While Obama has obviously been under attack from the right, he has also been the target of folks on the left. While the folks on the right attack him because they (claim to) see him as a socialist, a progressive, and a liberal the folks on the left have been critical because they (claim to) see him as being a capitalist, not sufficiently progressive, and a moderate. Naturally, it is tempting to think that he must be doing well-after all, he is annoying both extremes and is hence probably hitting things almost just right.
While the attacks from the right are to be expected, the attacks from the left might surprise some folks. After all, Obama was regarded as some sort of liberal messiah, a progressive Moses who would lead the liberal tribes out of the desert of the Bush years. When he turned out, like most presidents, to be a moderate, the left was sadly disappointed. Their liberal messiah has turned out to be a moderate Moses who would seem to be leading them to the land of the middle, rather than the promised land of the left (moonbat heaven).
Some folks in the media have been paying special attention to Obama’s alleged failures when it comes to the two Gs (Gays and Guns). Obama has failed to get rid of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and has actually come out against legalizing same-sex marriage. He has also not, contrary to the fears of some folk, done anything against gun rights. While things might change, it seems unlikely that Obama will want to risk losing the support of the moderate mainstream by siding too strongly with the gays or too strongly against guns.
Bush was also subject to a similar sort of criticism from the right. While some folks on the right believed that Bush would outlaw abortion and push through an amendment against same sex-marriage, he did neither. Not surprisingly, some folks felt that Bush had betrayed them. While Bush seemed to have no problem with alienating people, perhaps even he balked at the political cost.
Interestingly enough, the disappoint of some folks on the left towards Obama (and the right towards Bush) can be countered by one of Leibniz’s responses to the classic problem of evil. The problem of evil is, roughly put, the problem of reconciling God’s existence with the evil present in the world.
Leibniz writes: “We find in the universe some things which are not pleasing to us; but let us be aware that it is not made for us alone. It is nevertheless made for us if we are wise: it will serve us if we use it for our service; we shall be happy in it if we wish to be. ” (Theodicy, #193-5)
The same can be said about the president: we find that the president does some things that are not pleasing to us; but let us be aware that he is not our president alone. That is to say, he is not just the president of the left wingers but of all Americans and hence cannot simply please the left.