The decline in Obama’s political fortunes, the Great Disappointment, can be attributed to four main factors: the intractable legacy bequeathed by George W. Bush; Republican resistance amounting to sabotage; the unrealistic expectations and inevitable disenchantment of some of the president’s supporters; and, to be sure, the man himself.Let's break that down real quickly: Obama is, thus far, a disappointment because everyone was foolish to think that even he was capable of undoing the damage caused by Bush, particularly while being waylaid at every turn by those dastardly Republicans.
Keller then claims that:
In our political culture if you inherit a problem and don’t fix it, you own it. So at some point it became the popular wisdom that Iraq and Afghanistan were “Obama’s wars,” and that the recession had become “Obama’s economy.” Given the systemic burden Bush left for his successor, that judgment seems to me to be less about fair play than about short memories. But this is what passes for accountability in our system.Let's talk about "short memories." Let's try to recall that in 2006 the Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate. By 2008 and through 2010 the Democrats controlled the House, Senate and Executive office. Leaving these facts by the side of the road hardly seems like fair play. We can also look at the failed policies of the Fed as extensions of Obama's stewardship. Can we really believe that the Republicans have FALSELY changed history such that Bush's failures have been converted into Obama's failures? Of course not. But let's not forget that Keller and his ilk fantasize that government is controlled via levers and pulleys like some kind of locomotive engine. To suggest, as Keller does, that it was Bush's lack of regulatory control that led us into this recession requires one to ignore too many other facts and details. Perhaps we should look at the relationship between this administration and Goldman-Sachs...well, let's not if we want to help Obama, ok? And let's please be clear on this: Obama did not save us from the brink of a depression. At the very best he kicked that can down the road, and America may not be better off for it.
Keller faults Obama mainly for appearing too aloof, and for not being a more experienced President. He faults America for believing too strongly that Obama is a superhero. The implication here is that America needs to recalibrate its expectations and give Obama time to learn how to be President. This is the exact problem we deserved for electing a man who had zero experience. He was a community organizer and half-term senator for crying out loud! Americans aren't crazy for expecting more from him, we were crazy to elect him in the first place...regardless of what he promised.
Bill Keller's article is, I fear, too little too late and too far removed from the truth to be of any real use to anyone. Blame Bush? Why not blame Madison while we are at it? Obama's low poll numbers are not a reflection of Bush - Obama was elected because of Bush, remember? Obama's numbers are abysmal because his policies are misguided. Remember the "budget" he submitted to Congress back in February? The one that got zero votes in the Democrat-controlled Senate? That wasn't Republicans sabotaging him; that was his joke of a budget falling flat on its face. Obamacare? That had to be rammed through in a fashion that left no one happy - it wasn't a refined and polished piece of legislation, and the mechanism for passing it is dubious at best. The voters in Massachusetts elected a Republican to take Ted Kennedy's seat and the reason was opposition to Obamacare. Sorry, Bill Keller, your President made his numbers the old-fashioned way: he has earned them.