One of the things I find most fascinating about Barack Obama is ability to do extremely difficult things while being criticized (especially from the left) for not doing them better. I didn’t think we’d see a black man elected president in my lifetime, but if you recall, a huge amount of the discussion in August and September wasn’t about the fact the fact that he was ahead of McCain in the polls but about why he wasn’t ahead by more. Likewise, I had thought there was no way anyone was going to beat Hillary, but from May on, the focus was on how he wasn’t winning more decisively — “limping towards victory” was a phrase that I recall. And then he managed to get a good-sized stimulus passed; well, the story was that it wasn’t big enough (I agree that it wasn’t big enough, personally). Now, we’re closer to some kind of health care reform than we’ve ever been before and Obama is portrayed as an ineffectual sell-out.
Is it always like this with Democratic presidents or is it peculiar to Obama? The only one I followed closely was Clinton and it was certainly like this with Clinton (not entirely unjustifiably, in my opinion).
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for pushing for a public option. I think I’m for Obama taking the lead on it too if that will help. But I don’t see the value in the “he’s another Carter”, “Hillary would have been better”, “he’s too distant” stuff.