...I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that the President of the United States is something of a political coward. The flip-flop on the Rumsfeld Porn Collection is just the most recent example. He's walked back much of what he said during the campaign on rendition and on the Military Commissions Act. Gitmo is still open. His Department of Justice is pleading state secrecy. He has lifted not an obvious finger to put pressure on anyone to get qualified people like Dawn Johnsen confirmed. (LBJ would have had Harry Reid hanging by his entrails in the Mural Room by now.) Even when his administration does something correctly, it turtles in the face of hissy-fits tossed by a discredited political movement adhered to by less than 30 percent of the public.
I think the source of the president's timorousness lies in the fact that, for all his new-politics bombast, he's pretty much decided that he's a critter of the respectable Beltway center. We should have seen that coming when he supported Weepin' Joe Lieberman over Ned Lamont or, at least, when he took that ungainly dive on FISA and the issue of telecom immunity. His financial team is straight out of the Retired Wall Street Hiring Hall, and his complete disinclination to call crimes what they are bespeaks an unseemly lust for a middle ground that lie somewhere between Oz and the Big Rock Candy Mountain.