George Packer on the shift in Obama’s support:
The most disappointed people I meet are under thirty, the generation that made the Obama campaign a movement in its early primary months. They spent their entire adult lives under the worst President of our lifetime, they loved Obama because he was new and inspiring, and they felt that replacing the former with the latter would be a national deliverance. They weren’t wrong about that, but the ebbing of grassroots energy once the Obama campaign turned to governing suggests that some of his most enthusiastic backers saw the election as an end in itself. The Obama movement was unlike other social movements because it began and ended with a person, not an issue. And it was unlike ordinary political coalitions because it didn’t have the organizational muscle of voting blocs. The difficulty in sustaining its intensity through the inevitable ups and downs of governing shows the vulnerability in this model of twenty-first-century, Internet-based politics.
Andrew Sullivan in response:
This is an ocean liner that was boarded by a bunch of insurgents in a dinghy. You can’t captain the liner the way you did the dinghy. But if you wonder if the liner has changed direction, look at the apoplexy of the old regime. They’re not fools. And they know they’re losing.