George W Bush, as he smashed himself through his time in the White House, showed that he was a man who was embarrassingly ignorant, surprisingly lacking in intelligence, and in addition exhibited an unfailing talent for mangling the English language.
In spite of overwhelming evidence of Bush's failures of content and form, there were articles written by people-in-the-know informing us that Bush was certainly not stupid; Bush was not really ignorant [after all he even carried books around so he could be photographed with them]; Bush was really very perceptive, his gut would let him know what to do and even seems to have helped him read Putin's soul.
In other words, don't believe your lying eyes [and ears].
Now we have a new resident in the White House, one who was actually elected [if we ignore the undemocratic Democratic primary process].
This President is definitely not stupid. He's probably way to the other end of the intelligence scale than his predecessor. But even with all his intelligence, education, oratorical skill there still appears to be a need to communicate to the public that which is not borne out by events.
The message being delivered about Obama is that he encourages ideas and discussion and listens to those who disagree with him. In areas of security, military and finance Obama surrounded himself with people who are vested in the ways of the rich and powerful. It's become increasingly obvious that these are the only people to whom Obama listens.
Obama brings in a few of the contrary voices AFTER the decisions have already been made to suit the existing powers that be. That's not listening, that's an attempt to convert and defuse. There's certainly nothing wrong with that as a strategy except when the attempt is made to make it appear as something it isn't.
The overall problem with Obama is that he's working for the US's financial masters; he's carrying over most of wrongness of the Bush torture regime (just without the torture, at least as far as we know and at least at present); his administration is secretive and non-transparent in the same way the Bush administration was. Obama is working for the financial industry and the military industry. Just like Bush. That is not what he promised. And that is not what his oath of office was about. Perhaps Obama didn't listen to it, though, unlike Bush, I'm sure he would have understood it if he bothered to pay attention.
ADDED 05/28/09 --
Another problem with Obama, and ultimately with the US, is that Obama is one more roadblock in the way of the US righting some of the wrongs we've committed in the last few years. The US cannot un-kill all those we have killed but as we will not even look at our own actions and refuse to hold anyone accountable, Obama has insured that future presidents will find it easier and easier to behave as tyrants and despots.
Obama is not doing the US any favor by shirking his sworn duty to uphold the constitution. Instead he is contributing to the downward spiral of the United States.