Ian Millhiser can’t understand why the left wasn’t as disappointed with fictional President Jed Bartlet as they are with President Obama:
For seven seasons, the West Wing was therapy for thousands of Bush-weary progressives who fantasized about being governed by a Nobel Prize winning scholar who didn’t believe that high-income tax cuts were a panacea. Now that America actually is governed by a Nobel Prize winning scholar with a real domestic policy agenda, however, it’s time to be honest about President Bartlet’s legacy. While ability to rhetorically shameconservatives made him an appealing fantasy, the substance of Bartlet’s policies ranged from uninspired on issues like health care to downright destructive on Social Security and education. Bartlet had a lackluster economic record. He gave away a seat on the Supreme Court to the far right, and he consistently favored symbolic cultural victories over real opportunities to make life better for American families.
H/t to Andrew Sullivan.