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December 23rd, 2009 5:56 pm
Liberals Taking Aim at “The One”

Of all the criticism streaming in from the liberal blogosphere, it would be hard to find one as exasperated with President Obama than Emory professor Drew Westen’s recent piece for the Huffington Post. In the midst of a prolonged screed against the man he voted for last November, Westen manages to cogently distill the Left’s frustration with The One:

Like most Americans I talk to, when I see the president on television, I now change the channel the same way I did with Bush. With Bush, I couldn’t stand his speeches because I knew he meant what he said. I knew he was going to follow through with one ignorant, dangerous, or misguided policy after another. With Obama, I can’t stand them because I realize he doesn’t mean what he says — or if he does, he just doesn’t have the fire in his belly to follow through. He can’t seem to muster the passion to fight for any of what he believes in, whatever that is. He’d make a great queen — his ceremonial addresses are magnificent — but he prefers to fly Air Force One at 60,000 feet and “stay above the fray.”

I’ll leave others to analyze the current president’s penchant to be prim when true negotiating grit is needed. And besides the backhanded compliment to Obama’s immediate predecessor, there isn’t much a conservative could add. It’s almost as if liberals are finally realizing what the Right has been saying since he became a serious contender for the White House: the man has no signature achievement other than promoting himself. If comprehensive health care “reform” legislation reaches his desk it won’t be because of his ideas or political capital – a point made well by Westen:

It’s the job of the president to be in the fray. It’s his job to lead us out of it, not to run from it. It’s his job to make the tough decisions and draw lines in the sand. But Obama really doesn’t seem to want to get involved in the contentious decisions. They’re so, you know, contentious. He wants us all to get along. Better to leave the fights to the Democrats in Congress since they’re so good at them. He’s like an amateur boxer who got a coupon for a half day of training with Angelo Dundee after being inspired by the tapes of Mohammed Ali. He got “float like a butterfly” in the morning but never made it to “sting like a bee.”

Then again, perhaps Obama is playing rope-a-dope with his liberal base. As long as he can claim to be the first president to deliver “universal” health care, his legacy will be secure. After all, it’s all about his, right?

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