The rift among progressives about President Obama's performance has been growing for months. The President's defenders share the same short list of excuses for him. He's only been in office so many months. He's never claimed to be ultra-progressive. He can't do everything at once. He inherited big problems.
The items on the list are all true but irrelevant. None of them address the very real concerns that Obama's critics actually have. And many of those critics were enthusiastic Obama supporters during the election.
Worse than this litany of straw men is the tone that Obama's defenders so often use; that of barely patient parents talking to stupid impatient children who don't understand the real world. In his piece defending the President, Bob Cesca wrote "we want this president to be FDR meets Kennedy meets MLK meets LBJ meets Bobby Kennedy meets Rachel Maddow meets Superman."
No, sir. We don't want that impossibility. We are not little children and we know what we want. We want him to be the Barack Obama that we voted for.
The real Obama is muddied by his defenders. They want to pat us on the head and try to tell us that we don't remember Barack Obama at all. He was always pragmatic and not very progressive at all. He was never going to shake things up.
No, you didn't dream it.
He wasn't Hillary Clinton. He was not an establishment Democrat. On most policies, he and Senator Clinton were fairly close throughout the primaries. The difference was that Obama wasn't going to Washington D.C. to play politics the old way. He was against lobbyists and had no interest in politics usual.
There was one big policy difference with Senator Clinton. She was in favor of an Individual Mandate as a solution for health insurance. Senator Obama didn't equivocate on this issue.
The issues of lobbying and health care were connected for Seantor Obama. He was very specific about lobbyists in one particular industry - pharmaceuticals. And he was very clear that negotiating drug prices with them was a bad thing.
Those three short videos show just some of the difference between what we voted for and what we have now. The right often accuses the press of being in the tank for President Obama. It's hard to watch these videos and not wonder why the press hasn't asked him about these 180 degree turns in policy. I don't think it's bias; it's just lazy journalism.
But the Obama voters remember. He has a super majority in Congress and had a mandate from the American people. It's not that he hasn't done anything. It's just that he hasn't done anything more than President Hillary Clinton or any traditional, establishment Democrat would have done.
We expected more. Barack Obama told us to expect more. There's too much at stake to be content with expecting anything less.