Sunday, January 31, 2010

We need a hero

This Frank Rich op-ed hits on what is driving the disenchantment with Obama.
The historian Alan Brinkley has observed that we will soon enter the fourth decade in which Congress — and therefore government as a whole — has failed to deal with any major national problem, from infrastructure to education. The gridlock isn’t only a function of polarized politics and special interests. There’s also been a gaping leadership deficit. [...]

Americans like Obama far more than they like any Congressional leader. They might even like more of his policies if he spelled them out. But none of that matters if no Democrat fears him enough to do any of his bidding and no Republican believes there’s any price to be paid for always saying no.
Leaving aside the whole question of whether anyone should have expected him to advance a progressive agenda -- and they shouldn't have -- what people did expect was that he would be a strong leader who used his rhetorical gift to inspire the nation to action. I have to admit while I was sure he wouldn't be nearly liberal enough, I had hoped he would be more of a leader than the facilitator he's been so far.

Of course, it's only been a year and his smackdown of the GOPers at their retreat this week did provide a glimmer of hope that he can rise to greatness yet. Keeping my fingers crossed even as our ridiculous political discourse has me cross-eyed with frustration.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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