"All I remember was that knife twist in my gut of deep disappointment. I learned then that Obama was going to disappoint; that his ideals were tempered by a kind of rough pragmatism; and that he would be willing to personally alienate ME. ME OF ALL PEOPLE. The one person who knew best about how to run a presidential campaign and ranked Obama’s performance as a candidate solely upon his adherence to a few very specific positions that I cared most about. HOW COULD HE WIN THIS ELECTION WITHOUT ME? And then I realized: Oh. How can he win the election WITH an asshole like me?
Now that I’ve looked it up, I still disagree with his decision on the FISA update. But what I remember is this: not only would I have to get used to that knife twist of disappointment, I would have to learn to enjoy it. Because that’s the moment that I realized that Obama actually intended to win.
After that I learned to appreciate Obama in a different way. I appreciated that he inhabited a world in which idealism—and ideology—could never by sheer force of will overcome objective reality, and the hard compromises, uneasy truces, and constant errors that must be made to live in that world."