No More Excuses (by Bob Herbert)
It's time to stop making excuses for Barack Obama. With so much at stake in this election, his performance at the debate on Wednesday night was indefensible.
Ever since he was elected, there have been reasons offered, either publicly or privately, for why Obama has been unable to fully engage some of the nation's most important challenges. Despite the rampant increase in poverty in the worst downturn since the Depression, Obama supporters whispered that he couldn't do more for the poor and couldn't speak out more forcefully on their behalf because that would not be politically advantageous. So nearly all of his economic initiatives had to be couched in language that referred to the middle class, even though the poor were being hurt far worse. LBJ could launch a war on poverty but not Barack Obama.[...]
On Wednesday night nearly 60 million television viewers got to witness this chronic unwillingness of Barack Obama to fight. He did not hammer Mitt Romney for his ugly, all-too-revealing comments that demeaned nearly half the population as slackers and ne-er-do-wells. He did not go after Romney's terrible job-creation record as governor of Massachusetts. He did not assail Romney for his callous contention on 60 Minutes that people who don't have health insurance actually do get care -- in the nation's emergency rooms. "If someone has a heart attack, they don't sit in their apartment and die," said Romney. "We pick them up in an ambulance and take them to the hospital and give them care."[...]
The president let his people down. And if he's capable of doing that in an election that is clearly so important, it means he's capable of doing it again if he wins a second term.
h/t triv33 for the article