Probably the main reason I am so whiny about the Obama administration is that I am more concerned with foreign policy than domestic.
Look at our country. We do, really, have one of the better systems of government in the world but we don't even know how to use it.
Most of us don't vote. And for every person who has given up on the two-party monopoly, there are probably five or ten more who never gave a shit in the first place, and not because they were too smart to get involved, either. In my moral universe, the privilege of not voting while retaining my respect (worth very little, I know) is something you can only earn after being exhausted from caring.
The people who do vote mostly do so for shitty reasons. Some for well-developed shitty reasons (IE coherent policy positions that happen to not be any good), some for under-developed shitty reasons (imagine some "nice", folksy person who thinks themselves an astute judge of character [who can't even imagine the candidate outside of the marketing] worrying about who would best fit in at the local diner/bar/Denny's/mega-church/free-trade coffee shop/whatever). The media's job is to treat all of this bullshit with "respect".
Some people even think voting is not enough. They "get involved", and write their congressional representatives. I worked for congress once, back in 2000. I had to open hundreds of letters from these marvelous concerned citizens every day. My favorite came from some cracker who complained about the luxurious accommodations that government had provided that "Commie" Elian Gonzalez.
Some people even choose to really become involved, and canvas (guilty), work with their local precincts to sway voters, work on campaigns, etc. A lot of these people seem to think they are holding back the tidal wave of (insert what they oppose here) that threatens to wash over our fertile country, but their rhetoric is usually more successful for convincing themselves than anyone else. Because.
Because our country is awash with bland pragmatists, undecideds, "independents", whose navel-gazing complacency is constantly venerated as the only authentic perspective from which to view politics. If you ever find yourself on TV as part of some news story portraying some race for some office and you want to be seen as the voice of reason, just tell everyone you are just "trying to feed your family" and see the look of respect that immediately washes over the face of your interrogator. Nothing speaks to the way in which the radical nihilism of our times is hidden in plain sight, banal, ubiquitous, "moderate", cloyingly friendly, than the wide berth this not-enlightened self-interest is granted. Whether there was ever anything worthwhile about negative freedom as a means of organizing our society, it plays now like a toddler not wanting to eat his vegetables. The same level of petulance and hysterics, wrapped in the "wisdom" that is so easy for those who have never experienced a granule of what this world has to offer to convey.
So I am not surprised about our lack of nationalized health care, nor about the shitty educational system, and the shitty attempts to reform it. I am not surprised that the people who wrecked this economy are planning their next vacations while many of us are wondering if we will have one again. Nor am I surprised that there are a million people trying to spin all of this bullshit for personal gain, nor that they succeed. What I don't get is why we have to keep fucking killing people in other countries just so that we can go on pretending that all of the above is not true.