Thursday, November 19, 2009

I know how betrayed and disappointed I was when Bush turned out to be nothing like the President I thought he was going to be. Instead of getting a President who would watch the budget and limit government spending, who wouldn't engage in nation building, who would be a somewhat effective defender of conservative principles and who leave the GOP in no worse shape than he found it, we ended up with a guy who blew the budget, let spending spiral, did nothing while the economy collapsed, embarked on a stupid plan to force democracy on the Middle East, a waste of thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars and set the stage for the Democrats to take control of Washington. Bush was so bad that at times I really wondered if we wouldn't have been better off if either Gore or Kerry had won. And when he left office, my thoughts ran more to 'good riddance' than 'sorry to see you go'.

I wonder if Obama's supporters - and in particular, the independents whose support put him over the top - are starting to feel the same way about Obama. No matter how much he tries to blame Bush, they know the economy is worse off now than it was when Obama was elected and worse than the day he took office, they know employers have dumped millions of jobs. While they might have liked the abstract of a President who was less arrogant towards the rest of the world, I wonder if they really are all that excited watching Obama bow and apologize to the world. I wonder how safer they feel with Obama deciding to hold the terror trials in NYC rather than in the relative safety and obscurity of Guantanamo Bay, with Justice Department policy being set by lawyers who not too long ago were volunteering to work on behalf of our terrorist enemies. I wonder if they like that their health insurance is going to cost them more and cover less. I wonder how they feel about the all but certain likelihood that their taxes will be going up at the same time the value of their house keeps going down.

If I were an independent who had voted for Obama, I can't imagine the scenario in which I would be impressed with the job he has done. I can't imagine them telling themselves they're better off now than on the day he took office. Like me, they're probably glad Bush is gone but completely disillusioned with what Obama is doing. And unlike me, having voted for Obama, I wonder the extent to which they're feeling betrayed and stupid for having fallen for the hype. Maybe they're not at the point where they wish they had voted for McCain but I wonder how far away from that thought they really are...