In today's The Nation, Robert Dreyfuss takes Barack Obama to task for not stepping up and doing more to address the renewed violence between Hamas and Israel. I'm going to pass on commenting on his assessment of the actual situation in the Middle East (the virulent comments left by other readers at the end of the article flog the topic to death) but I am not entirely sure why Obama is seen as shirking his responsibilities here. After all, he technically has absolutely no authority.
Unfortunately, George "Vanishing Act" Bush isn't doing much himself so there's a power vacuum unless something is going on through the State Department that we don't know about yet. However, unless someone wants to change the rules and move up the Inauguration date, Obama a) can't actually do anything until January 20th and b) runs the risk of offering mixed messages if he says something that is contradictory to the current State Department efforts.