President Barack Obama, as I've written on this blog often, has many qualities that our previous president did not: intelligence, emotional maturity and the presence of mind and selfhood to not be ruled by dogma and ideology. After eight years of the moronic, debased, retrogressive debauchery of W and Darth Cheney, Obama's election was a breath of fresh air and, yes, hope.

The end of the new president's first year in office is still 5 weeks away, and throughout the last eleven months, he has maintained a poised, rational demeanor, even in the face of the most despicable obstruction by the trash heap that has become the Republican Party, and in spite of the vile, racist hatred that has erupted like a fetid volcano from the right wing lunatic fringe that infects the United States like an incurable venereal disease.

Yet, something seems amiss, or perhaps, is missing in Obama's leadership so far.

Last April, I wrote about the president's "Rigid Character Structure," and how his desire to get things done, as with all who have this personality make-up, may supersede his higher wisdom. Obama was elected with a strong mandate to lead the country into an era in which the debacles of unregulated trickle-down economics, xenophobic and militaristic foreign policies, and the suppression of civil liberties would be reversed and our course set straight. It was not only clear when Obama was elected that the Republicans would be a negative force against any progressive movement in these areas, but likewise, it was clear that the Democrats would continue to be the useless, mealy-mouthed, two-faced wimps and shills that they have been for the last thirty years.

So, as he seemed to understand early on, Obama, in league with the majority of citizens that elected him, would have to take the fight to the career politicians and incorrigible psychopaths and fat cats who have become a modern plague upon our world. The hope was that the new president would lead by leading, not by compromising with the crooks and liars, not by patiently tolerating the constant stonewalling for obstruction's sake alone of any and all positive change, and not by listening with an open mind to those who would advise the president to surge into his own Bay of Pigs gambit in a country whose resistance we cannot defeat with brute force or technologically advanced weaponry.

At the end of John Kennedy's first year in office, he, too, seemed to be off the mark he had set during his exhilarating, hope-inspiring campaign. It didn't look good for the young president at the end of 1961. Yet, by the time he was killed, almost two years later, JFK seemed to be hitting his stride and arriving to the leadership potential so many had expected.

Barack Obama may yet arrive and become himself fully as he grows into his office over the next few years. 2009 comes to an end as a dire year in American history, yet perhaps, we are at a moment of rebirth. All such moments include labor pains and fear and resistance before the glory of the delivery.

I still hold hope.

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