In the clip above, you'll watch Obama's attack on Clinton over Social Security be dismantled by Paul Krugman. Obama is arguing that there is a fiscal crisis Clinton is ignoring, and this is a big problem for a few reasons. One, there is no crisis with Social Security, which is something progressives understand. There are many crises around the world, including fiscal ones in this country. But Social Security is fine. Two, politically speaking, Social Security was the issue upon which Bush's momentum in 2005 crumbled because of a large progressive organizing effort. That Obama is using the need to shore up Social Security as an attack on Clinton, well, this makes me want to say that I'm disappointed that Obama is abandoning the politics of hope.
On another level, I just feel bad for progressive Obama supporters. It's simply awful to watch a person that you thought was great and progressive betray and embarrass you for political gain, and move into a more authoritarian direction. A lot of Obama supporters at this point will become much quieter since there's little that is positive to say, which will allow the more ardent types to occupy more of the conversation. That's really unfortunate, but it's just a reality that Obama has given up his role as a participant in the progressive conversation. He'll be back as he's too giant a figure to leave permanently. But his campaign at this point is leaving him not just scarred as a Presidential figure, but as a political figure in general. He has just shrunk dramatically in stature.