Anyone who voted twice for Obama and was baffled twice by what followed — there must be millions of us — will feel that this president deserves a kind of criticism he has seldom received. Yet we are held back by an admonitory intuition. His predecessor was worse, and his successor most likely will also be worse.
One of the least controversial things you can say about Barack Obama is that he campaigned better than he has governed. The same might be said about Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, but with Obama the contrast is very marked.
Governing has no relish for him. Yet he works hard at his public statements, and he wishes his words to have a large effect. Even before he ascended to the presidency, Obama enjoyed the admiration of diverse audiences, especially within black communities and the media. The presidency afforded the ideal platform for creating a permanent class of listeners.
via Harper’s Magazine..
I am more disappointed in Barack Obama than in anyone else I ever voted for. His speeches are often eloquent and wise, but his actions have no seeming connection with his words. He is conciliatory toward his American political enemies, and tough with his core supporters.
I read The Audacity of Hope in 2008 and was under no illusion that Obama was a progressive reformer. In that book, he presented himself as one who understood both liberals and conservatives and, by showing his reasonableness, could reconcile the two. This was either hypocrisy or naivete.
What hoped for was that Obama as President could restore the country to normal after the excesses of the George W. Bush administration—a country in which the President respected the Constitution, didn’t start wars and kept his distance from Wall Street. But none of these things happened.
There are three possible explanations of this. One is that the entrenched power of Wall Street and of the covert military-intelligence complex—the so-called deep states—are too powerful to overcome, and that Obama is the best we can hope for. I hate to believe that because it means there is no hope for my country.
Another is that Barack Obama has certain character flaws that make him ineffective. The third, which is what I tend to believe, is that Obama’s intentions are not what his liberal supporters think they are. Although he ran on a platform of hope and change, he is a very effective defender of the status quo.
David Bromwich, writing in the June issue of Harpers magazine, examined the Obama record in terms of his character. The article worth reading, but it is behind a pay wall, so you have to buy the magazine or go to a public library to read it. I subscribe to the magazine, so I can provide the highlights.