So let me get this straight: a candidate runs on a platform that promises significant change and when he doesn’t come through, it’s not because he lacks the will to govern, it’s because they were foolish enough to believe that he would.
In explaining why he caved in to the people who destroyed the budget surplus, who believe that unemployment benefits are only for un-American losers and that you line the pockets of the rich while trampling the needs of the poor, President Obama told the White House Press Corps:
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, not able to get health insurance because of pre-existing conditions, or not being able to pay their bills because unemployment insurance ran out. That can’t be the measure of how we think about our 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.
Well, no sir, it doesn’t shock people that “not everyone agrees with us.” What shocks people is the degree to which you repeatedly refudiate your campaign promises.
When Sarah Palin coined that term in her now famous Tweet, people snickered. But, as Herself noted, the Bard made up words all the time and this one is particularly Shakespearean. Half “repudiate,” half “refute,” what better way to sum up this disillusionment of those who thought that “change” meant that America would somehow be embarking upon a new course? Instead, we have the spectacle of the Great Change Agent making excuses for why we really can’t change. We can’t close the gulag at Guantanamo, we can’t have a public option for health care, we can’t repeal the Bush-era budget busting of tax cuts for the rich, we can’t have full civil rights for gay and lesbian couples, we can’t stop the abuse of the Bill of Rights under the Patriot Act, we cant…
Whatever happened to “Yes, We Can?” The President has refudiated it. His refudiation does not win him friends among those whose only goal is to see him fail, while it leaves those who supported him feeling ever more betrayed. Or as the Bard had the Earl of Pembroke wryly muse to King John: “oftentimes excusing of a fault doth make the fault worse by the excuse.”