Obama blew it. That’s the point of a long piece in today’s NYT by an exasperated academic who has stopped pretending Obama is the second coming of Martin Luther King:
…[King] preached the gospel of nonviolence, but he knew that whether a bully hid behind a club or a poll tax, the only effective response was to face the bully down, and to make the bully show his true and repugnant face in public. In contrast, when faced with the greatest economic crisis, the greatest levels of economic inequality, and the greatest levels of corporate influence on politics since the Depression, Barack Obama stared into the eyes of history and chose to avert his gaze…
The writer examines Obama’s contradictory policy decisions and asks questions even true believers can no longer avoid: What if Obama’s grandiloquence was to disguise an inability to fight when necessary, or even to acknowledge the existence of enemies? More cynically, what if his disastrous insistence on compromise merely reflects the extent to which he had “already been consciously or unconsciously corrupted” by the forces we were hoping he’d combat?
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