Two important things about this article: First, I think it marks that third week in a row that Donald Kaul has appeared again the Des Moines Register. Frankly, the P-C I get for local news, but the DMR is a mere shadow of its former self, across the board. Picking up the man who wrote for it going back in into the early 1970's (at least that's when I picked up the habit from my dad), is a great choice for a paper that hasn't made many great choices over the years.
As to this piece, Kaul expresses my sense of Obama to a T. I'm prepared to give Obama a lot of slack, but I do wonder why he is not more assertive. Every politician, even FDR, for example, is cautious and can't get too far out in front of the selectorate (thank Bruce Bueno de Mesquita for the term). But if you're negotiating, and trying to build your base (which politicians must do constantly), you have to bluff a bit. BTW, note that Kaul describes Republicans as "mad"--nothing like a poignant double-entendre. I don't have an answer to Kaul's question, but we need help. As he pointed out in an earlier Kaulumn, Michelle Bachmann and her ilk are positively daft, part of a growing group of know-nothings (my term, not his). I really do wish that I had an answer.