Despite running the worst GOP campaign since Bob Dole’s in 1996 —most people don’t remember that Dole even ran —John McCain managed to confound my expectations and crack 45%, by quite a bit, in the popular vote. This should be instructive for anyone who genuinely believes a new day is dawning in America, although no more instructive than the conservative platform Obama has laid out in word and deed during the past year or so.
I’ve been agitating for a McCain victory, although in the end I voted for someone else. What I saw in McCain was a shortcut to hell, which either would or wouldn’t precede a genuinely progressive backlash. What I see in Obama is someone who will screw up insurance reform to the satisfaction of the major financial interests involved; who will bomb as many, but perhaps different, tinted people as McCain would have done; who will adopt without the shadow of a shudder the executive excesses pioneered by Dick Cheney; who will tweak the economy according to the guidance provided by those who buggered it; who will find environmental initiatives that don’t truly initiate much.
What I see in Obama is a GOP comeback in 2012, because he’s not the firebrand who could overcome a trillion-dollar deficit and massed corporate interests —who underwrote his campaign to a much greater extent than most of his supporters acknowledge —standing in the way of a public works program, universal healthcare, major cuts in “defense” spending, economic reforms, tax reforms and the other actual initiatives that would bring some semblance of prosperity and fairness to the country.
What I see in Obama is the actual product that Bush counterfeited: a conservative with empathy, one willing to work, within limits, with liberals, assuming there are some to work with, and assuming that the cloture-proof crackhead Republican minority in the Senate allows any legislation to pass.
What I see in Obama is the most disappointing president since World War II.