That's Victor Davis Hanson's lament:

Obama did not need to hide in the dissimulation of "only restoring taxes to the Clinton-era rates," but instead could have said candidly that he needed to tax those over (who knows?) about 20% more in income and FICA payroll taxes without caps (far, far higher in combination than the Clinton hikes) to pay for his vision of a larger government that would add $1 trillion in expenditures in what he felt were necessary expansions of critical services that only the government could provide.

He could have said he had no real apologies for Ayers, Wright, Moss, Pfleger, Khalidi, or any other of his earlier Chicago associates, inasmuch, however prone to exaggeration and bombast, they all shared a very skeptical and understandably conflicted view of the US and its policies and history, one that he hoped to convince the rest of America to share.

Yet regrettably, on any occasion that he has come close to honestly offering a different and unapologetic vision — bankrupting the coal industry as the tough, necessary price to ensure our wind and solar future, spreading the wealth around on the premise that half the wage earners really should pay no taxes and the 5% who now pay 60% really should pay far more (a redistributive goal impossible to meet, regrettably, by court action alone), or suggesting a need for racial reparations and more 'oppression studies', or that the surge would make, and had made, things worse, and that the Iraq business should have ended by March 2008, he almost immediately backtracked and sidestepped with the now accustomed "what I really meant," "what I was trying to say", "that was taken out of context," or "not the (fill in the blanks) I used to know".

Or, to put it another way, if only Obama had conformed to the insane caricature right-wingers like Hanson have been painting of him.

P.S. There's obviously all sorts of stuff to pick apart in Hanson's lament, but there's one particular bit that's just gross: when has Obama even hinted that he favors racial reparations.

--Jason Zengerle