I never expected to see commentary like this in the NYT or from Maureen Dowd:
The president who was elected because he was a hot commodity is now a wet blanket.The extraordinary candidate turns out to be the most ordinary of men, frittering away precious time on the links. Unlike L.B.J., who devoured problems as though he were being chased by demons, Obama’s main galvanizing impulse was to get himself elected.Almost everything else — from an all-out push on gun control after the Newtown massacre to going to see firsthand the Hispanic children thronging at the border to using his special status to defuse racial tensions in Ferguson — just seems like too much trouble.The 2004 speech that vaulted Obama into the White House soon after he breezed into town turned out to be wrong. He misdescribed the country he wanted to lead. There is a liberal America and a conservative America. And the red-blue divide has only gotten worse in the last six years.
I suppose as a saving grace for the liberal Dowd, she does ot pin the polarization, any of it (be it political or racial or international) on Obama himself.
The man whose singular qualification was as a uniter turns out to be singularly unequipped to operate in a polarized environment....Why should the president neutralize himself? Why doesn’t he do something bold and thrilling? Get his hands dirty? Stop going to Beverly Hills to raise money and go to St. Louis to raise consciousness? Talk to someone besides Valerie Jarrett?The Constitution was premised on a system full of factions and polarization. If you’re a fastidious pol who deigns to heal and deal only in a holistic, romantic, unified utopia, the Oval Office is the wrong job for you. The sad part is that this is an ugly, confusing and frightening time at home and abroad, and the country needs its president to illuminate and lead, not sink into some petulant expression of his aloofness, where he regards himself as a party of his own and a victim of petty, needy, bickering egomaniacs.
I guess those problems are still the fault of president Bush and the GOP or maybe even Putin. Dowd bemoans Obama's actions and style but ends by simply excusing them as not right for the time. Obama is not complicit in Dowd's calculus. Not only are many of these problems explicitly a result of Obama's actions and inaction, he exacerbates them time and again because of those entrenched personality traits.
However, Dowd will continue to turn on Obama because the tipping point has been reached and because those traits will continue to display themselves as the president's certitude that he always does the right thing allows him to continue to do the things that Dowd regrets.
Plus c'est la meme chose.