Which is that everyone who is foamy about Obama, on the right and on the left, is hopelessly and dishonestly obtuse, and that eventually Obama is going to rope-a-dope everyone with his masterful mastery and long-term planning. Oh, Andrew. No hugs for you, my friend.
That said, I think Sullivan isn’t wrong, at least on the point that the right has willfully mischaracterized Obama and his policies at every possible opportunity, and that the left often acts in a pouty, foot-stompy Veruca Salt fashion toward Obama and wants its nut-husking squirrel now without regard to the political reality that Obama’s had to deal with, not the least of which, remember, is a right which has portrayed him unremittingly as a weakling socialist traitor since roughly 12:01pm, January 20, 2009.
I’m not nearly as convinced as Sullivan is that Obama has a long game as such; what I do think Obama has is a pragmatic streak, the ability to be patient, and a willingness to take half a loaf under the idea that getting one half of the loaf makes the second half easier to get later — and if not, you still have half a loaf. In short, he’s intelligently opportunistic, which from the outside looks like a long game, at least to Sullivan. This is not to say that Obama doesn’t have long-term goals — dude does, obviously. I’m just not 100% convinced that he’s working on them in anyway that can be said to be actually systematic. This has as much to do with the political realities Obama works within as anything else.
At this point I don’t expect the right to do anything regarding Obama other than what it does; it’s got all its chips on the “socialist traitor” square and has to ride it until the ball drops. I do wonder when the foamier elements of the left are going to pull their heads out and recognize that the path to a political reality they actually want has to go through Obama, or it’s not going to happen at all. I’m rather more politically aligned with the left in the US than with the right, but the one thing I don’t think the left has shown itself as capable of doing is anything approaching long term-thinking, which is one reason it managed to piss away control of the legislative branch in 2010. I find the American left exasperating, to be blunt about it.
Which is of course my problem, not the left’s; it’s not here on the planet to please me. That said, I do wonder what those on the left irritated with Obama and his failures think is going to happen if Romney gets into office, since what the left sees as Obama’s failures are what the right sees as laudable goals for Romney. If they decide to stay home, I wonder what they think they’re going to gain, and whether they think whatever Democratic candidate they will get after four or eight years of additional Republican rule is going to somehow be to the left of Obama, or, given the track records of the last couple of Republican presidents, will find the country in any less of a jam than Obama has.
In any event, an interesting article from Sullivan; check it out.