I lifted this comment, with permission, from a post over at Angry Black Lady Chronicles who has inspired me in many ways after spending some time there earlier today. This comment from Betty Cracker nails it as far as I’m concerned, I’m sure many of you will agree. (emphasis mine)
@ Insipid — I think there are several factors at play in how the “progressive left” is reacting to the most progressive president we’ve had in generations. [Note: I consider myself a progressive leftist in the sense that if I could wave a magic wand, I’d adopt a Scandinavian-flavored social-democratic style of government. I use the term in scare quotes in the opening sentence to differentiate my progressive leftism from the firebagger brand…]
Anyhoo, my sense is that a certain percentage of the firebaggers are just politically inexperienced. They probably never bothered to read Candidate Obama’s policy proposals; they were just caught up in the movement aspects of the campaign and are now shocked — shocked! — at what they perceive as the paucity of ponies. And why don’t they see the actual, honest-to-god ponies? Because they don’t know enough about history to realize change doesn’t happen overnight. They think FDR just went tada! and pulled Social Security out of his arse rather than striking deals with the devil (including the exclusion of most women and minorities) to establish the concept that this country has a stake in not allowing its seniors to starve to death, a rather radical idea at the time. Not unlike the concept President Obama established, that we have some responsibility to ensure health care for all our citizens.
Another percentage are more interested in burnishing their “more liberal than thou” cred than the dirty business of governing and the odious compromises that go along with it. They aren’t naive per se, but they see every compromise as an opportunity to focus attention on their moral superiority. I suspect a lot of our political pundits fall into this category.
And lastly, yeah, as you noted, racism comes into play too — and gender politics as well. As someone who expended a lot of pixels on the PUMA silliness during the 2008 primaries, I’ve got to say I was somewhat surprised how quickly and eagerly the disgruntled “Hillary or fuck America in the ass — hard!” contingent embraced wingnut memes about Obama as the “Affirmative Action” candidate, etc.
I was surprised and disheartened. But in the end, it turned out to be a vanishingly small subgroup. It didn’t make a dent in Obama’s electoral performance among either whites or women compared to how white candidates like John Kerry fared. And I think we (Democrats, liberals, whatever) are better off to have that shit out in the open.
The Awesome Bob Cesca simply out-did himself with his latest column which unfortunately appears at the Huffington Post. Here is a rare link to that crappy, populist site because Bob is worth it. Here are some of the highlights, but you must go read the whole thing and then close the window….don’t be tempted by the sexy stories on the bar on the right, unless you really need to know about “Elin Nordegren’s New Boyfriend?” Notice the National Enquirer technique of adding a question mark….oh Arianna knows how to sensationalize, doesn’t she. From Bob’s Awesome piece…
Somehow, though, certain progressives don’t get it. They believe the president is betraying progressive principles and deliberately sticking it to “the base.”
First of all, the progressive movement is hardly the president’s base. Most progressive leaders supported John Edwards during the primaries, and many were ambivalent about the president once he was nominated. The president’s base is made up of mostly non-political Americans — many of whom desperately need their unemployment benefits to continue until the jobs return.
Second, stop whining and wise up, progressives. The president isn’t going to pass every last thing on your personal wish list. Just because he compromised on something that you’ve been frantically tweeting about doesn’t mean it’s time to pitch a tantrum and hurl the board game across the room — storming off in a snit.
Like the president said in his presser the other day, our country was founded on compromise and it has continued to this day. Sure compromise pisses off both sides, usually, but in a way that is the definition of compromise. This next piece of Bob’s column gets to the heart of why I have little or no respect for Hamsher and her firebaggers and usually turn off Keith O’s “Special Comments”, they are using Republican tactics while decrying those tactics out of the other side of their mouths, I fucking hate hypocrites.
Last week, Keith Olbermann delivered a Special Comment about the tax cut deal. In it, he predictably eviscerated the president for accepting the tax-cut compromise. Fine. I get it. And I like Keith.
But within the cablecast essay, Olbermann noted how the president engaged in a “preemptive abandonment” of both the public option and single-payer. Regarding the aforementioned and ridiculous notion of running a primary challenger to the president, it’s worth noting here that not one serious Democratic presidential candidate has ever proposed single-payer. Ever. Not the 2008 progressive favorite John Edwards. Certainly not Hillary Clinton. And not even 2004 progressive favorite Howard Dean. And neither did Barack Obama. So I’m not exactly sure how President Obama can “abandon” a policy he never proposed in the first place.
The public option wasn’t “preemptively” jettisoned either. Like every aspect and line item contained within the various health-care-reform bills that were ricocheting around Congress, it was up for negotiation. Every policy within those bills was negotiable. Not just the public option.
Bob Cesca sums it up like no one else can do.
Okay, okay. I’m not making any friends here, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to participate in a movement where so many colleagues have careened off the rails. We’re supposed to be the smart ones, the reality-based people.
And yet, out of some sort of manic-depression or desire for hipster cred, we’ve become overly preoccupied with tearing down the most liberal president in decades using non-reality-based criticisms instead of laser-focusing our efforts and resources on tearing down the real killers — conservatives, Tea Party people and the GOP.
But mainly, enough with the pouting. We have to stop mistaking petulance for “principle” and get something done.
It was almost funny watching Keith Olbermann and Michael Moore take great offense to Robert Gibb’s punching back at some critics on the left. They both seemed to think Robert was speaking directly to them, now Keith might have a point, but Michael Moore seemed to want to step in front of the bullet. And their attempts to be funny were pretty lame in my opinion. Thanks to Crooks and Liars for a partial transcript…
“When Mr. Gibbs is worried about what people on the left are smoking, from my experience the person in the room who’s most paranoid about who’s smoking what is usually the person smoking the really heavy stuff,” noted Moore.
Wow, that is the best you can come up with Michael? Let’s break it down, “the person in the room who’s most paranoid about who’s smoking what”, why on earth would someone be “paranoid” about what someone else was smoking? They are paranoid about getting busted for what they are smoking, not what someone else is smoking. It makes no fucking sense. What Robert Gibbs said is exactly right, if you assholes can really compare President Obama to Bush, you are fucking smoking crack, not weed. If that offends someone because they did make the comparison, they deserve much more than a statement claiming they need to be drug tested, they deserve to be run out on a fucking rail. More idiocy from Michael Moore…
“From the beginning of this administration, what did people on our side of the fence say? You should take over these banks temporarily and fire all the thieves who stole our money. But instead what did they do? They enabled them,” explained Moore.
Really, so President Obama would be so much better off if he had taken over the banks and discarded our capitalist system in one fell swoop? What a stupid fucking idea that would guarantee an all out attack on him as a socialist, which might be good in Michael’s world, but for someone who is trying to fix the big fucking mess that was handed to him, not such a great idea. The naiveté of some of these people is staggering. And of course, Moore also throws in the fact that he expanded the effort in Afghanistan and claimed he caved to the right. He campaigned on expanding our presence in Afghanistan, don’t you remember? Or were your lips wrapped around Hillary’s ass so tight that you missed it? Here is even more bullshit from Michael Moore on Keith Olbermann…
“Everything that we’ve been trying to push them to do has now come back to bite them in a profound way to the point where they’re very frightened, as they should be, about the election in a couple of months,” Moore said
You should be frightened, you dumb fuck, because you and your stupid cohorts on the far left are helping Republicans to gain back control of our government and where will you be then? Oh, making money producing documentaries about Republicans, your cottage industry. Do you and Keith really give a shit about progressive ideas or are you just out for your own shameless self promotion. That last statement about being frightened shows that you don’t get it and really aren’t too concerned about the consequences of a Republican House of Representatives. How fucking stupid are you Michael Moore? Here is a little more stupidity from Michael Moore…
“To go after your core base, I mean the people that are really — the ones that go out and carry the water for you, to do the hard work, it’s like — I mean this is the guy, Gibbs, you don’t want him like drafting the fund-raising letter for the next election cycle. It will begin something like ‘Dear biggest Obama supporters, you suck. Now send us money, please.’ It’s just like it’s totally crazy,” he said.
If the president’s “core base” are people saying he’s just like Bush, who fucking needs that “core base”. Seriously, if he thinks the presidents core base thinks like he does, he is really living in his own fantasy world. And then his “fund-raising letter” bit, doesn’t that read like a 14 year old wrote it. “Dear biggest Obama supporter, you suck”. It’s not funny and it is very juvenile. I may pick apart Keith’s special comment if I feel so inclined, it sounded like a 14 year old who just discovered a thesaurus for the first time.
I had the opportunity a few months ago to meet Michael Moore, he came to our town for a fundraiser for a local theater and I know the people who were bringing him in. They offered me the opportunity to meet him and I passed. Even though I like some of what Michael does as far as shining a light on the corruption in the Republican party and the government, I’ve always thought his movies cross over the line and take huge leaps at conspiracies that exist in Michael’s head alone. I have to give him credit for being a successful filmmaker, I only hope I make as much as he does someday. But I plan to do it by presenting information for people to make their own conclusions.
So all of these “professional left” who are jumping in front of Robert Gibb’s bullets, ought to back up and take a reality check. Do you really think President Obama is just like Bush? And if so, you really do need to lay off the crack pipe and get into rehab. I’ll link to it one more time, that awesome site that is chronicling the president’s accomplishments, and I dare you to go and read the whole fucking thing and then tell me that he is just like Bush.
The last thing I’ll say is how low can Keith’s ratings go? I, for one, will not be watching his show anymore for many reasons. This last special comment is just part of the reason. He spends about a third of his show teasing what is coming up later in the show. If I wanted to watch that type of shit, I would watch Entertainment Tonight. The core base, that I know of, think the president has done a great job. They don’t watch the inside Washington shows like I do. They live their lives, watch network news once in a while and see that he passed health care reform, he saved the economy from a major collapse, he’s bringing the troops home from Iraq and has set a timetable for bringing them home from Afghanistan, he has increased funding for the arts and humanities, he’s done more for the environment than any president ever….just ask any environmentalist, he’s kept teachers on the job, he’s fixing our crumbling infrastructure, he’s appointing competent justices to the Supreme Court…go read that awesome site I linked to above for hundreds of more examples of progressive things this president has done.
Get over yourselves, professional left, you’re acting like a bunch of whiny ass kids. And like I said before, if you took offense to Robert Gibbs statement about being drug tested and really do think President Obama is just like Bush, you have to put that crack pipe down and join Lindsey Lohan in rehab.
I’m not usually a fan of Mark Halperin, too much of an insider for my tastes and one of the editors of the conventional wisdom in Washington DC, but this morning he had a line that was classic. Asking Sam Stein (one of the big shots at Huffington Post) who wrote about Robert Gibbs statement clarifying his shot at some on the left. I’m paraphrasing but I think I’m pretty accurate with it….
“Do you read the Huffington Post?”
Fucking classic. He then went on to point out the constant negative stories on that rag and the utter lack of credit to President Obama for anything he does. Sam Stein, to be fair, is one of the more fair columnists at Huffpost…Bob Cesca being the absolute best, but still tainted by the rag he writes for in my opinion. Sorry Bob, but Arianna and Roy are not doing progressives any good by bringing down the whole party. So Sam is much more tempered with his opinions and snarkiness than some of the others on that site, but Halperin’s comments were freakin awesome in my opinion. I hope someone posts it on Youtube.