We're an impatient nation. We want what we want when we want it. When someone promises us something we not only expect delivery, we expect immediate delivery and immediate, positive results. It's often childish and unrealistic, but it is what it is.
I have friends on the right and the left who are flummoxed by Barack Obama's presidency. He's either a radical power grabber or a compromising do-nothing depending on who you ask. The positions sometimes flip-flop based on the topic. I can't really answer the right's arguments because most are nonsense or pat political attacks, which is fine since that is the name of the game. But those on the left who wonder where all the Hope and Change was are either uninformed or crybabies.
So, I turn once again to Andrew Sullivan (a Conservative, no less) for the answers.
Here we are a year and a half in and what do we see?
An end to illegal torture of terror suspects. A beginning to a saner method of detaining, trying and convicting terror suspects.
Adept handling of the worst financial crisis and recession since the 1930s, leading to a profitable bank bailout (excluding Freddie and Fannie) and a return to growth. Check.
Salvaging of the automobile industry, which is now showing signs of life.
Passage of an ambitious stimulus package that has helped repair many crumbling parts of the US infrastructure and poured money into green industry.
The biggest social policy reform since LBJ - guaranteeing access to health insurance for all Americans.
Financial re-regulation of an out-of-control Wall Street, and the beginnings of real scrutiny (see Goldman) of the self-serving corruption at the heart of the financial industry.
Repaired relations with Russia, leading to a new START treaty, and better relations with China, leading to a revaluation of the yuan.
Joint Chiefs' endorsement of ending Don't Ask Don't Tell.
A tough re-balancing of the US position in the Middle East, away from the Likudnik-oriented jerking knees of the last eight years, and an assertion that US foreign policy should be conducted to advance the interests of the United States, not the interests of a belligerent faction in a foreign country.
Yes, there are policy decisions I disagree with and there are issues I wish he/we could move on in a more effective and expedient way, but come on...this is a nation of 400 million people led by a polarized federal government. Let's get real.
Or, I'll let Sullivan say it again, "Change we can believe in? How much more could you possibly have asked for in eighteen months?"