Whether you like Obama and his policies or not (and I very much do), it's maddening to see the pace he has taken.
But on almost every issue, health care, bank reform, economic policies, it seems like just as I'm about to give up on him, he'll either say or do something which makes me believe he is actually on course.
The pace he is on may be more in line with legislative reality. We're so used to quick pronouncements, and 24 hour news, that we think, wham, bam, it ought to be done.
Maybe this is a good thing. How many progressive ideas have been touted only to go nowhere? Maybe they went nowhere because the necessary groundwork wasn't laid behind the scenes. Maybe they went nowhere because they were all hot air and a sap to the politics, instead of real change. Maybe they went nowhere because the politicians were more interested in making political points than in compromising for a solution.
It's also interesting to me that by keeping a slow steady course, just like he did in the campaign, it gives his opponents time to do stupid things. The upshot of the angry protests this summer, I believe, was that it gave Obama more, not less, credibility. The upshot of the health insurance industry threatening to raise premiums, was to make the public option more likely. It's almost like he just wears them down by his cool.
Like I said, Obama keeps surprising me by making what appears to be steady progress. At least enough for me to keep faith. He's either a very smart behind the scenes player, or a dull plodder who will never get there. I'm still hoping he's the former.
But most of it; most of the 'change' agenda, still has to be done...
5 days ago