President-elect Barack Obama, who played little if any role in the final negotiations on the car bailout, pronounces himself “disappointed” by the collapse of the legislation. Better than”sad,” which was his self-described state of mind, before realizing he was really “appalled” by Gov. Blagojevich’s misdeeds. Disappointment, sadness — rather passive and melodramatic reactions for the leader of the Free World. But this has been his default state whenever things go wrong — Rev. Wright, legislation, criminality, etc.
It is an odd emotional reaction, but one designed to deflect responsibility ( Why didn’t he join the car bailout negotiations?) or commitment. Most of all, the vagueness perpetuates the moral equivalence that dominates his thinking and suggests that bad actors are really just misunderstood. Be prepared to hear President Obama is misty-eyed at the news that North Korea has reneged on another treaty obligation, melancholy that the Senate sees fit to fully investigate Eric Holder’s conduct, and down-right glum about Hamas’s refusal to cease violence against Israel. It will be hard to remain filled with hope.