A website called 90days90reasons.com went online this summer, after the writer Dave Eggers got worried about the diminishing enthusiasm for Barack Obama among people like him. Eggers is a hipster, I guess you’d call him. He lives in San Francisco. He’s best known as the author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, a long, funny, clever, and annoying memoir, which was published, like Barack Obama’s less funny and less annoying memoir, when its author was scarcely pushing 30. Kids grow up so quickly these days. The memoir’s immense commercial success, along with the popularity of a magazine he edits, led the New York Times to call Eggers “the magnetic center of a literary counterestablishment.”
Normally when the Times calls a fellow a magnetic center of a counterestablishment, you’ll find him cuddling snoozily in the lap of the Times or some other establishment enterprise, a plump purring pussycat, defanged and declawed. Even so, on Eggers’s pro-Obama website, glimmers of independent thinking flash here and there. For one thing, several contributors aren’t very pro-Obama.
“Has he failed?” asks one, who lives in New York. “Sure he has.”
“There’s no whitewashing the fact that his presidency hasn’t been a green one,” writes another, who also lives in New York.
Still another, an Indian, who lives in Seattle, writes: “I tried to think of one great thing Obama has done for Indians. And I couldn’t think of one damn thing.”
Eggers himself acknowledged the problem in the website’s manifesto, called “The Opening Salvo.” The ambivalence among “progressives” is what drove him to start the website in August.