Good thing we found out in the very first year of Obama's presidency that he isn't going to (can't/won't/doesn't want to) fulfill his promises. In fact, it looks like he not only won't fulfill them, he's going to do the opposite of almost everything he said.
Now we can all stay home on election day in 2010, and let the Republicans win some more seats. And yes, that's a good thing. Seriously. This isn't snark.
First, consider the alternative. If McCain were president, and Sara Palin vice president, we'd really be screwed. Obama doing a bad job is still better than McCain on his best day.
So, we're lucky to have Obama in the White House. I still believe that.
But he's letting us down and isn't going to keep his promises. Obviously. I mean, let's face it.
A) Reform the health care industry so it helps the poor and middle class?
Nope, reform it so it increases the profits of the for-profit insurance companies and hurts the middle class. (Is there any other way to interpret the one-two punch of the plan: (1) Everyone must buy insurance from for-profit companies, because there won't be any other type of insuror. (2) Current good health-insurance plans negotiated by unions for workers will be heavily taxed. One-two, boom.)
B) Close Guantanamo?
Nope, leave it open indefinitely.
C) Pull our troops out of Iraq?
Nope, they're still there, and will be for months and years to come.
D) End the dumb wars that are killing our troops and our economy?
Nope, ramp up Afghanistan, with no clear end or goal.
E) Restore responsibility to government?
Nope, refuse to prosecute the Bush administration villains who lied us into war, took away our rights, and OK'd torture in our name.
F) Restore openness to government?
Nope, shut down the release of Abu Ghraib photos and information, negotiate with Big Pharma in secret, work behind the scenes to remove anything progressive from healthcare reform.
G) Stop the abuses of Wall Street, the banks, and insurance companies?
Nope, instead shovel mountains of cash at them, with no effective oversight allowed, or even suggested.
So in 2010, the crowds of us who enthusiastically worked to elect Obama will stay home, and the Republicans will win several more seats in Congress. Maybe the House and Senate will be split 50-50. Maybe the Republicans will even take over the majorities.
But so what? That's a good thing. Nothing will get done. Nothing at all. And no one will even expect it to.
Joe Lieberman won't have any real power, because he won't be the 60th vote. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid won't even be able to get anything out of committee. And if the Republicans manage to get something through Congress, Obama will still be in the White House, vetoing at least the craziest ideas. I hope.
Gridlock will be good, because it means that Obama and Rahm Emanuel won't be able to get their crazy ideas through, either. They won't be able to hurt the middle class any more, while telling us they're helping. They won't get our hopes up that this time, a change is gonna come. And we won't have to be disappointed any more. That's worth something.
Obama can have a non-productive, caretaker presidency filled with beautiful photo opportunities of his beautiful family. Occasionally he can veto some nonsense inspired by Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck, and pushed through Congress by the GOP. And the status quo will stay in place.
In 2012, Obama will probably be re-elected, because the Republicans will run some nut like Sara Palin. Or maybe the Tea Party will run its own candidate, splitting the conservative vote. And Obama will squeak by.
No matter what, he'll go down in history as an important figure, "our first black president." That's really important and impressive. Glad I got to see it. I cried on election day, and I cried again on inauguration day. It was beautiful. So he's got that going for him...
The silver lining is that the gridlock will stop him from putting his most terrible ideas into action. He's not going to keep his promises. He's going to try to do the opposite. But if there is gridlock, nothing will get done. So at least it won't get worse, I guess.