For Christ’s sake, people, get a grip!
This is not about us, and about how betrayed we feel because our actual leaders don’t satisfy our fantasies about how we would behave under pressures we don’t feel and constraints we can’t even see. This is about whether we can establish Democrats and progressives as the natural party of government. If Obama’s Presidency works, we win. If his Presidency fails, we lose. We shouldn’t back away from Obama for the same reason the Blue Dogs are going to have to man up and pass health care by one vote in the House: the voters will punish us, and them, terribly for failure.
Conservatives were “betrayed” by Ronald Reagan d0zens of times. Some minded it. The smart ones understood that being “betrayed” by an effective President who shares your instincts and passions is infinitely better than struggling with a President who is on the other side. As a reward, they got lots of movement in the (mostly horrible) direction they liked, and inherited a legacy of dominance, including the Conservative Caucus doing business as the Supreme Court majority. If all Obama does as President is appoint replacements for Scalia and Kennedy, dayyenu*.
Mike’s doubts about whether he can trust Obama reminds me of the scene in The Lion in Winter where Eleanor of Acquitaine says to Henry II that their son Richard Coeur-de-Lion wonders whether Henry’s promises are any good. Henry replies, “There’s no sense asking if the air’s good when there’s nothing left to breathe.” It’s way too late for the luxury of doubts about Obama. He’s the only President we have, and our only play – if we truly care about the things and the people we profess to care about – is to back him up. He’s not like the British PM in Churchill’s favorite rant who can be “pole-axed” if he’s “no good.” If we turn Obama into another Carter, the causes we care about won’t recover from the damage in our lifetimes.
We’re already “all in” on Obama, and gain nothing by folding. All we can do is play out the hand, which starts by calling DiFi and demanding that she Pass. The. Damned. Bill. and finding friends in the states and districts of other waverers and asking them to make the same phone calls to their Senators and Representatives.
* Heb. : “it is sufficient unto us.”