Buyer's Remorse Among the Seniors

Bookworm has a very good piece up, wherein she wonders at how our president can run the gamut of emotional and intellecutal circuits, from A, as is Apathy, to umm…A, as in Anger.

Health care bill: Apathetic. (Yeah, it passed and, yeah, he made the talk show circuits, but he was a follower, not a leader on this one. The momentum came from the Democratic Congress.)

The Green Revolution in Iran:
Apathetic. (Obama had the opportunity to topple the Iranian government using the power of the Iranian people. Instead, after a prolonged silence, he damned the Iranian people with faint, frightened praise.)

The Gulf Oil Spill: Apathetic. (Notwithstanding his promise to find “some ass to kick” — a phrase that, with repetition, takes on weirdly homoerotic connotations, or is that just me? — Obama has done little. Alternatively, what little he’s done, has been obstructive or unconstitutional, without actually affecting that endless oil flow.)

The Iranian Nuclear Bomb: Apathetic. (Although that’s not quite true: when he’s not being frighteningly quiescent, he’s been working to water down sanctions against them. That goes beyond apathetic and veers into self-destructive, with America, the Middle East and Europe as the “self.”)

The cratering economy: Apathetic. (Obama is making noises about spending yet more of tax payer money to prop up his already disastrous plans, but he’s been remarkably passive about the whole thing, helped, perhaps, by a frightened Congress that is now pretending there is no budget at all.)

The Fort Hood Massacre: Apathetic. (“What Fort Hood massacre? But while we’re here, I’d like to give a shout out….”)

Read it all. You’ll feel no joy as you nod in agreement with this:

Obama will see McChrystal, not regarding how to win a war as to which Obama is commander-in-chief, but to give [General] McChrystal a dressing down because the latter hurt Obama’s witty-bitty fweeings. We don’t have a man in the White House. We have a giant ego, unattached to morals, intelligence, strategic skills or anything else useful.

As CIC, Obama has no choice but to dress-down McChrystal, but her point is still valid. As many noted yesterday:

The President had time to read a Rolling Stone article that made him “angry”, but admits he didn’t have time to read the Arizona Immigration law.

At the end of her piece, Bookworm writes,

My Mom told that that her retirement community which, judging by lapel pins back in November 2008, went 80-90% for Obama, is having buyer’s remorse. They say that they had such high hopes for him, and he’s been such a disappointment. I tell her that we in the conservative community were a large, howling pack of Cassandras, desperately trying to get the truth out there — and we were roundly, and soundly, ignored.

She also told me that the residents were so willing to give him a chance, “hoping he’d grow on the job.”

I had exactly the same conversation yesterday with my 74 year-old MIL and her friends. “Yes, you did tell us,” they all said. “It’s too late, now…he’ll have to grow into the job.”

I have always believed that the Oval Office calls forth from the people within it the strengths and gifts they perhaps do not even know they possess, that the office is its own hothouse, forcing growth. But I don’t see Obama growing, or learning from his mistakes. Bush used to get criticized for being “stubborn” and for being too slow to change gears when something was not working, but Obama was supposed to be a bazillion times better, more reasonable, more intelligent and more commanding than Bush. Yet Obama does not shift, or try new approaches, or let go of ideas he sees the nation rejecting. He just doubles down, like a community organizer who never learned how to think beyond his own agenda, and says “Yes, you will; yes, I can.”

That is not the hallmark of great leadership in a democratic republic. It is, in fact, the opposite of great leadership. And then there are the increasing ironies of recent history.

If Obama is going to grow into the office, I hope he begins, soon; he needs it, and we do, too. No one who loves the country can take any pleasure in watching him flail.

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