Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Politics of Change

Twenty months into the 44th presidentiad (as Walt Whitman would have called it), the American people are torn between rage and despair. The rage is mostly on the part of people who think Obama is a socialist, which is bizarre, considering that his policies are essentially those of an Eisenhower Republican, and that many of those same people who suspect he's a socialist are on public assistance. Make up your minds, people: if you truly believe in the free market, give your unemployment checks back to the Fed.

The despair is that of the people who voted for Obama, and who believed his promises to close Gitmo, end a policy that kicks soldiers with essential skills out of the military, and end the information blackout of the Bush era.

But in spite of all the anti-Obama sentiment on the left and right, his supporters shouldn't feel too glum. According to the New York Times, while most voters despise the Democrats, they hate Republicans even more. In other words, Democrat Congressional losses in the mid-terms might not be as bad as some pundits project, and Obama will probably win a second term.

This is the change Obama--and really all American politicians have brought: we've gone from the wild popularity Reagan and Clinton enjoyed, and the toxic combination of paranoia + adoration of the Fuehrer of the time of Bush the Younger, to a collective sigh of "we could do worse."

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