I’ve become hugely disappointed by the Obama team’s failure to stand up to the right-wing fiends who’ve been stirring up fear among the selfish and aggressively ignorant hinterland types in order to serve the interests of the insurance companies, and by allowing the public option to be weakened or (I greatly fear) cast aside as a result. The right is appalling, rancid and malicious, and the tea-baggers are truly grotesque in their small-mindedness. Ignore these awful people, brush the “stoppers” aside, and please do what is right and true and restorative. (Along the lines of what David Brooks wrote today.)

But if Obama piddles around and winds up signing some mushy, watered-down health care bill, he’s lost me. I mean, I’ll still continue to like him a lot more than a lot of other would-be leaders but the carte blanche thing will be over, and the glow that he used to give me will be greatly subdued, if not dead. Public option or death, I say. Pull down the temple and let the stones fall where they may if it can’t happen.

Yesterday Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan wrote that President Obama “is cold, like someone who is contained not because he’s disciplined and successfully restrains his emotions, but because there’s not that much to restrain. This is the dark side of cool. One wonders if this will play well with the American people. Long-term it is hard to get people to trust your policies if they think you’re coolly operating on some intellectual or ideological abstractions.

“I don’t think as a presidential style it will wear well with the center. And it may not wear well with the president’s own party. They may come to see him, in time, as not really one of them. And that’s when things will really get interesting.”