Someone gets it about Obama.
The current issue of Newsweek (1/16/12) has a cover of Obama and a powerful, intelligent story about his presidency by Andrew Sullivan: "How Obama's Long Game Will Outsmart His Critics".
You have to read this article. It is one of the finest pieces of political writing that I have ever encountered in my long life.
Sullivan is a once-Republican who became an Independent and supported Obama in 2008. He's always been a very smart man, able to see the big picture, but he has been strangely missing from TV talk shows the last couple of years.
Apparently he was using the time to look at what Obama was actually doing. And why.
I've repeatedly said on this blog that Obama is one of the best presidents I've seen in my 75 years or read about as an historian of sorts. (See footnote. Historians always have footnotes.) Yet he has received virtually no recognition for his achievements even from commentators on the Democratic side. Nor has there been an adult-style recognition of the barriers he has had to confront. Why can't Democratic liberals and commentators get it through their heads that it takes 60 votes in the Senate to accomplish what they want? It also takes a Democratic majority in the House to get any spending/tax bills moving. Obama doesn't have the votes in Congress. This is reality.
Obama has painstakingly tried to get GOP cooperation. Liberals are thereby outraged, seeing this as "weakness" and not understanding that he had to try, and keep trying, until the American people saw him as the reasonable one, the adult in the room. He's done that now. In the hard, cold, racist reality of America - above all - Obama had to avoid coming across as "the angry black man." This was important not just to African-Americans who tell me of their dread of his failure; it was important to the rest of us. He needs the support of Independents if he is to finish what needs to be done for us by getting that crucial second term. And Independents do NOT like the all-or-nothing type of politics.
This is but one aspect of Obama's "Long Game". Andrew Sullivan recounts other aspects where Obama has done similarly well on substantive issues as well as style of governing.
Be glad we elected a poker player in 2008 and not John McCain, who claims craps as his favorite game.
These are, indeed, the times that try our souls. These are the times of hungry children in America. These are the times when a greedy and ruthless elite are grasping for ever more money and power at the expense of the rest of us. These are the times when the next presidential appointments to the Supreme Court can determine our freedoms for a generation.
And what is Romney's game? He's not a player at all. He's a front man for "the house". He represents the big purse the house holds, the odds that always favor the house, the game that is rigged. He represents the 400 people who own as much as the total owned by half the American people.
Yes, 400 people hold as much wealth as the total held by 150,000,000 Americans. Meantime, the American middle class is pinched and shrinking. And American children are going hungry. That's an outrage.
And the 400 want even more. They want to get it with further tax favoritism and more deregulation. Romney is their ticket to ride.
Only Obama stands in their way.
Footnote: I've spent 50 years reading American history, written one book about it which is still in print decades later. and am currently working on a book which is in part about the 19th century Mormon attempt to take command of one-third of the Far West.