Then reality kicks in, and it usually gives you an extra hard cuff round the ear for daring to be so foolish as to hope.
So I'm saying now that I'm officially disillusioned with Barak Obama. The reason for it is what Hilary Clinton said at her Senate confirmation hearing (1), and it came doewn to just one phrase: "Smart force."
What a sickening, cynical lie the idea of "Smart force" is. It's meant to suggest that the USA will use its massive resources in a clever and adroit manner. What it really means is, "We'll carry on bombing people, but we'll make it see like we're doing it in a nice way where civilians don't get blown apart ad mained by our super smart munitions and bombs that are smart enough to sniff out terrorists and obliterate them without anyone else getting hurt, even if they are in the same room as the evil terrorist obliteree."
"Smart force," meaning, "We'll be just as ruthless and wicked as the last lot, but we'll be smart enough not to make ourselves look like we're evil. Because this is "smart force." Not dumb force, like Dumb Dubya used and which made him look bad. We wouldn't use dumb force. We'll use "smart force," and we'll always look good, even as we carry on being as evil hearted as ever."
Business as usual in other words.
And more business as usual in the rest of her hearing. She calls for "A just and lasting peace agreement" in Israel and the Occupied Territories - but don't they all, and universally fail to deliver. She adds that "We cannot negotiate with Hamas until it recognises Israel, renouncesviolence and agrees to abide by previous agreements," (2) while not requiring the same of Israel, which has killed around a thousand Palestinians in the last few days, a death toll that the vicious thugs of Hamas's might dream of but are completely incapable of matching, and which has flaunted so many United Nations resolutions and exhortations, up to and including one this week. Yet the USA is not just willing to negotiate with Israel, they are willing to fund and arm them with the weapons currently maiming women and children - and the occasional terrorist, to be fair - in Gaza.
Same again for Iran, wher "no option is off the table" (3). So the Bush doctrine of randomly threatening and applying force (smart or otherwise) still applies. No change, in other words.
So it is back to the old game of hoping a new leader won't be as bad as the last one, rather than hoping for something truly great.
1 - "Clinton announces dawn of 'smart power'," by David Usborne in The Independent, 14th of January, 2009. (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/clinton-announces-dawn-of-smart-power-1334256.html)
2 - Ibid.
3 - Ibid.