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I see Obama in the middle of a lake.  He has spent his life pulling left and right together to make a raft on which he could stand to mount his career and his campaigns.  But, that raft will not stay together any longer.  The two halves are drifting back towards their respective shores and no amount of compromise can hold them together.  Obama cannot stay afloat by holding onto both.  He will drown.  He has to make a choice here and we KNOW what choice he needs to make.  The 2008 election was about the rejection of right-wing policies, not the continuation of them.  His trying to keep a foot on both sides served him well while attaining power -- now that he has that power, it will destine him to failure.

The good news is that it's not too late.  The bad news is that it's getting later every day.....

It's become more clear to me lately that he has spent his life being a master of compromise, that he has walked into situations where he has been able to unite people more powerful than him, that he has appeared an upstart but at the end of the day has been a compromiser and a person who saw similarities where others had been seeing differences. It has been a winning combination, to an unprecedented level.  People expected something radical from him, and when they instead heard words of moderation, compromise, and compassion spoken with unprecedented eloquence, they were smitten.  I was smitten, even though I knew his beliefs were to the right of mine.

But, the game has changed.  Drastically. He is no longer climbing the ladder.  There are no higher-ups to placate or unite.  There are no groups to bring together for compromise.  No.  IT IS TIME FOR OTHERS TO DO THE COMPROMISING.  It is time to LEAD, boldly, and let others follow.  There is no higher rung on the ladder.  It's time for Obama to realize he is in a position where the middle ground no longer serves him.  He used it to get where he is.  He cannot use it any longer.

I know there are those who say he has made major progress in certain areas and unreasonable expectations only hurt whatever progress could be made.  I disagree.  We are at a crisis point in the OVERALL nature of his presidency and the direction of the country.  You can point out successes and failures all day.  The point is that the successes have simply not been enough to shape the direction and mood of the country.  His bipartisan approach has failed in the big picture and it must be rejected.

We know where the country was in November, 2008.  We know that "change we can believe in" meant a rejection of the far-right policies of the Bush Administration.  Even the voters who just elected Brown in MA espoused positions about the economy and healthcare that had little to do with Brown's actual positions or intentions.  That election was not a confirmation of Republican beliefs but a cry for Obama to LEAD the change he claimed was coming..........

It is time for a new skill set, a new group of advisors, a new outlook that will save this administration and this country from it's continuing shift towards corporatocracy.  Obama is smart enough to know this.  The question is whether or not he will dig into a new core of strength, a new vein of resolve, that goes deeper than ever before.  The question is whether he will reject what has served him as a campaigner and embrace a new way of being for the new position in which he finds himself, one beyond all campaigns.   I hope, for our country's sake, that he will find the president within him......  

Originally posted to waydownsouth on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 08:45 AM PST.

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