A deeply disappointed Obama supporter, Bob Herbert has been focusing on the jobs problem for quite some time now, and he continues the same message in his latest column. I was especially interested in this comment to his piece [I’ve taken the liberty of correcting the spelling]:
Thank you, Bob, for speaking truth to power, Obama and the Democrats have been huge disappointments. I can never vote for Obama again, for varied reasons; and today, I feel like it would be next to impossible to vote for any Democrat. I guess I am back to displaying unrealistic character, and voting Green. Though if I thought they could solve unemployment I would vote for the most right-wing Republican. The Democrats seem to care about no-one outside of the public-service employee unions and the Wall Street bankers. For regular working people, the Democrats not only have not been an improvement over the Republicans, employment has become much worse.
I know that, like me, you supported President Obama’s campaign. That was then — and it turns out it was fiction. This is now — and I won’t be fooled again.
A lot of the other commenters are also changing their minds about Obama. But they are not becoming more conservative, they are turning on the Democrats and the president for their misplaced priorities. These people would disagree with most of the posters here on just about every issue, but one thing we all do agree about is jobs, the lack thereof, and the importance of said lack. Whatever happened to that laser focus?
Many people commenting on the Herbert article are liberals who see the present Democrats as elitist and favoring Wall Street. Of the first 45 commenters (all that I read), only a few defend Obama, and they do it by mostly blaming Bush, the weakest but in some ways the most popular defense of all (it’s certainly popular with Obama himself). Quite a few are down on the fact that Obama has decided to keep us in Afghanistan. One person blames the whining press, and one blames the Republicans in general for the problems.
But considering that this is the NY Times and a Bob Herbert column, it’s astounding how many commenters are negative towards Obama. Not only are their defenses of him rare, but they’re tangential; none of these commenters seem to be defending his actual policies. His lack of leadership is also frequently bemoaned.
The poster I quoted is planning to vote Green, which ordinarily is akin to throwing away one’s vote. How many others are similarly disaffected? Will anything change their minds before election day? And, if the results lead to a resounding Republican victory, how will that party keep itself from being corrupted by power once it regains it?