The following is an edited version of a post I put up on Salon.com circa December 31, 2009 in response to various articles from the several progressive columnists on that site who I think were being a bit too easy on President Obama as his first year in the Oval Office reached completion. This letter was posted in the letters section of one of Joan Walsh's articles that was posted the same day, "Let's get Dick Cheney on Facebook!" and is now buried within a few hundred pages of letters to that particular article.

Despite my great sympathies and support of the Left on the vast majority of their positions (I am a socialist, the neocons' worst nightmare) I understand I have been quite tough on Obama. I think more of you on the Left need to be tougher on him rather than endlessly insisting that we need to give him more time to make do on his campaign pledges. A year in office isn't half of his first term, granted, but I think it's more than long enough to predict exactly what to expect from him in the future. I don't expect miracles or perfection from him or any other person in the White House, but I did expect more than what we have gotten from him thus far by a significant margin. And I believe the working class of this country (and the world) deserves a president who will fight hard to defend their well-being rather than constantly capitulating to the "neocon" agenda.

Please understand that I am a bit upset at the bulk of what he did in his first year of office after I voted for him with as much hope as any of you, and this despite my reservations about his centrist positions during his campaign. And with all due respect, though I understand your need for hope and how awful a thing cynicism is I think you guys and ladies on the Left need to be a bit more critical of him in the future, no matter how charming and sophisticated a man he is, or what an eloquent speech-maker he is, etc. If you support him no matter what he does or try to find the silver lining in his every act of capitulation to the Right, is that going to give him any impetus to change direction on his policies in the future?

I realize that it will be a long, long time before we actually get a bonafide socialist president, but I think we on the Left can do better than a centrist appeaser of the Right like the Clintons and Obama. As I said in some of my previous letters in response to two of the neocons who post here, it really puzzles me why they hated Bill Clinton so much during his eight years in office when he gave them Welfare Reform, the "workfare" atrocity, NAFTA, a health care package that was entirely friendly to the private insurance and big pharma companies, a few destructive bombing raids in the Middle East (even if he wasn't "tough" enough to give them one or more full-scale wars, a "weakness" that Hillary promised to remedy if she was elected president), and his support of the Marriage Protection Act despite the crass betrayal of his gay supporters that this entailed. And I will never forget the extreme disaster that Hillary's good friend Janet Reno presided over at the Waco, Texas compound that brutally slaughtered most of the people they were supposed to be "rescuing" (including every single one of the kids present there) and President Clinton's totally reprehensible support of Reno's actions in a press conference soon afterwards (where he rudely walked off stage in the middle of the heated questions he was deservedly getting following his appraisal of Reno's extreme overkill). You would think that such an incident would satisfy some of the bloodlust of the right-wing "warriors" and prove to them that his administration was "tough" as they define the word. Yet the Republicans still hated him to an extreme extent and tried to impeach him over the matter of his fidelity to his wife.

On the other hand, so many Democrats and true Lefties I knew back then gave Clinton an extreme amount of support and said they liked him a lot, telling me things like, "he had no choice but to do all of those things due to all the political pressure from the Right" and how he was "good-looking," "charming to talk to," etc. The attitudes of both the Right and the Left towards the Clinton presidency was utterly puzzling to me, and both seemed less concerned with which segment of society Clinton's policies were helping and much more concerned with the mere fact that he belonged to the Democratic Party above all else.

Now I see the same inexplicable circus being played by both the Right and the Left with the Obama administration. Though I don't generally expect any logic or sense from the Right, I do like to expect it from the majority of people on the Left. So though I understand your need for hope and your willingness to give Obama a chance to turn this nation around, please don't do the same thing that too many people on the Left did regarding the Clinton presidency and show a willingness to be critical of Obama and his "centrist" policies when warrented, which has been the case quite often during his disappointing first year in office of his first term as president (assuming he gets a second term). I don't think I am asking for too much here.