There is little evidence that Obama's current approval ratings have anything to do with a rightward shift, and the entire conversation rests on the premise that Obama was governing from the left in the first place.
History has seldom delivered a more graphic, teachable crisis than the one that Obama inherited. Although we voted our hopes that events could compel Obama to govern as a progressive, we are still waiting, and we are a cheap date.
This president, who could have been such an insurgent at a moment demanding insurgency, has been so utterly captured by the Wall Street elite, the health insurance industry elite, and the military elite.
Right-tilting pundits have fallen all over themselves to insist that the U.S. remains some sort of "center-right" nation -- this despite the fact that positions they once advertised as "extreme" are now, quite clearly, embraced fully.
Flexibility and openness is Obama's way forward, and it's the kind of politics he has been championing from the beginning -- the kind of politics, let's remember, that had us all chanting, "Yes, we can!"
Obama seems to be testing the waters, seeing what will work for him in order to gain more independent voters while still keeping his core beliefs intact; there's some fudging, but not yet any flip-flopping.
Choosing to support Obama has never been about issues. Rather, it's always been about electing a president we can reference with pride -- a president who won't flatly embarrass us everyday, who can inspire and negotiate the necessary support he'll need to roll back the darkness of the Bush years.
I understand Barack Obama's stance on FISA. But when I look at his defense of the position, I imagine the men behind him, including an adviser wearing a rubber glove who has been probing the electorate.
Furman as chief economic adviser tells us little about Obama economics but much about Obama. Furman is young and smart and he actually told the press that "Bush has had some bad luck with the economy."