So this a.m., I read a column by economist Paul Krugman entitled "Obama's Trust Problem." In it, Krugman explains how people who voted for Obama are disillusioned with many of his choices. The choice to back big bankers and bonuses, for instance. Or the choice to back away on these extremely important health care reform points. Or the choice to embrace Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) even after he joined the "death panel" scare by saying that people should be scared and that he wouldn't agree to something that would kill grandma.
And Krugman's right. I'm not one to be blinded by ideology. When I campaigned for Obama, I said he would work to find middle ground, even if he didn't need to, because he believes in buy-in by everyone (or as many people as possible).
But there's compromise and there's selling out. As Krugman put it, "There’s a point at which realism shades over into weakness, and progressives increasingly feel that the administration is on the wrong side of that line." Or, as I read recently from blogger Matt Taibbi:
I’ll say this for George Bush: you’d never have caught him frantically negotiating against himself to take the meat out of a signature legislative initiative just because his approval ratings had a bad summer. Can you imagine Bush and Karl Rove allowing themselves to be paraded through Washington on a leash by some dimwit Republican Senator of a state with six people in it the way the Obama White House this summer is allowing Max Baucus (favorite son of the mighty state of Montana) to frog-march them to a one-term presidency?