Paul Krugman gives President Obama another well-deserved thumping on his lack of leadership, when his base, and the country, are crying out for strong, intelligent, and moral leadership in a time of crisis:
In retrospect, the roots of current Democratic despond go all the way back to the way Mr. Obama ran for president. Again and again, he defined America’s problem as one of process, not substance — we were in trouble not because we had been governed by people with the wrong ideas, but because partisan divisions and politics as usual had prevented men and women of good will from coming together to solve our problems. And he promised to transcend those partisan divisions.
This promise of transcendence may have been good general election politics....He could do uplift — but could he fight?
So far the answer has been no.
Krugman complains about his weakness, his lack of fight, his failure to show toughness.
Is that really what Obama's problem is?
It seems to me that what he has is a philosophical - or maybe a psychological - hump to get over. He believes in solving problems in a way that takes everyone's needs into account. He wants to make sure everyone is a winner, no one is a loser.
Part of me wants to cheer on that kind of approach. Who could argue that the world wouldn't be a better place if everyone dealt with the people around them that way?
Maybe, over a long period of time, things might even be able to be bent in that direction.
But in the short run - and the American political system is about very little except the short run - it's all just about winning and losing, baby. If you aren't winning, you're losing.
Obama can't seem to stand to let anyone lose. Even if it's the people who are trying to capture all the wealth and power for themselves at the expense of the middle and working class. Even if it's the bankers. Even if it's the people who are doing their damnedest to make sure he loses instead.
President Obama, some people SHOULD lose. AND IT'S YOUR JOB TO MAKE SURE THEY DO.