Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Will Mass. earthquake wake Obama?

Posted By on Wed, Jan 20, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Maybe now Obama will wake up. And break out of his bubble. And do the things he was elected to do. And realize that he was elected as a “change agent” – in fact, as president, the change agent. And that voters don’t consider letting Wall Street and the banks get away with wrecking the economy and abusing the American public as a “change” for the better.

And maybe he’ll wake up to the fact that while he’s been letting the country drift and drift and drift, and bungling the health care reform that was supposedly the centerpiece of his agenda, voters have grown mad as hell, and wounded and scared by the economy. Maybe he’ll wake up to the fact that since he ran as President Change, if he can’t deliver, voters will see him as incompetent at best, or a fraud at worst, and will smack him and his party around. That’s what has happened in three special elections now, including the epic, seismic one yesterday in Massachusetts. When voters are as mad as they are now, party identification and even policy specifics don’t matter.

In 2008, Barack Obama harnessed Americans’ desire for a change of course. He still has three years to go, and other presidents have learned from their early mistakes and moved on – Truman, Nixon, Clinton come to mind – so Obama isn’t dead in the water. But he’s gonna have to move quickly and forcefully for most Americans to think he’s on their side. So far, though, acting quickly and forcefully just aren’t this guy’s style, and that could turn out to be a fatal flaw.

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