture of a President trying to find a way to realize the promise of his presidency through the maze of legislative roadblocks, political realities, and conflicting advice from those closest to the decision-making process.
He is frustrated, Lizza writes,with the irrational side of Washington, but he also leans on the wisdom of his political advisers when they make a strong case that a good policy is bad politics. The private Obama is close to what many people suspect: a President trying to pass his agenda while remaining popular enough to win reëlection.
Fareed Zakaria's interview with the President covers many of the foreign policy challenges of the past couple of years and those that still confront him.
It is instructive to remember that foreign policy, unlike domestic policy, is much more within the scope of the power of the Presidency, limited primarily by decisions made beyond our borders. The best foreign policy can be overtaken by events, but overall, the foreign policy of this administration has been far more successful than plans for economic recovery here at home.
I do not mean this to be pure political invective, but when there is a Republican party whose stated raison d'etre during the Obama administration is not the welfare of the country as a whole, but the failure of that administration, it is impossible to avoid.
Both Barack Obama and I thought - still think - that there are conservative thinkers out there - Republicans, even - whose ideas are worth considering, who can provide alternative paths to a common goal, whose raison d'etre is the good of the nation. But I don't hear those voices. And when I do, they do not represent the Republican Party as it operates in today's political world.