Two years ago on this date Dredd Blog posted a piece concerning whether or not I was being fair to President Obama, who I took up for in the first year of his presidency.
In that post, repeated verbatim below, I indicated that I had not been as critical as some others:
Oh to the contrary, I have held my tongue compared to others who voted for him.
Take for example the University Professor, Psychologist and Neuroscientist:
What's costing the president and courting danger for Democrats in 2010 isn't a question of left or right, because the president has accomplished the remarkable feat of both demoralizing the base and completely turning off voters in the center. If this were an ideological issue, that would not be the case. He would be holding either the middle or the left, not losing both.(Huffington Post, emphasis added). Ouch! That rant goes on and on.
What's costing the president are three things: a laissez faire style of leadership that appears weak and removed to everyday Americans, a failure to articulate and defend any coherent ideological position on virtually anything, and a widespread perception that he cares more about special interests like bank, credit card, oil and coal, and health and pharmaceutical companies than he does about the people they are shafting.
The problem is not that his record is being distorted. It's that all three have more than a grain of truth. And I say this not as one of those pesky "leftists." I say this as someone who has spent much of the last three years studying what moves voters in the middle, the Undecideds who will hear whichever side speaks to them with moral clarity.
Consider the president's leadership style, which has now become clear: deliver a moving speech, move on, and when push comes to shove, leave it to others to decide what to do if there's a conflict, because if there's a conflict, he doesn't want to be anywhere near it.
See, I have only criticized the administration in the hope that his advisers would wake up to the reality I reminded them of time and time again.
They seem to think they can ramrod their notions down the voters ballot box, a notion that will be tested like it was in the last election when the people rejected that approach.
My criticism of the administration has been exclusively to criticize them for continuing what the people rejected in the election.
For an apologetic in support of all the administration's deeds, and a pro-con comment session afterwards, see this post.