”But with his deep-seated aversion to conflict and his profound failure to understand bully dynamics — in which conciliation is always the wrong course of action, because bullies perceive it as weakness and just punch harder the next time — he has broken that arc and has likely bent it backward for at least a generation.”
Drew Westen’s searing review of Obama’s progress (or lack thereof) can make even the most staunch liberal raise some questions. He has the eloquence of the professor and the tone of voice reminiscent of a caring father, but beyond that, what he speak of doing fails to pack the punch it promises. I’m not siding with conservatives, and much less the tea party and their vitriolic condemnation, but this column makes a good point in reviewing both the practical and psychological sides of Obama’s administration. He has done a satisfactory amount of work to assuage the impact of the effects of the Bush administration—multiple wars, economic collapse—but in making a lasting name for himself, Obama seems to fall to the ranks of Carter and the like.
It’s hard to see exactly what we’ll need in the short-term and long-term trajectory. People are on one hand asking for both a take-over of the government, and on another hand, wishing for a resurrection of FDR—both sides of which being extreme and having their own issues. Regardless of the cries of the people, do we see enough individual drive and motivation to help pull us out of the Valley of Failure? Obama is a great speaker, but do we see enough of him acting on his words? We’ll have to see how much of the criticism is reflected in the 2012 election, because it’ll either be a make-it or break-it experience for the constituents and candidates alike. But until the Republican party comes up with a comparatively amazing candidate, we may just have to make do. But “making do” does not apply to the administration. We need drastic measures, on both sides of the spectrum, and while they may be uncomfortable and may slash a few votes, our economy and country won’t be able to make it.