The first vote I ever cast was for Barack Obama (save for that one time I voted for Sanjaya) and I remember the day like it was yesterday. I wore a nice collared shirt I had bought just for the occasion, a color I can only describe as “Revolution Red.” On the way to the polls, my mom and I argued about Proposition 8, and whether gay marriage was a civil right (I was right and she was wrong, for the record). Not three hours later were the votes tallied in a decisive victory for who I was told was “the most liberal candidate in recent history.”
Go ahead and try to convince me. Throw your Fox News talking points at me and try your best to make me see the light, but I will not budge: Barack Obama is not a liberal president. I thought I was voting for FDR 2.0, not the return of Jimmy Carter. And with the election on the horizon, I just don’t know if I’m ready to vote for Obama again.
He hasn’t been a complete disappointment. He passed a health care bill, something that’s been a left-wing cause since the Truman administration. He ended the days of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, finally letting gays and lesbians in the military serve openly and proudly. And the cherry on top: he sent his goon squad of patriots to assassinate Osama bin Laden while he watched it in a meeting room full of cohorts not unlike a really awesome Bond villain.
So where does this leave me? To be honest, I don’t know. He’s dropped the ball on banking reform. You can count how many new regulations were made since the 2008 bailouts on no hands. No hands, people! We still have brave men and women dying in the desert on a lie to feed the war machine. And what was supposed to be the New Deal of the 21st century (the stimulus package) ended up being mostly ineffective because it was 40 percent tax cuts. Tax cuts stimulate the economy about as much as beef liver stimulates my appetite (fun fact: I despise beef liver).
I can cope with the fact that he has to deal with an unprecedented amount of vitriol that an American president has never had to deal with. No, George Bush was never treated that badly. He may have gotten his own Michael Moore movie, but he was never asked for his long-form birth certificate, whatever the heck that is. But Obama certainly isn’t my dream candidate. He’s too nice, too willing to compromise. You know who else was willing to compromise? Herbert Hoover. Sure, the guy has his own dam, but the guy after him is on the dime.
To paraphrase Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, “Barack, you son of a Kenyan! I wish I knew how to quit you!” Hopefully my mind will be made up before November 2012 rolls around, and I Oughta Know.