One thing we might all agree on: He's doing the best he can.
Now that we've dispensed with that--why are we in the mess we're in today? Doing the best he can at what? I think the answer lies somewhere along a continuum.
A. He's incompetent and clueless. That is, he doesn't know what he doesn't know, and even if he did, he wouldn't know what to do about it.
B. He's just incompetent. He's trying to solve all these problems, he knows something must be done, he just doesn't know how to do it.
C. He is very competent, but events and the Republicans have conspired against him to make everything he does turn out wrong. None of his mistakes are his fault--they aren't really mistakes, they're good ideas that just haven't worked because he had to follow eight years of Bush's failed policies, and he's stuck with a Congress full of and directed by Democrats who don't know their should-be-kicked-a**es from leaking oil wells in the Gulf and are no help whatsoever. Even John McCain isn't reaching across the aisle these days. And there are so many disasters happening all at once. Nobody could keep his attention on more than one at a time. It'd be like asking a President to both walk and chew gum at the same time.
D. He's not too concerned about these incidents and developments because he has bigger fish to fry. He'd prefer that these things didn't happen, but they're not that important to him. He is occupied with a desire to centralize our economy and nationalize key industries. Or, as Maxine Waters said for him, "socializing" America.
E. He feels serendipity all around him. Every one of these incidents gives him an opportunity to move the US closer to a centrally-directed economy, and he's done so.
F. Not only are they serendipitous, he wants to make them last. Again, he's been very competent at doing so. And he's had help and direction from very powerful, very rich people.
Now, an ordinary optimist would wish that C were the right answer, or if not C, it's A or B. In all those cases, things can still be turned around in 2012, and mainly the voters are to blame. A hard-core optimistic socialist would hope that the answer is D, E, or F, and those would also be the answers given by an average, ordinary pessimist.
But what of us, the great unwashed public, trying to make sense of him without letting our optimism or pessimism take over?
Although A looks like a strong contender, nobody could be that far out in left field, could he? This is the choice for those who like Obama personally, but can't stand any of his policies. It's actually a pity choice.
B is a possibility, but we must ask ourselves about the probabilities of his making the wrong decision (for the People) every time. The odds against that must be astronomical. But this seems to be the answer selected by Vassar Bushmills in his excellent column, Why can't Barack Obama Govern? I don't think Vassar considered the odds when he made his choice. And his predictions later seem to indicate that he truly believed the answer is elsewhere.
C seems to be what Obama wants us to think. It's the least objectionable of all the choices, filled as it is with "politics as usual" and "ObamaCompetency." And it's the answer that the MSM keeps whispering to us, "Pick C, pick C, C is it," liberal optimists that they are.
D, E, and F are just the spectrum of the darker side of the Obama presidency. (THAT IS NOT A RAAAACIST COMMENT!) People who think he's a well-meaning socialist vote for D. They know that what's really important are the ends, not the means.
E is the "Rahm Emanuel answer." Obama is just making sure each crisis doesn't go to waste. Vassar's prediction that in the wake of a Republican avalanche in November, "Obama will unilaterally attempt to seize control of as much of the government as he can, by executive order, and pass it over to the bureaucracy...." fits nicely here, or even with answer F.
F is the favorite of the conspiracy theorists. They say, the only way anybody could be that cold would be on purpose, or if George Soros had his boxers in a vise, ready to apply the world's biggest wedgie if Barack were to stumble.
In case you didn't notice, A, B, and C are practically benign compared to the sinister implications of D, E, and F. Unfortunately, the first three are the least likely answers, given the circumstances and the position involved. Could a clueless dunce be elected President? Maybe, but highly unlikely unless an element of answer F were also involved. Again, could anybody graduate from Harvard Law School and come out so pathetically incompetent? Even if he could, wouldn't happenstance cause him to choose at least a few good policies? That's the problem with B. As noted, C is the Obama choice, but how likely is it that everybody is conspiring against him? How likely is it that even our maverick Republican Congresscritters wouldn't reach across the aisle to help him if they thought one of his policies were at least salvageable? The appeal of the first three choices is that in all of them, the President is occupied with doing the Peoples' business for their benefit. He isn't trying to advance his own agenda.
That leaves D, E, and F, and all three of them are pretty scary. That scariness is why so few non-conservatives (and not even very many conservatives) are willing to commit themselves to these propositions. They all imply that our President cares more about his own ideological agenda than he cares about being a President of all the people, more than he cares about taking care of the Peoples' business. That would make him a Congressionally enabled Dictator rather than a President. Who wants to believe that?
So, you make the choice. Will you believe your heart (choices A, B, or C) or your own lyin' eyes (D, E, or F)? Remember it in November.