Even if he wins, Obama will be diminished
His friends have for a while recounted tales of a Commander-in-Chief increasingly disengaged, mooching around the White House as the limitations of the world’s most powerful office sink in. But most of his supporters only became aware of this as they watched their candidate listlessly stumble across what should have been familiar terrain. Who was this man? Surely not the one who had promised to stop the oceans? Or the same person who once promised that ‘we’ were the ones we’ve all been waiting for?
we can only speculate which ‘friends’ murray is referring to here, since he doesn’t link or quote any of them. subjective hearsay on the side, one could easily make the case the president has been quite engaged, just by simply listing his successes (affordable care act, dismantling of iraq war/don’t ask don’t tell, a coming conclusion to the war in afghanistan, the stimulus, et al)
Obama, for his part, is like a Monet. From a distance it all looks unbelievably wonderful. But the closer you get, the messier it turns out to be. Brits and Europeans would elect Obama because they stand at a distance: they get the coolness, the non-Bushness, the ‘aw-shucks’, carefully timed humility. American voters, however, are forced to see the detail.
the same monet analogy could be used for the simplicity in which murray is looking at the state of politics. no serious observer could posit americans see any sort of detail or nuance, in a country so susceptible to fragmental ideology and sound-byte fetishism. more than being over-simplistic, it suggests a form of intellectual deafness “if i don’t allow myself to hear the noise, the noise doesn’t exist”
Whether he returns to the White House or not, Obama looks set to teach the American public one lesson he may have wished to keep from them: the disillusioning consequences of voting for hype over experience.
or… the lesson they may learn is, the prism politics is bent through, namely the media, is a distorting carcinogen, which robs the public of healthy nuance and debate.