Princeton professor Cornel West, when asked by New York Times columnist Andrew Goldman as to how Obama can be the president West wants him to be when he’s facing this Republican Congress, replied thus: “You’ve got to be a thermostat rather than a thermometer. A thermostat shapes the climate of opinion; a thermometer just reflects it. If you’re just going to reflect it and run by the polls, then you’re not going to be a tranformative president. Lincoln was a thermostat. Johnson and F.D.R., too.”
Okay. If President Obama is a thermometer, where and how is he taking our temperature?