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When Did “Compromise” Transform Into A Negative Idea?

“Compromise” is one of the foundations of democrazy (that was originally a typo, but I like it). Somehow, since the election of President Obama, the word is being redefined by some on both sides of the isle, with the help of the media who just follow along like lemmings. It’s a word that is often said with disdain, as if the mere act of compromising is somehow wrong. This is a very disturbing trend because it basically increases polarization, hatred and gives people a reason to throw up their hands in disgust. It is part of the scorched earth strategy being employed by like I said, both the right and some on the left.

I can almost understand the right’s obsession with not compromising, it’s politics man. But for those on the left who claim to be progressive and care about changing things for the better, it flies in the face of reason to oppose it on principle. The Republican’s don’t want to compromise because they perceive any bills passed and signed by President Obama as a win. And we can’t have that now. And we all know that from day one of President Obama’s first term, they have tried to thwart any success for the White House, even if it means screwing citizens or exposing their hypocrisy. And because of the very successful brainwashing of their base by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the right-wing noise machine, it really won’t have much impact on those voters. We can only hope that it does have an impact on moderates, who are the folks that swing elections one way or the other.

The people on the left wing who have spit on the word compromise and staked out unrealistic positions, their reasons are a bit more complicated and in my opinion, just plain stupid. I expect stupid from Republicans, but in the last 2.5 years, many on the left have shown how stupid they are too. They may have been that way all along, but were hiding it well.

In the 8 years of President Bush’s term, a cottage industry sprung up that was fueled by anger, hatred and indignation towards the Bush Administration and the many rights and liberties that were taken from us or trampled on. Blogs became all the rage during this time and the idea of the internet as a way to organize and mobilize people around a cause became very real. But a lot of it was rooted in and fueled by anger towards Bush. I joined in the craze and loved seeing the Bush Administration challenged and attacked. Good times!  But the transition from the anger based foundation to where we are now, after President Obama took office, didn’t go very well for these people. A lot of that anger just shifted towards the new administration, the path of least resistance, I suppose.

Many of the “progressive”  bloggers that came to prominence during the Bush years, who clearly played to the anger towards Bush and gang, were actually Republicans turned angry. In their disgust towards Bush, they built a following of people who didn’t necessarily agree with them very much, besides hating Bush. Here is a brief list of some of those folks.

Arianna Huffington, worked for Newt Gingrich and is the former wife to Republican candidate Michael Huffington. We all know how she has cashed in and is turning back towards her true party, the GOP.

John Aravosis, former staffer to Sen. Ted (bridge to nowhere) Stevens.

Cenk Uygur, who has apparently admitted that he “used to be” a Republican on his show, he sure keeps attempting to play to the left but his roots help explain his attacks on the President.

Dylan Ratigan has landed a couple of different time slots on MSNBC and is trying to play to the left, although he clearly has a hard time of it. He built his brand on the back of populist rhetoric.

And I would add Glenn Greenwald to the mix too, although he claims to be an independent. He supports Gary Johnson, a Republican, as a third party candidate. He still gets trotted out as a left-leaning blogger or as a representative of the left blogosphere, when he clearly is not. Many volumes have been written about that man and his tactics.

The other group of bloggers and pundits that are fighting against the President and don’t seem to understand the nature of compromise are rooted on the liberal end of the spectrum. It is sad to see this group let their entrenched principles and ideals influence their perceptions of the progress that has been made with President Obama at the helm. They can’t even give the President credit when it is due. My short list of these folks include Michael Moore, Adam Green, Bill Maher, David Sirota, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Markos Moulitsas, Jane Hamsher and Keith Olbermann. We expect the right to have crazy notions about our President and suffer from Obama Derangement Syndrome, but it isn’t just a right-wing disease. From The Hand That Feeds You…

 The thing is, these folks aren’t the real threat. That’s what unnerves me, lately. What really bothers me, and I mean really gets my goat, are the basically forward thinking, well educated and Progressive Americans who also wallow in self-indulgent and conspiratorial whining. It is smug. It serves no purpose but to excuse inaction and it is more dangerous.

This is about the other “Obama Derangement Syndrome.” It is high time we address it.

Barack Obama’s Presidency had barely begun when some on the Left started selling us the “betrayal meme.” In March of 2009, Dave Lindorff famously excoriated the new President in a piece called “The Obama Betrayal.” He was apoplectic over capitulation to Republicans regarding the ‘Employee Free Choice Act.’ He makes no mention of the fact that Progressives did not flood the congress and the White House with calls supporting the President’s fight. He omits the huge and organized campaign enlisting our citizen-opponents which went a long way towards torpedoing the legislation. Why should we on the Left have been expected to do anything? Wasn’t Obama supposed to single-handedly crush our foes?

After all, we elected him.

To me, these people are extremely deluded. They’ve built a false narrative within their own minds and in the process have abandoned any pretense that people matter in the equation. Their ideals, reinforced with denial, lies, exaggerations and populist outrage, have overcome their common sense, if they had any to begin with. Whenever I get into a Twitter fight with any of them, I usually shut them up pretty quickly when I ask questions like “how does that help real people” or I start giving them real examples of how it affects people, like those with pre-existing conditions who can now get health insurance, like my niece. They seem to live in a world of generalities, ideals and have created their own echo chamber to reinforce it.

I also think that many of these so-called progressive bloggers, who seem to be fighting progress, have fallen victim to the “right wing paid troll program” where the GOP and their supporters pay people to comment on progressive blogs, either posing as liberals dissatisfied with the President or simply attacking liberal ideas with right-wing talking points. It’s a copy and paste operation that I think has overtaken many of the comment sections of these blogs. I think a lot of these bloggers are naive and think that there is a lot more dissatisfaction with the President and the Democratic Party than there actually is. And they drive out people who disagree with the anti-Obama memes. I know very well about that, having been banned by Daily Kos, Huffington Post, Crooks and Liars, Firedoglake and Americablog. And it wasn’t for being abusive at all, unless calling them “whiners” is somehow abusive or giving a different opinion than the consensus (group think) in the room.

The most often heard refrain from these folks is that President Obama gives up too much in the beginning of negotiations. They claim he gives in before the negotiations even begin. But these pundits who say this have no idea what the behind the scenes vote counting is or what preconditions may have been talked about in advance. But a lot of their criticism is because they think the President should start where they would, way to the left, whether it pollutes negotiations or gives the right-wing the fuel they need to either walk away, or try to paint the left as extreme. And of course, most of these people did absolutely nothing to help the president. More from The Hand That Feeds You…(emphasis mine)

Throughout Obama’s first two years, we the people who did elect him largely sat on our hands expecting to be saved. Perhaps we had become so inured to the imperial nature of the Presidency within the Bush years that we forgot that there are other requirements of citizenship between ballots. As we continued to do nothing and the opposition used slick, manipulative marketing to energize hundreds of thousand of idiots, the Washington Post asked “Is Obama Betraying The Left?” The New Statesman published “Obama: The Betrayal?” It goes on and on and on.

The “betrayal meme” is picking up steam again. This is frankly getting out of hand. Most recently, Cornel West, a great man whom I adore, has had a full blown freak-out. Chris Hedges is loving every minute of it. It’s nifty copy. It’s also representative of a dangerous and elitist abdication of citizen responsibility. It’s becoming the bread and butter of the establishment Left to accuse President Obama of essentially not rescuing us while we wait like little children.

The President has had to attempt to stand his ground in a position of weakness the base helped create. When the rabble on the right was out-calling our Representatives at a ratio of four or five to one to oppose the AFA, where were we? When Tea Partiers were being duped by their masters into showing up by the busload, where were our counter-protests? By the way, much as I do love Colbert and Stewart, they can suck it on that count. Like Bill Maher said at the time, rallies should really “be about something.”

This liberal group of pundits often make grandiose claims that President Obama is abandoning his base and losing support from them, yet every single poll that breaks it down, shows solid support for the President. The small amount who are unsatisfied are more than likely people who have not fared well in the economy and have only heard the media’s filtered version of who is to blame for it. Some are extreme pacifists who expected a Democratic president to just pull our troops out of every conflict that Bush handed to President Obama, immediately. People like Glenn Greenwald, David Sirota, Jane Hamsher and others try hard to further that perception as some sort of betrayal, even though candidate Obama made clear what he was going to do when he took office. I read recently, I wish I could find it, one of those folks basically say that nothing has changed in Iraq, the President isn’t getting us out of there. Except the facts are much different. Unfortunately, the following is from the Huffington Post on August 10, 2010…

In Massachusetts, where the president was on vacation, White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan called the drawdown in U.S. troops a “truly remarkable achievement.” He noted that the milestone had been reached a week ahead of schedule and represented a drop of 94,000 troops on Obama’s watch.

You can imagine my disbelief upon reading the characterization that nothing has changed in Iraq. Combat operations were declared over on August 31, 2010 and the last combat troops drove out of Iraq and into Kuwait. Now a lot of people just denied that it was true, poo pooed it and said we will never leave Iraq. And you can’t play with my ball, either. I’m taking it home. So nah! The reality is that President Obama is doing exactly what he said he would do and ahead of schedule. That has to piss of the people most intent on making sure our president doesn’t get credit for a damn thing.

As a Democrat and supporter of President Obama, it pisses me off that so many people who claim to be progressive or liberal have decided that attacking and weakening our Democratic President is somehow going to help their cause. It is the stupidest fucking reasoning I’ve ever seen in politics. On what fucking planet does weakening your party’s leader somehow help the party? Considering the lock-step discipline of the Senate Republicans and their unprecedented use of the filibuster, it was clear that the President was going to have to compromise. The other alternative was to let the Republicans win and basically defund the entire government. I’m often reminded of what Jane Hamsher’s friend Grover Norquist said which spells out the GOP philosophy of government, “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”

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May 23, 2011 - Posted by | Democratic Party, Politics, President Barack Obama, Professional Left, Republican Party |

13 Comments »

  1. I like to put it this way: the GOP midterm strategy was to make it all about Obama, who wasn’t on the ballot. There was ObamaCare and Obama with a Hitler mustache and Obama Obama Obama. They made the elections all about him, and the online left HELPED THEM DO IT. They should have been aiming their fire at Republicans running for Congress. They should have been mobilizing early and often to push the agenda in the streets. Instead, we have a Republican majority in the House and new GOP majorities in many state legislatures; we have nearly one thousand abortion bills nationwide. For that, I blame every firebagging whiner who said Obama’s name.

    Comment by Matt Osborne | May 23, 2011 | Reply

    • I could tell ya this if the people of Michigan could re do the election Ricky Snyder wouldn’t be governor and our state house wouldn’t have a super majority of corrupt right wing freaks.

      I spent two weeks after the election fighting with people over at Democratic Underground asking how allowing the Repugs to retake power is going to teach Obama and the Democrats a lesson?

      Speaking of blame the folks on that site don’t like to be reminded how their selfish choice has delayed real progress for the next two years.

      Comment by Johnny C | May 23, 2011 | Reply

      • Thanks to having President Obama included in every local race last November, Texas went from a 76-74, Republican/Democratic legislature to a super majority this year of 101-99 (after two Democrats using Democratic campaign funds switched parties). Now the GOP is running roughshod over anyone here who is left of Genghis Khan.

        Governor Rick Perry (who Rush Limbaugh is now promoting to run for President) has just signed Texas’ Mandatory Sonogram Bill into law, advancing the attacks against women’s health. The majority of women in Texas will now have to overcome significant hurdles to access safe and legal abortion being forced to have sonograms before any abortion with doctors required to discuss every detail of the embryo/fetus in order to make a woman feel like she is murdering a child! This law plays politics with women’s health. It does nothing to prevent the need for abortion.

        Gov. Perry also approves a new “vanity” license plate for cars…”Choose Life”!

        But little has been done to settle our big budget problem other than put thousands of workers here out of jobs in education, law enforcement, and healthcare. And of course NO new visible taxes, especially on the RICH. One example is that if your new yacht purchased in Texas is sold for over $250,000, your sales tax will be capped now at that amount. So if you buy a $20 MILLION yacht here, there is no sales tax forwarded to the State of Texas on the $19,750,000 difference!

        Republicans are running drunk with power!

        Comment by Grant in Texas | May 23, 2011 | Reply

  2. Apparently the GOP still does not have any ideas…they are still running against Obama…they do not have a clue how to repair the country’s problems….

    Comment by lobotero | May 23, 2011 | Reply

  3. Things aren’t that bad today, of course, but there seems to be a genuine sense of unrest in the country. Being born in the 1930’s and growing up hearing story-after-story about the hardships of the Great Depression, most in our nation are still living well by comparison and things are actually getting better. Unemployment hovers around 9.0% (it was worse under Reagan) and is dropping. Our auto industry was saved! The foreclosure crisis (caused by unregulated bankers in the first place) has not abated but things are looking up;

    http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/05192011_delinquencies_mba.asp

    The Dow Jones keeps improving. However, the “jobless recovery” doesn’t feel much like a recovery for most of us even though 85% of us still have jobs. But the constant drumbeat of “doom and gloom” make the EMPLOYED fear they might be next. I understand this rhetoric coming from the REICHwing as they want the nation to suffer, at least until 2012 when they think misery will give the Republicans FULL control of government. But I cannot see the “progressives” aiding them.

    Obama running on a campaign of “HOPE” may have raised expectations, too much. If we hope for what we do not yet have, we should expect CHANGE coming in steps (due to compromise) and wait for it patiently. But we now have a culture of, “I want it all and I want it NOW!”

    Hope can be a terrible emotion. It takes you out of the present moment and places you into some idyllic future moment. As long as you live in that future moment, and your present reality doesn’t improve much or rapidly, you lose HOPE.

    Unfortunately, for many, Obama’s “promise” may never materialize to their high expectations or at least not fast enough for them. Some may feel they wasted their energy to get him elected. Hope doesn’t become a future reality unless directed towards solutions in the here and NOW. The constant carping of critics, both right and left, is doing nothing to SOLVE problems. They forget they all took “baby steps” and fell down a lot before they began walking. Remember, the present moment is the only one in which we have any say.

    Even though an atheist, once read a lot of C.S. Lewis when I was considering a vocation in the priesthood. Some quotes:

    “Democracy demands that little men should not take big ones too seriously; it dies when it is full of little men who think they are big themselves.”

    “Hatred obscures all distinctions.”

    Comment by Grant in Texas | May 23, 2011 | Reply

  4. I see the Firebaggers sent over one of their apologists, sensister, while I was composing the post above. The Hamwaldians seem to enjoy lecturing REAL Democrats like myself. It seems like they think they are the adults needing to give us “children” a lesson, as if I don’t spend about 3 hours a day (I am retired) reading newspapers and many blogs, both left and right.

    I began voting under John F. Kennedy, but not for him or any Democrat. I was a YAF worker for Goldwater on the floor of a Republican National Convention. I switched from being a staunch Republican to a Democrat in the late 60’s, mostly over the Party of Lincoln becoming racist under Nixon’s Southern Strategy. I switched parties over changes in GOP ideology, not to profit from blogging (which of course didn’t exist back then). It wasn’t easy being the black sheep in a politically active Republican family for many decades (even though several deserted the GOP to vote FOR Obama!).

    Therefore, I don’t need any lecturing from any Firebagger. Also getting tired of the new favorite meme by GOP strategists and their supporters…”adults in the room”!

    Once again from C.S. Lewis…

    “Critics who treat adult as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves.”

    Comment by Grant in Texas | May 23, 2011 | Reply

  5. At least Obama is in power when the GOP runs against him unlike the democraps running against Bush after he is gone.

    It is great that the democraps still don’t have an idea of a budget but they know the GOP is wrong.

    I wouldn’t bet against Snyder loosing, the majority of taxpayers still support him. Unions don’t and of course government workers and the entitlement crowd don’t but they are not taxpayers.

    I will concede to Grant, the damocraps did show the GOP how to get congress to switch parties.

    Comment by atlanta ralph | May 23, 2011 | Reply

    • So TROLL Atlanta Ralph, you are okay with the Party of Lincoln becoming the party of racists and bigots? But then you folks in Atlanta never cared much for Abraham Lincoln in the first place.

      Comment by Grant in Texas | May 23, 2011 | Reply

    • Atlanta Ralph I don’t know what polls you’re looking at but I can tell ya this:

      Ricky Snyder approval ratings are in the basement and I’m guessing when Republicans run on the state level next year they will make sure people don’t know they’re Republicans much like they did in 2006.

      As for budget Ryan budget doesn’t balance anything until 2025 and even that isn’t sure.

      Comment by Johnny C | May 23, 2011 | Reply

  6. So wanting the Democratic Party to WIN isn’t extreme? Oh, yeah, it is better to remain an ideologue, LOSE, and lick your wounds, bitch that things aren’t going your way.

    Comment by Grant in Texas | May 23, 2011 | Reply

    • It seems some rather have the Dems fight for pointless battles then actually get things done.

      Comment by Johnny C | May 24, 2011 | Reply

  7. Loved this article, and especially the list of the bloggers who are “actually Republicans turned angry.” I figure this out a long time ago. In reading some of the radical far left blogs, I believe some of those folks also are “Republicans turned angry.” Either that or they are just plain lazy and expect to sit on their ass and have everything brought to them on a plate. You have to work, work, work for what you want, and Obama can’t do that for you. He never said he could. I think he always said, “I can’t do it alone ….” Txs again for this article. Makes me happy someone feels the same.

    Comment by Rita in TN | May 26, 2011 | Reply

  8. Is there a troll in the room? I smell a troll.

    Comment by ExtremeLiberal | May 26, 2011 | Reply


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