What's Wrong With Obama?

There was a great op-ed in the Times over the weekend that does a convincing job of explaining what Obama's problem(s) have probably been, what has stopped him from being the great president we thought and hoped he would be. It also contains a brilliant idea of roughly the sort of speech that Obama should have delivered on Inauguration Day and kept delivering over and over, but didn't and isn't:

“I know you’re scared and angry. Many of you have lost your jobs, your homes, your hope. This was a disaster, but it was not a natural disaster. It was made by Wall Street gamblers who speculated with your lives and futures. It was made by conservative extremists who told us that if we just eliminated regulations and rewarded greed and recklessness, it would all work out. But it didn’t work out. And it didn’t work out 80 years ago, when the same people sold our grandparents the same bill of goods, with the same results. But we learned something from our grandparents about how to fix it, and we will draw on their wisdom. We will restore business confidence the old-fashioned way: by putting money back in the pockets of working Americans by putting them back to work, and by restoring integrity to our financial markets and demanding it of those who want to run them. I can’t promise that we won’t make mistakes along the way. But I can promise you that they will be honest mistakes, and that your government has your back again.”

And maybe he's just kind of naive, inexperienced, and timid:

Those of us who were bewitched by his eloquence on the campaign trail chose to ignore some disquieting aspects of his biography: that he had accomplished very little before he ran for president, having never run a business or a state; that he had a singularly unremarkable career as a law professor, publishing nothing in 12 years at the University of Chicago other than an autobiography; and that, before joining the United States Senate, he had voted "present" (instead of "yea" or "nay") 130 times, sometimes dodging difficult issues. 

The problem now is, where does the hope come from now? In November 2012 we will only have him to vote for again, because as usual the other evil will be fantastically worse, and 3rd party alternatives will be a waste. Mass disillusion is ahead, which is exactly what I've been afraid of ever since November 2008.