I am an Obamabot. I sip Kool Aid all day, listening to recordings of his best speeches, mouthing the words. I recommend all the diaries that show glitzy pictures of his unbelievably cute family. I write diaries that say that he should be given the benefit of the doubt for his first six months because he is inheriting a mess from George W. Bush. I respond negatively to Kossacks that give him grief. I excuse the FISA and other disappointments by suggesting that he has a lot to think about. In short, I am in the tank for him, "Big Time," as Dick Cheney might say.
So now, coming off a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, coming off the congressional recess, emerging in the chaos of a vacuum of leadership, coming off a slight rebound of public showing of support for his policies, this is where I expect him to come up big. This is where I have to draw the line as a big, unwavering supporter of Barack Obama.
No--- seriously. I’m not a Johnny-Come-Lately. I live in Illinois, I worked in state government for several years, and I know what he can do. When he put out a request for funds for his Presidential exploratory committee, I sent in $50 without thinking about it for five seconds. Over the course of the next two years, I attended several rallies, marched through my community, sent in about $500 or so, bought several t-shirts, e-mailed friends, talked my mother down from freak-out, recruited my brother and sister-in-law, wrote diaries, talked to co-workers, canvassed two days (brutal), and had signs on the lawn. I’ve voted in eight Presidential elections, and I have never been half as engaged as I was in 2008.
So if I know Barack Obama, Rahm Emmanuel, and David Axelrod like I think I do, this next week after Labor Day will be a fireworks display of effective communication. The GOP is all freaked out and exhausted and crazy. There’s nowhere left for them to go short of outright threats on the President’s life. The Town Hall Crazies are all shouted out. Glenn Beck knows he has to keep his mouth shut or go back to radio. Has anyone looked at LittleGreenFootballs lately-- when LittleGreenFootballs is the voice of reason in the Republican Party, they are a totally marginalized joke.
Next week. Book it. Obama steps in as the adult in the food fight, and reason prevails. The fence-sitters on the Democratic side get read the riot act, and the whole thing gels into a good (but not perfect) bill.
If that doesn’t happen, then I will have my first major, serious disappointment in my expectations for Barack Obama. Obama doubters will rejoice-- it won't be easy to listen to. But I'll have to acknowledge that he's let us down.