Where have you gone, Barack Obama? Where is the sunny-side-up young man who promised to inspire and unite an unhappy nation?

Gone into the partisan sinkhole of Washington, that’s where. Like some novice swimmer too confident of his own ability, Obama is suddenly finding himself in water over his head.

His flailing, including a foul habit of demonizing dissent, is not pretty. And that brief foray into e-mail tracking of critics showed a win-at-any-cost side.

Where is the appealing man we elected? Where is that Barack Obama?

Let’s find him quick because the whole nation is paying the price for this impostor’s irrational exuberance. Or hubris.