I found a new Tomdispatch in my e-mail this morning. Tom Englehardt always has interesting comments and interesting guest bloggers. Today David Swanson writes on a theme that has recently started to permeate both news and commentary--the more things change the more they stay the same. Swanson deals with the foreign policy carry-overs from the Bush Administration. I have read several bloggers who deal with economics say the same. I am not surprised. When the news readers, a week ago or so, made a big deal about the slippage in Obama's poll numbers, I wondered where the slippage had occurred. I think it is among those who expected a lot of change quickly. The right-wing critics are not the problem. They never supported him anyway. The problem is among the people who expected immediate action on gay marriage, immigration reform, race relations, etc. I, on the other hand, never expected a sharp break from the past. I did not see any sharp break with very centrist notions and myths and I saw far too many people who have been deeply in the political and economic power structures under both Democrats and Republicans for the last forty years. That is a recipe for tweaking not for significant change.
In a related notion, I noticed last night that the news cited a growing disenchantment among Americans for the Afghanistan adventure. Not long ago, it had overwhelming support but now less than half of Americans (according to whatever poll they were using) still support it. I remember when we first went in there. Al Qaida had been fairly well tied to 9/11 and the Taliban supported and protected Al Qaida. That was reasonable justification. But when Bush took us into Iraq, my first reaction was 'WHAT???' and then 'What is he THINKING??? We will lose everything we hope to gain in Afghanistan AND in Iraq as well!!!' I always thought the shifting rationales for going into Iraq were extremely thin. And I think my first reaction has proven right on. But we seem to be locked in to this insane situation and no one has any notion of how to get us out of it.