It's not Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. He was prepared to whittle away at all three of them in order to make a Grand Bargain with the GOP about our debt.
It's not peace: he's still fighting for no good reason in Afghanistan.
It's not the rule of law or habeas corpus: he's still got the extra-legal prison obscenity at Guantanamo Bay going.
It's not transparency: his administration goes after whistle-blowers like no other.
It's not a humane immigration policy: he deports more immigrants than any administration.
It's not justice: he didn't go after the Bushies who promoted torture, nor did he prosecute the fraudsters of Wall Street who ruined our economy.
It's not gay rights: he still doesn't agree with gay marriage.
It's not the labor movement: he never pushed for Card Check and he ignored the grassroots fight over union negotiating rights in Ohio and other heartland states (what if he had marched with them as he promised in his campaign? just imagine the galvanizing effect on labor, the Dems and himself).
It's not basic progressive principles, like Medicare for all, or at minimum a public option to give folks a real healthcare choice.
It's not even his own progressive base, who worked hard to elect him, and whom he and his acolytes disdain as “the professional left.”
It's not anything. In fact, it's nothing. President Barack Obama has a shell, but not a core. He's not a man of principle. He's a man of expedience. A so-called pragmatist.
In other words, he's our first thoroughly post-modern president. There is no objective truth: everything is relative, plural and contextual. Obama mistrusts ideology from a very unique perspective: he has no ideology of his own.