A few months ago I wrote about how I really really want the president of the United States to be someone who is the national leader of the country and not just a party chairman. I feel the need to point this out again in the middle of some of the typical blogosphere whining over Sen. Obama's appearance Sunday on Fox News.
There are certain things I demand out of a Democratic candidate, but I don't labor under the pretense that the person is going to check, check, check down the line for the progressive movement. Do I want them to sound like a Republican and echo conservative phrasing? No. But to act as if a deviation from the line will cause the universe to collapse on itself? Come on.
In the case of Sen. Obama I say again: I don't want a cheerleader for the Democratic party. I want an adult to set this country back on the path of righteousness.
This comment from Matt Stoller's comment thread does a good job of summing things up:
The job of a candidate for US President is to put together a winning coalition, not to pamper the tender egos or play into the macho fantasies of his/her supporters.
If you are this disappointed by Obama the candidate, you will weep bitterly as Obama the President tacks and weaves just like FDR did and as every politician has to. The question is balance and total direction. What you people have failed to understand is that the problem with Bill Clinton was not that he was expedient, but that his goals were limited to his own personal political success.
Most of us who support Obama are not under the illusion that he is a magical hero or that he is a progressive miracle worker. He's a smart politician trying an potentially game changing tack that may reconstitute a pro-working-american coalition. So we don't weep and gnash our teeth and demand constant reassurance or go into hysterics at every imagined slight.
Grow up, children.
I know I'm too cynical, but the sort of utopianism pushed in some corners of the progressive blogosphere are just kind of nutty.