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Granted, he never campaigned on anything but vague phrases, preferring to allow the electorate to project onto him any hopes and dreams they might have without having to deal with the facts of conflicting hopes and dreams, as they were never explicitly stated. And granted he is NOT Bush nor is he a carrier of the virulent fundamentalism that Bush's administration did all it could to spread and strengthen. But he seems quite happy to accept and either hold in reserve or use the, in my view, illegitimate accretions to executive power made under Bush, and he is a scholar of constitutional law! Instead of a repudiation and a roll back of the erosion of the Constitution and Bill of Rights we get, at best it seems, a pause in that erosion until the next right wing storm, in which even the semblance of Constitutional government could be lost.
To me the key to progress on all significant fronts in US politics is reform of the financial sector, which is currently a millstone around the neck of the economy, and key to accomplishing and securing that is campaign finance reform. But I am reasonably convinced that, at most, Obama will acquiesce to such reform as Congress is frightened into by an alarmed public. Obama went to Harvard where he learned how the society works and he wants to facilitate the workings of the existing order. That order has come to be one of the massive exploitation of >99% of the population by <0.1% and Obama identifies with that 0.1%.
To me it is not a question of the mess he inherited but of the change required to secure a future for the next several generations. This includes:
When Leo de Medici became Pope Leo X in 1513 he is reported to have said to his associates: "Now that we have the Papacy, lets enjoy it!" Meanwhile anger and resentment towards the Papacy was building, especially in Germany and especially in the form of Martin Luther. One of the German cardinals at the time of Leo's death in 1521 said: "When Leo was elected the Church needed a moral giant. But Leo was a moral midget." The result of lack of appropriate leadership at a time of crisis, among other factors, was the Protestant Reformation. Leo was quite able in many ways, but would not look at or consider addressing problems in the basic operation of the Church.
I fear that Obama is to the US Government what Leo X was to the Catholic Church. An able advocate of the status quo at a time that fundamental change is needed. I have hoped he would step up to the challenge, but see little evidence that he will.
"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
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