..."Can It, You Whiners" in two short years.
Obama in 2008, outlining a vision after South Carolina primary:
"We're up against the idea that it's acceptable to say anything and do anything to win an election. But we know that this is exactly what's wrong with our politics. This is why people don't believe what their leaders say anymore. This is why they tune out. And this election is our chance to give the American people a reason to believe again.
This election is about the past vs. the future. It's about whether we settle for the same divisions and distractions and drama that passes for politics today or whether we reach for a politics of common sense and innovation, a politics of shared sacrifice and shared prosperity.
There are those who will continue to tell us that we can't do this, that we can't have what we're looking for, that we can't have what we want, that we're peddling false hopes."
Obama today, in a thinly-veiled message to the base:
"If that's the standard by which we are measuring success or core principles, then let's face it: We will never get anything done. People will have the satisfaction of having a purist position, and no victories for the American people. And we will be able to feel good about ourselves and sanctimonious about how pure our intentions are and how tough we are.
And in the meantime the American people are still saying to themselves, [I'm] not able to get health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. Or not being able to pay their bills because their unemployment insurance ran out. That can't be the measure of how we think about public service. That can't be the measure of what it means to be a Democrat. This is a big, diverse country. Not everybody agrees with us. I know that shocks people."
If you want to know "why people don't believe what their leaders say anymore," might I recommend measuring the perceptual angle of difference between promise and deed for your first two years, sir.
I could have a difference of opinion with you but still support you, Mr. President -- if using the base as a punching bag came with a more or less tacit guarantee that you wouldn't, for example, gut Social Security.
With each passing endorsement of large parcels of the opposition's agenda, it becomes increasingly difficult not to wonder about that "peddling false hopes" part. Being told to be satisfied when we are in many cases not, that we've achieved big success when it rather feels like "settling for the same divisions and distractions" is not exactly winning people over when it comes to playing the expectations game, especially in light of the rather ambitious vision laid out some time ago.
Spurning optimism engenders cynicism.
At least, that's what this sanctimonious purist believes.
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