Either Obama is doing the best that can be done under the circumstances, as David Brooks hints at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/04/opinion/04brooks.html?_r=1&hp ), or I am sadly disillusioned with him because:
1. He took the advice of his generals rather than that of his Vice-President on Afghanistan.
2. He is much too friendly with the Wall Street bankers who provided him with so much of his money. I think he could have gotten a better deal with the powerful financial interests for the country when they were hanging by their fingernails. I have never trusted Timothy Geithner and am not confident in Larry Summers.
3. He is all too calm, cool, and analytical on the unemployment crisis, and when he speaks he thinks his feeling but gives little evidence that he feels the pain of the jobless. Sometimes I want to see more preacher and less professor.
4. He sold out to the drug and insurance companies on health reform, making a back room deal that enabled them to get the most important things they wanted for a promise to pretend to support reform and to mute opposition. The result has no public option and no importation of cheaper drugs. Obama got what the wanted, the drug and health insurance industries got something they could live with and a promise of millions of new customers-- guaranteeing them huge profits, some of who would be subsidized by the government, and liberal Democrats got royally screwed in the deal.
5. He seems to exhibit the triumph of hope over facts and experience regarding the transcendence of partisan politics. The current Republicans, with few exceptions, are obstructionists, dogmatic ideologues who do not hesitate to engage in demagoguery and distortion of the facts, and would rather defeat Obama than cooperate in enacting constructive legislation that does not meet their obstinate orthodoxy.
6. Although I appreciate his coolness under pressure, I would on occasion like to see him get really excited about something other than his wife, children, and family dog, you know, show some deep passion about something.
But maybe he is doing the best that can be done for a progressive agenda given the mess he inherited and the lack of good options on the major issues facing him and the nation.
So, I will give him the benefit of the doubt for the moment with my head but in my heart I cannot escape disillusionment. Heck, I am just plain mad with him. Final answer forthcoming when I hear from my liver.