I just can’t get past this Salon post’s title: “Obama’s toughest task: Make us believe again.” The utter passivity and refusal to face responsibility is… breathtakingly typical of Salon, really. If I wanted to write an article that screamed to the world I am a liberal Democrat who cannot be trusted to tie my own shoes without a government watchdog program it’d look a lot like this post: you see, according to the author the problem here is apparently we’re just not worthy of The One’s perfect neo-Hegelian vision. Which is admittedly a nicer way to put it than “the President doesn’t know the first thing about how to govern.” Not more accurate, but nicer.
Or perhaps there’s a simpler answer: the author has some intellectual turf to defend. From the article (bolding mine):
In 2008, candidate Barack Obama fashioned an appeal to independent voters and young adults based in large part not on specific policy pledges but on his promise to end the culture of hyper-partisan hyper-bickering that was poisoning the country’s political well.
Implicit in that promise was the assumption that through rational, consensus-building rhetoric and pragmatic policy solutions to America’s serious, and growing, social and economic problems he could reforge broken bonds of trust between the citizenry and its governing institutions. When I set out to write my book, “Inside Obama’s Brain,” shortly after the last presidential election, the many interviews I conducted about how Obama thinks, how he approaches problems, how he views the political process, led me to conclude that this was the single most important part of Obama’s agenda and his credo.
“When I set out to write my book” is what they call a ‘tell:’ it’s shorthand for “I now need to justify my author’s advance.” Which could very well be why Sasha Abramsky is willing to look like passive and irresponsible; it beats admitting that he spent several years wasting his time on an incorrect thesis…