There's a nugget of truth to all that, insofar as Obama has been explicitly empowered and encouraged by his constituency in specific and the electorate in general, and has yet to do any of the things he said he would do. This makes him a politician after all, and perhaps the grandiose claims of Hope and/or Change were a tad overstated, as those things tend to be.
Worse yet, Obama is additionally encumbered by the debilitating condition of being a member of the Democratic Party, a collection of some of the most spineless, undisciplined people to clutter the halls of government since Caligula's day. Notice how quickly the crowing over a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority subsided; a 75-seat majority of these assholes would find a way to fuck up a shit sandwich. Obama plans to close Gitmo; they simply refuse to fund it. All this stem-cell research, still no cure for fuckface-itis.
Indeed, as has been pointed out, the 60-seat majority is as likely as not to turn out to be an albatross for them, for now they have no excuses when Ben Nelson or Blanche Lincoln or whatever cracker DINO strays off the rez to placate this or that group of inbred morons and/or pillars of the "business community". This is a game for them, and while it may or may not be for Obama himself, in addition to making the usual "reach across the aisle" feints, he has to deal with the competing parochial interests among the senators of his own party, each of whom would step on their own grandmother en route to a soapbox.
All that said, as much as I agree with the pox-on-both-houses crowd, I still feel that where Obama may end up being distinguished as Clintonesque in the end, an enormously gifted politician who promised great things and squandered them on small people, the alternative would have been truly catastrophic, and the past was simply unacceptable. That's going to be the refrain of the Dem dead-enders for the duration, at least through 2012, however that turns out. And that's not a good place to be, especially considering the real opportunities Obama has (had) for breaking free of the usual constraints. Instead he has already surrounded himself with Goldman Sachs flunkies, and contrary to the "socialism" goons, the government doesn't run the banks, it's the other way around. Telling ourselves that at least a card-carrying oaf like Sarah Palin isn't a heartbeat away from the White House is cold comfort, true as it is. It's already getting old.
Some perspective, though: At a recent used book sale at the local parish hall, I picked up a copy of Jonathan Phillips' The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople, for a freakin' quarter. Pristine shape, too; in fact, I seriously doubt that the book has ever been opened for longer than a few minutes.
And that's a pity, because it's a fascinating read, and there are plenty of parallels, as you might imagine, between Innocent III's ill-fated excursion into the Levant and Fredo II's attempt eight hundred years later. Not the least of which is the recent "revelation" that Rumsfeld and one of his Jesus-freak generals had made a practice of putting a cover sheet on Pentagon briefings that consisted of a stock photo captioned with some hortatory bible verse. Is that analogous to, say, one of Innocent's laudatory bulls insisting on the liberation of the Holy Land, even as the Venetian doge subverted the crusade for his own means, or to some jihadist's uttering of militant suras, either in a weekly propaganda tape or during the act of separating an infidel's head from his body?
In the midst of all the Cheney chatter (and really, media assholes, if none of you gutless cocksuckers are going to challenge him on his manifest lies and failures, then you're just being his butt-boys), it behooves us to examine this phenomenon more closely. People like Rumsfeld and Cheney invoke religious principles only under duress, and only with the most self-serving of motives. So the only sensible reason Rumsfeld would initiate this weird, atavistic internal agitprop device is that either Fredo demanded it, or Rumsfeld and Cheney thought it was necessary to keep Fredo's head and heart (such as they are) involved in their machinations. As coup d'états go, it's pretty mild, but the hubris and naïveté, knowing that public knowledge would simply confirm every jihad propagandist's assumptions, oddly maintain the power to startle, just when we thought nothing more about these vile people could surprise us.
People sniped here and there about Bush the twelve-stepper, but more and more it appears that that only scratched the surface, and maybe Oliver Stone got it right, that Fredo swapped out his alcoholism and his daddy issues for just another demon. This demon wears the trappings of faith, but demands to be constantly fed and put before even the man's own damned common sense and ability to experience the world for what it is, rather than what his damaged psyche thinks it should be from misreading a much-abused collection of Neolithic legends. It's neither mean nor untrue to postulate that Bush himself and the world at large would have been better off had he just kept drinking, rather than allowing those impulse-control issues to be transmogrified by his brain into the delusion that he was divinely anointed to lawn-dart the country into arguably its weakest condition, internally and externally, since Reconstruction.
Phillips' book is a reminder of whence the "my god can beat up your god" idiots crawled out long ago, that many of them believe their own rhetoric only for the most cynical of reasons. But they're serious about it all the same, and when push comes to shove, they're happy to massacre people of the same faith if they don't get with the program, and all of these ceremonies and rituals are really just about the maintenance of pure raw power and its applications.
Obama has a ways to go to get to that point; I cannot see him needing his advisers to slap anodyne bible verses on policy documents to make the medicine go down for him. He has to stop taking orders from Wall Street grifters, and he has to start pimp-slapping some of his straying party