Obama’s grand miss

Regular readers of this space know that Ideapad rarely touches on politics. But Drew Westen’s What Happened to Obama? in the New York Times Sunday Review is a must-read. It’s a compelling, gut-wrenching and accurate exposition on how Barack Obama failed at a terrific, and important, opportunity to shape the nation’s future.

With [Obama’s] deep-seated aversion to conflict and his profound failure to understand bully dynamics — in which conciliation is always the wrong course of action, because bullies perceive it as weakness and just punch harder the next time — he has broken [“the arc of history”, Obama’s paraphrasing of Dr. Martin Luther King] and has likely bent it backward for at least a generation. … The real conundrum is why the president seems so compelled to take both sides of every issue, encouraging voters to project whatever they want on him, and hoping they won’t realize which hand is holding the rabbit.