Ba-daba-daba Obomba! From John Baer (one of the "other folks," a moderate and not a liberal):
I SUPPOSE HE could have pledged to forego summer vacation on Martha's Vineyard and promise instead to take Michelle and the girls down to the Florida Panhandle.
At least then people might have gotten something out of last night's speech - which I thought was your basic bomb.
He didn't show anger or frustration or offer many specifics.
Instead, President Obama's Oval Office address on the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico raised a bunch of questions and failed to answer the critical ones of who's in charge and when will the crisis end.
I was tasked last night with pulling together some reaction to Obama's speech from the left and from the right that ran in the paper this morning -- and all the real anger and emotion was coming from the left. The sense of betrayal -- that Obama was not the passionate leader that hoped would help save the country from thirty years of continental drift -- was palpable. No more so than from the good people of MSNBC:
Olbermann: "It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days."
Matthews compared Obama to Carter.
Olbermann: "Nothing specific at all was said."
Matthews: "No direction."
Howard Fineman: "He wasn't specific enough."
Olbermann: "I don't think he aimed low, I don't think he aimed at all. It's startling."
They were not outliers -- other liberals on blogs or on Twitter were pretty much the same way. It's totally understandable. In one sense, liberals wanted the same thing that all Americans wanted from Obama last night, and that was passion. Nothing breeds anger more than dashed expectations. Beyond that, liberals want something more controversial, and that is a new energy policy for America that includes more alternative energy and conservation. Obama gets a small amount of credit for talking about that, but it was hardly the dramatic pivot that advocates of a such a policy were hoping for last night.
Look (as Obama is famous for saying), it's just a bad idea for people who care about this country or thir political ideals to put their faith in any one man. That's as true for conservatives and George W. Bush (or Ronald Reagan) as it is for liberals and Barack Obama (or John F. Kennedy). They will always disappoint us -- just some more than others. Liberals should be fighting for the same things today -- social justice, a less militaristic foreign policy, an end to state spying, unnecessary state secrets, indefinite detention, cleaner and more sensible energy policies -- that they were fighting for in 2007
Instead of waiting on the Almighty and All-Powerful Obama to fix everything, why aren't progressives marching on his White House to remind him and Congress and the media and other voters that millions of people want to end the war in Afghanistan and enact a new energy policy and close Gitmo and clean-up Bagram. Because if you don't pressure Obama and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid every day, they're not going to do anything.
Like the way it is now.