I’m noticing something interesting.

President Obama was never forceful about the public option. In fact, that was something for which a lot of progressives slammed him. During the campaign, he hardly mentioned the public option at all, and barely supported the idea when the health care debate started.

But the meme has changed. Now that the public option is apparently out of both the House and the Senate versions of the health care reform bill, Obama’s being slammed for having “promised” a public option at all costs.

Both memes cannot be true. But that’s not stopping the progressives from engaging in the same kind of Obama Derangement Syndrome we see on the far right — bashing Obama no matter what he does.

Maybe the real story here is that when all is said and done, perhaps this country is impossible to govern. We’re too divided, too ready to pounce, unable to accept incremental steps forward, wanting all or nothing, total glory or absolute destruction, and all of it right now.

In today’s culture, Martin Luther King’s followers would turn on him for daring to say, “I might not get there with you,” as they scream at him, “Whaddya mean? We’re not going to get there TODAY? You’re a COMPROMISER! YOU’VE FAILED US!”

The right wing will never go along with the left wing. The left wing cannot go along with the right wing. The centrists are becoming as volatile as the fringes. The right is turning on itself, as is the left. The moderates are learning not to care.

Maybe the culprit here is our consumerist culture of Instant Gratification. It has now corrupted our political will. Perhaps it has destroyed the possibility of good government and wise leadership — not because there are no wise leaders, but because we wouldn’t have the patience for them.

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