From Salon, an interview with Thomas Frank. Go read the whole thing:
This is the point in a presidential election when people begin talking about the lesser of two evils, when the weaknesses in one’s own candidate pale in comparison to the reality of the other side taking over. But in a remarkable essay in the new issue of Harper’s magazine, the political thinker Thomas Frank levels President Obama’s first term as a dramatic failure compared to the rhetoric that landed him in office, and the potential he had to truly transform the country.
Frank, whose books include “What’s the Matter With Kansas” and “Pity the Billionaire,” makes the case that Obama’s conciliatory nature has been a tragic flaw, one exploited by conservatives in Congress again and again. But he also argues that Obama has “enthusiastically adopted” the ideas of the right when it comes to deficit spending, Wall Street regulation, torture policies, healthcare and more. And his reward for reaching for compromise and grand bargains, “for bowing to their household gods,” has been to be depicted as a socialist and a radical leftist.
The end result? Frank writes that “What Barack Obama has saved is a bankrupt elite that by all means should have met its end back in 2009. He came to the White House amid circumstances similar to 1933, but proceeded to rule like Herbert Hoover.”