When Bill Clinton left office we had no wars and a nice budget surplus. After two terms with a corporate-kowtowing faux-Texas yokel we were in two hopeless wars and had $4 trillion added to the national debt plus a laissez-faire deregulatory wink-wink attitude towards corporate profiteering that led to the big crash of ’08.

And then Obama came in on a wave of hope, pushed through a relatively weak, watered-down health care bill, killed Osama bin Laden but failed to show balls in his dealings with the Republicans’ radical Tea Party wing. He’s now seen as a fairly weak go-alonger — a center-right corporate boot-licker.

And Americans, on top of detecting this lack of steel, are worried that our ponzi-scheme, funny-money economy will collapse yet again. So there’s actually a real chance that a majority may decide next year that the solution is Rick Perry, another Texas hee-haw, faux-religious primitive who mainlines corporate funding and makes even Bush look relatively moderate. Despite the absolute certainty that Perry will bring back the same old corporate-favoring, climate-change-denying policies and then some. Obama is dispiriting, yes, but Perry is suicide. And we might actually go there.

What a comedown from the elation of the 11.4.08 election. What an overall drag. If only Obama had a little of that scrappy, manipulative, bullying-S.O.B spirit of Lyndon Johnson. If only Eliot Spitzer had kept his dick in his pants or at least had been smarter about it.

My one ray of hope is that in a mano e mano, Obama-vs.-Perry race, voters will realize that Perry is just too nuts. Maybe. In a 9.15 Hollywood Reporter piece, Tina Daunt quotes a disappointed-in-Obama Hollywood executive as follows: “If Obama is suddenly in a competitive race with Bachmann or Perry, I’ll max out so fast it will make your head spin.”