|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
We are not a great people. Not in the way we treat ourselves in our politics, anyway. We are frightened. We lash out. We kick the country as though it were a lawnmower that won't start. In 2010, just as the president and his administration managed to lift their heads above the brim of the ditch in which their predeceesors had dumped the country, We, The People elected the most retrograde, brick-stupid, poo-flinging monkeyhouse of a House of Representatives in the history of the Republic.
That anger could have been channelled better. It could have been channelled in the direction of the right targets. (That will remain my ultimate verdict on the Occupy movement: at least they yell at the correct buildings.) Obama could have trusted the greatness of the American people to accept a program to seek justice for the nation for the crimes perpetrated against the political commonwealth by a corporate class that would sell the United States for parts as long as it could overbill the people who were buying it. (It was a thoroughgoing masterpiece of political ineptitude that his administration handed the volatile issue of corporate greed over to Dick Fking Armey, and the lunatics in the three-cornered hats.) He could have trusted the greatness of the American people far enough to expose the constitutional heresies of the previous administration, not perpetuate them in law. (That's the one thing on which he will never get a pass from me. His Department of Justice has gone to court on the wrong side of too damn many of his predecessor's constitutional atrocities. Well, that and hiring Geithner.) And, at the very least, he could have trusted the greatness of the American people to understand why he could only do so much because of the rules of the United States Senate, the petulant treachery of some of the cowards in his own party, the complete barking madness of so much of the other one, and, frankly, the ongoing suckerhood of the American people to act and vote against their own interests as long as somebody flashes something sparkly in front of them. Obama did none of this. The greatness of the American people is little more than a rhetorical trope, and not something of value that can be drawn upon — or relied upon — at times of crisis.