Time to toughen up on Obama

“The Daily Show” recently produced a compilation of all the news network’s uses of the phrase “the honeymoon’s over” in regards to President Obama’s recent tribulations. The collection was absurdly long. It’s true. The master of Hope-and-Change has now slammed headlong into the tough reality of being Commander-in-Chief. He’s made his first mistakes, namely nominating three, yes three, appointees with major issues paying taxes. Many of his loyal supporters don’t know how to cope.Their modus operandi has generally been to ignore the issue. The nominations are forgivable offenses, but they’re also a smack in the face to liberal principles.Obama campaigned on a more robust government and a more collectively defined America. He’s promised a massive update of health care, education and infrastructure and the creation of green jobs. None of these things are possible without the very taxes these appointees have dodged. Daschle and Killefer have withdrawn, but Timothy Geithner was pushed through, and is now Secretary of the Treasury. There’s something incredibly oxymoronic about the head of the IRS having a history of tax problems.With Obama’s massive stimulus sure to pass, let’s hope that most Americans are more diligent with their taxes than Geithner.Certainly these were minor misdeeds, but that shouldn’t prevent criticism. For Obama’s unprecedentedly devoted following, these incidents are a litmus test of their ability to put principles before personality.It may seem harsh to impugn Obama’s judgment for failing to recognize problems in the background of his appointees, but history is filled with people quietly backing down when their personal histories conflicted with their job descriptions. Obama should have pushed Geithner to do the same.The campaign is over. He works for us now. The personal connection many feel with the president cannot override the political ideas he campaigned on. For too many, the concept that there could be a discrepancy between Obama’s rhetoric and his actions is incomprehensible. They are committed to his infallibility. After months of following him through the struggles of campaigning they feel a sense of loyalty.But loyalty can cloud your judgment.Over the next four years he will, like all presidents, betray his principles and make consequential mistakes. The followers he owes so much to shouldn’t let him off the hook.It’s good to be tough on him.