President Obama is about as unpopular with a certain segment of the left as he is of the right. I am not sure totally where this hate-- and it is hate-- comes from but it shows up with cruel cartoons and accusations that everything that goes wrong anywhere is his fault.
Now I have to put in a disclaimer here. I am not thrilled with everything he's been doing either. We gave quite healthily to his campaign in 2008 but have held off on any money so far; but the more I see the characters who represent the alternatives (except Jon Huntsman) or listen to the debates, the more I know eventually we will be donating because I can see it'll be like McCain with Palin. Obama might not be it all but they are so far the other way that for me there is no choice but to support Obama (looking at Mississippi's personhood bill is just one example or the attempt to stop government employees from being able to negotiate as unions). Incidentally, I don't agree with Huntsman either on a lot of important issues, but at least he's a thinking person.
Obama is not as liberal as many would have liked. He's a lot more of a pragmatist but some of what he's being accused of I think is very unfair. For instance some on the left consider the drone killing of the American al Qaeda leader to be murder. They wanted him to have a trial-- except that was obviously not possible given the country he was operating within. The fact that Obama has been continuing to fight the war against terrorists but has used precision tactics is not making the left any happier than when it was all out war with tanks.
Here's how I see it. We are at war but it's not with a country (momentarily). We are at war with a mindset and warriors who are willing to die to attain their ends so long as it scares or kills other people. The American who was recently killed was proud of what he was doing in recruiting more troops for that war, convincing more to be willing to die in a suicide bomb attack. This isn't like he was out there saying he was innocent. He was open that he was a traitor to his own country. He had realigned his allegiance to what he saw as a higher cause-- which was terrorism. To me then the killing of him was self-defense and an act of war. It is the price traitors have always paid.
Obama made it clear he would fight a different kind of war but he would fight it. He has done exactly that with the drone attacks. Scary? You bet but war is scary. These are tactics that are specific and aimed at those who want to or have attacked us. I don't see how we can ignore that they are there.
Torture I see as different. He claims he has not authorized it but will not give up possibly using the act of rendition which might mean transferring prisoners to those who will (although from what I have read of the current US war tactics, it doesn't seem taking prisoners is what they are trying to do. They are instead eliminating the enemy with as little collateral damage as possible.
Most of what I see Obama doing in every issue is step by step to get a goal (which is why Republicans also don't like him-- although they vary from thinking he's a dictator of rare effectiveness to totally bumbling and incapable of doing anything right). Obama's way is not dramatic and it's not showy. In the end though it keeps moving us toward goals that matter to me like getting rid of don't ask don't tell. This is why I think we will eventually get gay marriage if we don't go backward with a Republican presidency led by extremists.
Obama made a lot of liberals mad when he backed off on enforcing the ozone reductions over cities like L.A. Well that had already been set for reevaluation in 2013; so in a lot of ways it was just a tactic which didn't mean anything but because it showed up as backing off infuriated a group of former supporters. It is unfortunate that often what is showy is what gets the attention and inch by inch frustrates everybody.
If liberals do back off from him. If they don't give him donations or volunteer to help, we will get one of the Republicans running for office. Some say it won't matter if we also get a Democratic Senate and House (a long way from givens). I say keep in mind Bush with many of his years having Democratic House and Senate and he still did a lot of damage.
Wouldn't it be better to get that Democratic House and Senate with enough power to pass legislation (In other words no blue dogs-- democrats in name only)? Then if Obama fails us, we know why and we can put pressure on the House and Senate to override him. But what if he really wants what we thought he did and in 2012 we finally get a shot at seeing what Democrats might rule like if they had real power?
Finally he has given us two good, strong liberal Supreme Court Justices. IF we have a Romney or Cain, we know we will get another Alito or Roberts. That would make six, relatively young, strong right wing judges who can overturn laws we have had on the books for years, who preside in the Supreme Court as though they are above laws or precedent. It won't just be abortion that will feel the heat of that kind of Supreme Court. It will be the rights of all of us in every sense except what benefits the wealthy and the corporations who are now considered people. What a Roberts court can do when Ginsburg retires which she says she'll do after 2012, it doesn't bear thinking about. If say Kennedy also resigns or any of the five current extremist justices, if we have Obama and a Senate in Democratic hands, we could even get a Hillary Clinton. Just think about that if nothing else for the heartburn it'd give to Scalia. *s*
There are a lot of issues I'd like to see happen with a strong liberal president but it's possible the country would not vote for that. If Cain gets the Republican nomination with his very strong tea party, corporate and right wing social policy positions, it says this country is a lot further right than a lot of us hoped.