How a handful of liberal bloggers are bringing down the Obama presidency

September 27, 2010 by · 142 Comments 

Note: the follow-up is here.

This post was originally written about the frightening case of Anwar al-Aulaqi, a heinous individual who now faces a judge, jury and executioner in President Barack Obama. The body of the post remains the same, but I wanted to add further context in light of yet another slap at the left by the Obama team, in this case, VP Biden telling the base to “stop whining,” as well as news that Rahm Emanuel is leaving the White House.

When Robert Gibbs attacked the professional left he didn’t specify anyone by name, but the assumption was that it was cable personalities, disaffected interest groups, bloggers and online commenters.

With each passing day, I’m beginning to realize that the crux of the problem for Obama is a handful of prominent progressive bloggers, among them Glenn Greenwald, John Aravosis, Digby, Marcy Wheeler and Jane Hamsher*.

Virtually all the liberal bloggers who have taken a critical stance toward the administration have one thing in common: they place principle above party. Their complaints are exactly the same complaints they lodged against the Bush administration. Contrary to the straw man posed by Obama supporters, they aren’t complaining about pie in the sky wishes but about tangible acts and omissions, from Gitmo to Afghanistan to the environment to gay rights to secrecy and executive power.

The essence of their critique is that the White House lacks a moral compass. The instances where Obama displays a flash of moral authority – the mosque speech comes to mind – these bloggers cheer him with the same fervor as his most ardent fans.

Some will dismiss them as minor players in the wider national discourse, but two things make them a thorn in the administration’s side:

a) they have a disproportionately large influence on the political debate, with numerous readers and followers — among them major media figures

b) they develop the frames and narratives that other progressive Obama critics adopt and disseminate

I’ve argued for some time that the story of Barack Obama’s presidency is the story of how the left turned on him. And it eats him up. You know it from Robert Gibbs, you know it from Rahm Emanuel, you know it from Joe Biden and you know it from Obama himself.

The constant refrain that liberals don’t appreciate the administration’s accomplishments betrays deep frustration. It was a given the right would try to destroy Obama’s presidency. It was a given Republicans would be obstructionists. It was a given the media would run with sensationalist stories. It was a given there would be a natural dip from the euphoric highs of the inauguration. Obama’s team was prepared to ride out the trough(s). But they were not prepared for a determined segment of the left to ignore party and focus on principle, to ignore happy talk and demand accountability.

As president, Obama has done much good and has achieved a number of impressive legislative victories. He is a smart, thoughtful and disciplined man. He has a wonderful family. His staff (many of whom I’ve worked with in past campaigns) are good and decent people trying to improve their country and working tirelessly under extreme stress. But that doesn’t mean progressives should set aside the things they’ve fought for their entire adult life. It doesn’t mean they should stay silent if they think the White House is undermining the progressive cause.

Case in point: the extraordinarily disturbing case of Anwar al-Aulaqi:

The Obama administration urged a federal judge early Saturday to dismiss a lawsuit over its targeting of a U.S. citizen for killing overseas, saying that the case would reveal state secrets. The U.S.-born citizen, Anwar al-Aulaqi, is a cleric now believed to be in Yemen. Federal authorities allege that he is leading a branch of al-Qaeda there. Government lawyers called the state-secrets argument a last resort to toss out the case, and it seems likely to revive a debate over the reach of a president’s powers in the global war against al-Qaeda.

Aulaqi is an odious and dangerous character and should be brought to justice for any crimes he committed. Still, the alarm on the left over this astonishing presidential overreach is entirely justifiable.

Greenwald:

At this point, I didn’t believe it was possible, but the Obama administration has just reached an all-new low in its abysmal civil liberties record.  In response to the lawsuit filed by Anwar Awlaki’s father asking a court to enjoin the President from assassinating his son, a U.S. citizen, without any due process, the administration late last night, according to The Washington Post, filed a brief asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit without hearing the merits of the claims.  That’s not surprising:  both the Bush and Obama administrations have repeatedly insisted that their secret conduct is legal but nonetheless urge courts not to even rule on its legality.  But what’s most notable here is that one of the arguments the Obama DOJ raises to demand dismissal of this lawsuit is “state secrets”:  in other words, not only does the President have the right to sentence Americans to death with no due process or charges of any kind, but his decisions as to who will be killed and why he wants them dead are “state secrets,” and thus no court may adjudicate their legality.

Digby:

The Obama administration’s overnight assertion that presidential assassination orders of American citizens should be treated as a state secret, and thus not reviewable by any court anywhere, the most shocking assertion of unfettered presidential power we’ve seen since John Yoo argued that presidents have the right to order torture as long as they don’t cause pain equivalent to organ failure. … Back when everyone naively thought that electing a Democrat would end these obscene royalist decrees, it was argued by a few of us that once given, these powers are rarely given back. But I don’t think anyone expected the Democratic constitutional scholar would actually double down on the dictatorial powers. I confess, I’m fairly gobsmacked.

Armstrong:

With this, “Obama uses this secrecy and immunity weapon not to shield Bush lawlessness from judicial review, but his own.” Its neo-con unadulterated. And yet, they continue to be marveled in the WH flak shop why self-respecting progressives have thrown them to the dogs. At this point in time I’ve concluded that in 2004, when Kerry lost to Bush in 2004, it was all over but for the shouting. There is no doubt in my mind that Bush is going to go down in history as having set the military agenda abroad and within for a generation. Obama is like a middle-late inning relief-specialist pitcher. He’s brought out to gun down the lefty, then sent back to the pen.

Wheeler:

This is not a court filing. It’s a “choose your own adventure novel” for the judge:

  1. Is AQAP part of al Qaeda? (if yes, then go to dead al-Awlaki)
  2. Is AQAP an “organized associated force of al Qaeda”? (if yes, then go to dead al-Awlaki)
  3. Do Presidents get to self-authorize going to war (if yes, then go to dead al-Awlakil; if no, go to “alternatives to the AUMF”)
  4. What do you think of the “inherent right to self defense”? (if yes, then go to dead al-Awlaki)
  5. To abide by the Constitution and other laws, the President can’t be bound by “generalized standards.” The End. (go to dead al-Awlaki)

And mind you, we’ve set off on this “choose your own adventure in tyranny novel” even before we’ve gotten to the government’s invocation of state secrets. Just in case you had any doubts about their claim to unlimited power…

Political observers are mystified over the demise of hope, with everything from the economy to health care posited as the reason, but as I’ve argued time and again, it’s the moral authority, stupid:

Pundits put forth myriad reasons to explain the GOP wave (jobs and the economy topping the list), but they invariably overlook the biggest one: that Obama and Democrats have undermined their own moral authority by continuing some of Bush’s’ most egregious policies … Everything flows from the public’s belief that you stand for something. The most impressive legislative wins lose their force if people become convinced you’ll sell out your own values.

It would be unfair and silly to portray all Democrat politicians as devoid of moral convictions, but it’s not inaccurate to state that there is a widespread phobia among Democrats of appearing “weak,” which paradoxically leads to behavior that further reinforces that impression. When you fret too much over what others think, you tend to contort yourself in an attempt to please, often at the expense of your core beliefs. When the specific complaint is that you’re weak, there is a tendency is to do whatever your critics characterize as strong – and in the case of Democrats, they tend to ignore the strength of their own values and emulate Republicans, ending up looking even weaker in the process.

From gay rights to executive power to war to the environment, the left increasingly believes the Obama White House lacks the moral courage to undo Bush’s radicalism. If anything, the Aulaqi case is an indication Obama will go further than Bush to “prove” his strength.

When the Obama administration appeared to collude with BP to bury the Gulf spill, squandering a historic opportunity to reverse the anti-green tide, it was a moment of truth for environmentalists. Now, it is dawning on some Americans that Bush wasn’t an aberration and that a Democratic administration will also treat fundamental rights as a mere nuisance. It truly is a new (un)reality:

Let’s face it, these are dark days for the left. As we barrel toward the November elections and an almost certain triumph for the GOP, we are losing the national debate and making giant strides backward on key issues. It’s the new (un)reality:

  • George W. Bush is steadily and surely being rehabilitated and now the question is how much gratitude we owe him.
  • Sarah Palin can move the public discourse with a single tweet, promoting a worldview consisting of unreflective, nationalistic soundbites.
  • Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Fox are dominating the national conversation, feeding a steady stream of propaganda packaged as moral platitudes to tens of millions of true believers.
  • In the face of overwhelming evidence, climate deniers are choking the life out of the environmental movement and willfully condemning humanity to a calamitous future.
  • From ACORN to Van Jones, liberal scalps are being taken with impunity.
  • Feminism is being redefined and repossessed by anti-feminists.
  • Women are facing an all-out assault on choice.
  • Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy is being co-opted by a radio jock.
  • Schoolbooks are being rewritten to reflect the radical right’s anti-science views.
  • The rich-poor divide grows by the minute and teachers and nurses struggle to get by while bankers get massive bonuses.
  • We mark the end of a war based on lies with congratulations to all, and we escalate another war with scarce resources that could save countless lives.
  • An oil spill that should have been a historic inflection point gets excised from public awareness by our own government and disappears down the memory hole (until the next disaster).
  • Guns abound and the far right’s interpretation of the second amendment (the only one that seems to matter) is now inviolate.
  • Bigotry and discrimination against immigrants, against Muslims, against gays and lesbians is mainstream and rampant.
  • The frightening unconstitutional excesses of the Bush administration have been enshrined and reinforced by a Democratic White House, ensuring that they will become precedent and practice.
  • Girls and women across the planet continue to get beaten, raped, ravaged, mutilated, and murdered while sports games induce a more passionate response.

While Democrats obsess over Christine O’Donnell’s witchcraft and John Boehner’s tan, and while Palin and Beck spew trite soundbites about defending the Constitution, the White House is getting away with a chilling, precedent-setting Constitutional breach.

That’s why some commenters  on the left are beginning to say things like this:

Obama’s extraordinary claim he has the power to order the assassination of any American, anytime, and anywhere puts him on a par with King George III, Ivan the Terrible, and other tyrants throughout history that held the power of life and death over their subjects.

Obama has set himself above the Constitution, as an American Barrack The Terrible, with the power to detain us indefinitely, torture us, and assassinate us at his will. Obama is not like Bush, he is far worse: he is a tyrant and a threat to the American people.

Hyperbolic, yes. Over the top, yes. One comment on a blog, yes. But, combined with other similar remarks, as sure a sign as any of the rage brewing under the surface — and not just among rightwing haters.

UPDATE: I want to emphasize a point I’ve made in previous posts that it’s the merging of left-right opinion that is so damaging to Obama. In other words, Obama could sustain relentless attacks from the right, it’s what everyone expects, but when the left joins in, the bottom drops out. That’s why opinion-shapers in the liberal blogosphere exert inordinate influence over Obama’s fortunes. And from the growing alarm at the White House, it’s clear they know it. Here’s how I expressed it last January:

Nothing should have been a bigger red flag to the new administration than the growing complaints by established progressive bloggers that Democrats were veering off track on the stimulus, the health care bill, civil liberties, gay rights, and more. But scoffing at the netroots is second nature in many quarters of the political establishment, even though they laid the groundwork for Obama’s victory. The single biggest reason Obama’s hope bubble burst is because of the unintended convergence of left and right opinion-making. The cauldron of opinion that churns incessantly on blogs, Twitter, social networks, and in the elite media generates the storylines that filter across the national and local press, providing the fodder for public opinion. Stalwarts of the left, dedicated to principles not personalities, hammered the administration; couple that with the partisan criticisms from conservatives and libertarians, and the net effect was to alter conventional wisdom and undercut Obama’s image and message

UPDATE II: President Obama’s new Rolling Stone interview reveals more about his mindset – and his presidency – than just about any interview I can recall. First, it’s remarkably telling that he delivers a series of prudent, deliberate and dispassionate answers on some of the most contentious issues of our time and then marches back into the room after the interview is over to do this:

[Signaled by his aides, the president brings the interview to a close and leaves the Oval Office. A moment later, however, he returns to the office and says that he has one more thing to add. He speaks with intensity and passion, repeatedly stabbing the air with his finger.]

One closing remark that I want to make: It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election. There may be complaints about us not having gotten certain things done, not fast enough, making certain legislative compromises. But right now, we’ve got a choice between a Republican Party that has moved to the right of George Bush and is looking to lock in the same policies that got us into these disasters in the first place, versus an administration that, with some admitted warts, has been the most successful administration in a generation in moving progressive agendas forward.

The idea that we’ve got a lack of enthusiasm in the Democratic base, that people are sitting on their hands complaining, is just irresponsible. … We have to get folks off the sidelines. People need to shake off this lethargy, people need to buck up. Bringing about change is hard — that’s what I said during the campaign. It has been hard, and we’ve got some lumps to show for it. But if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren’t serious in the first place. If you’re serious, now’s exactly the time that people have to step up.

Again, this seems to confirm my suspicion that a few determined opinion-shapers on the left are getting under his skin. It caps off a week of heavy artillery aimed directly at progressives. And unfortunately,  it will only make things worse for Democrats.

Beyond that moment of frustration, Obama’s answers reveal a man who seems sure of his decisions, confident he is doing the best he can do and convinced that the course he is charting is correct. Of course, most people feel that way about themselves. Actions and results will determine if he’s right. Let’s hope he is.

*Jane, who has been a friend for years, has become an increasingly controversial figure and I won’t use the comment section of this post to litigate the claims for or against her. Every progressive blogger who criticizes Obama faces a backlash from his supporters, and Jane has become the lightning rod for those attacks. [Updated 9.28]

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About Peter

Comments

142 Responses to “How a handful of liberal bloggers are bringing down the Obama presidency”
  1. Beth Corbin says:

    Peter, add one more concern — faith-based initiatives. This is another area where Obama has been worse than Bush. Obama not only kept the program in place, but he doubled the budget … AND empowered a 25-person faith panel to advise him on policy matters. Even Bush didn’t openly have such a group. And add to this the fact that Executive Orders allowing discrimination in hiring and proselytizing to people in need put in place by President Bush are being left in place by President Obama. Obama has decided to let the Justice Department deal with employment discrimination — even though he mentioned on the campaign trail that allow this was unconstitutional.

    He had time to sign an EO restricting abortion coverage in health care, but he doesn’t have time to rescind employment discrimination with government funding?

    • SalG says:

      The faith-based initiative funding is one of my concerns also. I enjoyed reading your comment on it.

    • Pete Koning says:

      Agreed, this is one of the reasons I had serious misgivings about Obama.

    • Tony Buontempo says:

      I am glad you put in this comment. I am stunned. What are they thinking? This is another example of his need to try and have some sort of compromise with those who would destroy him.

  2. Andre says:

    The exact way the administration feels about the left and their support for Obama, I feel about Obama and the administration and their treatment of single payer health care. Plain and simple. The difference is they’re wrong and I’m right in my assessment. I’m sixty six years old and have fought for single payer for thirty years, and what the D’s came up with is a system that makes the IRS the prime enforcer for the HC insurance industry (among other things in the law that make me want to throw up)? You can take the oft heard refrain “achieved a number of impressive legislative victories” and place it where the sun don’t shine. The D’s are dead to me, after forty years of backing them! Here’s some facts for the Big O: He and his administration exist for the people, not the other way around; we support those who deliver the goods and if they’re not delivered they’ll be no support!

  3. lauren says:

    Peter, you are always among the most honest and riveting of commentators.

    Many people are rethinking their kneejerk opposition to Hillary Clinton, while others insist that she would have done exactly the same things as Obama (I don’t think she could have mocked her base and gotten away with it, though).

    Have you read Rebecca Traister’s new book on the campaign? Would love to read your comments on either Traister or the Clinton Presidency that wasn’t…

    and thank you.

  4. JR says:

    I think Obama and his supporters are making a mistake in that for some reason they think all criticism is about policy and not politics. Yes, Obama has done many admirable things, and those things don’t make a damn if no one bothers to inform or adequately explain them to the voters. Obama’s dilemna is that the things he’s done wrong or been disappointing on are the issues his base cares deeply about. Especially the liberal blogosphere. They were Obama’s political wing but now that he’s pissed them off, well, he drove away the people who handle his politics, who know how to spin, who know how to handle the right, who know how to intepret polls… Obama is a horrible politician, even if he’s a great leader.

    • marv says:

      I think you got it backwards: Obama is a great politician, but a horrible leader. He seems to be one of those unfortunate politicians who can inspire voters to go to the polls and support him, but who then falls flat on his face once the campaign is over and it’s time to govern. He has been slow to learn that his opposition is NOT interested in working with him, but in destroying him and all that he is trying to accomplish. He should have come out stronger against them and reminded people why they voted for in the first place. Instead, he presented a weak face that was repeatedly slapped by the Republicans and which then convinced the American public that he wasn’t the leader we thought we had elected. His demise is his own fault, not that of the leftist base that has tired to hold his feet to the fire (as he told us he wanted us to do until the fire got too hot for him). He can try to blame us all he wants, but in reality, he needs to be looking in the mirror. The fault lies there.

      It was he who made secret back-room deals with AHIP and Big PhRMA that contradicted his campaign promise to have the most open, transparent administration ever. It was he who repeatedly claimed to support the public option or some other means of providing real competition for the insurance companies, and then when the chips were down, refused to step up and do the right thing. It was he who promised to end DADT and DOMA and to close GITMO, but then took steps repeatedly that guaranteed that no progress would be made and two years into his first term, they remain in place. It was he who promised us jobs and a tax break for middle income citizens, then passed a stimulus plan that would be too little, too late, and that guaranteed no major change or increase in jobs. Even when the people are on his side, he continues to ignore them and go instead for some compromise with the Republicans, who then back out on him after he has watered down the legislation, leaving him holding the bag and nothing to show for it. He cannot blame the base and the leftists who keep asking him to do the right thing, to do the things he said he was going to do but hasn’t.

      His long comments suggest that he thinks he has been doing everything right, and that it is we who just don’t seem willing to recognize that fact. He is seemingly ignorant of his own complicity in the way things have turned out, and it is this failure on his part to realize that he has caused his own downfall that is going to lead to the Republicans taking control of the House and maybe even the Senate this November. He will be responsible for this change of the guard because he failed to bring about the change we voted for in November 2008. The end result is that all the rest of us will suffer immeasurably all because he sees himself as the Great Reconcilor in Chief.

      • I don’t think Obama’s that good of a politician, to be honest. Picking Rahmbo as COS, picking all the Wall Street-connected to be his financial advisers? He had to know that would piss progressives off.

        (That is, the progressives who voted for him in the first place, and believed his shtick. I “saw through him” before the end of 2007 and knew I would vote Green again in 2008.)

        His compromising with the GOP in advance of the time to compromise, on the stimulus, playing footsie with the GOP yet later on other issues, etc., show that he’s clueless as a political tactician in such cases, too.

        And, he’s overrated as an orator, too.

        Other than all that, he is “all that” that he put himself out to be. :)

  5. Dusty says:

    Virtually all the liberal bloggers who have taken a critical stance toward the administration have one thing in common: they place principle above party. Thank you for that, because I believe that is the case for all liberals/progressives who think Obama is a sell-out.

  6. rootless_e says:

    What principle is that? The argument of Greenwald/Hamsher/etc is e.g. that FDR’s violation of the civil rights of Japanese-Americans would make his war against the Nazis unsupportable. That’s not principled opposition as much as it is vanity.

    The real problem, however, with those people is that they are utterly dishonest about the record of the Obama administration and Democratic leadership.

    • D says:

      That is such a gross straw-man attempt I hope you’re joking.

      FDR’s violation of the rights of Japanese Americans was wrong because they were citizens of the United States. That is and always will be objectionable. The war against the Axis powers could proceed without that — and in fact did proceed with the help of Japanese-American soldiers fighting for our side, even while their families were wrongly imprisoned.

      Who’s interested in the facts, now?

  7. I agree with everything you said, am interested at the notion that Obama is pursuing these policies in an effort to prove how tough he is, though … seems to me that we have in America today certain forces for whom maintaining the status quo is crucial and these forces operate at the upper echelons of power — institutional, governmental, corporate — regardless of which party is in power. This means Obama would of course protect the powers that Bush grabbed because that is what powerful people do. It is less about policy and politics, mostly about power.

    Anyway, just kinda thinking “out loud” here.

    I do not agree with the commenter who mentions the faith-based initiatives office. Obama campaigned on his belief that was a good idea … you can disagree of course, but I never was under the belief that it was going to be dismantled. I’m one of those liberals who don’t have a problem with it, and actually under Obama the office has been reformed considerably. Under Bush it was mostly a fundiegelical welfare mechanism.

  8. kc says:

    Excellent analysis, Peter. I think the answer to why the sell out is simple–and the most logical one. It’s always about money and power and I am not surprised. I examined his very thin resume during the primaries and was never a fan of mass hysteria. Yes, I was for the woman. A candidate as tough as she was wouldn’t expect love notes from the GOP.

  9. Why do ethics matter now, but they did not matter during the 2008 democratic race? There are dozens of circumstantial instances where democratic caucus numbers did not add up. Illinois moved its primary date up from the end of March to the beginning of February and in conjunction with denying Michigan’s right to vote, the democratic race results were reversed just in time for all the caucus fraud that then ensued in February.

    And hey, buses didn’t cross Illinois into Iowa to hope Barack Obama, even though 75% of Barack Obama’s victories in Iowa were in precincts that either BORDERED Illinois or bordered a precinct that bordered Ilinois.

    For progressives to talk about ethics now, but not address it when it mattered most, makes me glad I am not a progressive. Most of you progressives need to be kept in padded rooms so us crazy people don’t bother you, your elitist narcissism, and your tolerance for letting us exist.

  10. mb says:

    Why the surprise?
    It’s easy to jeer from the cheap seats but much more difficult to play on the field. The former can be sustained with a loud voice while the latter actually requires skill and the ability to perform under non-ideal conditions.
    The angry purists will never be satiated in this imperfect world. Further, there is no incentive for them to change because they will always be right in their untested idealized world.
    They helped bring down Bush and elevate Obama. That was heartily applauded by all liberals. Now it is Obama’s turn. Now what’s sauce for the goose seems to no longer be sauce for the gander. Quelle surprise!

    • Saje says:

      Well, except, not really. Many of us saw from the onset that Obama would be purely status quo and he had too much faith in the delusion of post-partisanship to do any good whatsoever. He begins surrendering before the battle’s even joined, as do our so called “leaders” in Congress. The Republican Party represents the vast majority of “conservatives,” but the Democratic Party only represents a fraction of those who might refer to themselves as “progressive” or “liberal.” What’s worse, this administration has taken to openly mocking or belittling people who have stood by their principles the whole time, while it has abandoned or compromised every single principle it allegedly stood for.

      Failure is a lot easier to tolerate and forgive than abject surrender. Surrender to the credit card companies, surrender to the banks, surrender to the health insurance companies and big pharma–not to mention the almost continuous surrender to Republican bullying.

      The only “bipartisanship” that’s occurred in D.C. has been when the quisling Dems cross the Rubicon to vote with the soul-sucking destroyers. For a Dem candidate to even utter the word “bipartisan” is to say, in so many words, “I will betray you.”

    • cdreid says:

      So in your ideal world.. the mere commoner must never be allowed to criticise their masters. Because after all.. only their masters can know how “work is hard!”. Bizarre and authoritarian

  11. Isolde says:

    President Obama is bringing his own presidency down. These heinous policies are his and his alone. He makes his own decisions unless someone can prove that he is tied to a chair with a gun to his head. The aforementioned writers are merely pointing out the same lack of moral fortitude that was obvious to anyone who could read dispassionately about this inexperienced climber before he was nominated or elected. Other far wiser liberal and progressive writers and voters knew this would happen and were denigrated, verbally abused, and exiled for being correct. The Democratic party has to finish its implosion before it can be rebuilt. A party that tells half of its voters that they are not needed is not going to be successful nor should it be. You reap what you sow.

  12. The list of prominent bloggers that you cite–is that a joke?

    The vast majority of the American people have never heard of, will never hear of, and could care less as to who they are.

    The problem is not that there is a small cachet of liberal bloggers who have an opinion that runs counter to what the Obama Administration wants; the problem is that the Obama Administration has, and I paraphrase Molly Ivins here, “refused to dance with them what brung’em.”

    George W. Bush had much smaller majorities (and even minorities) in the House and Senate, but two things happened on his watch: he got most of what he wanted and he never abandoned his base.

    Barack Obama has larger majorities in both the House and Senate, and he has rarely gotten what he wants and he has all but abandoned his base.

    Rocket scientists will tell you that this is called “a time of great malaise” and President Obama has embraced his inner Jimmy Carter. Say hello to oblivion, Democrats. You’re going to like it there. In oblivion, you can rant and rave and make childish jokes about someone looking like a chimp, and the American people will go on ignoring you, just like they are right now.

  13. Jose Chung says:

    You’ll never be happy on the left because by its very nature progressivism is expansive–like Islam–and knows no borders and will accept no limitations on its aims.

  14. David Thompson says:

    Obama’s base may be causing him some heartburn, but the fact of the matter is that no president has advanced the progressive/liberal agenda as quickly and aggressively as he has (FDR excepted). At a time when they ought to be shouting for joy, they are backbiting and complaining. But this is what you would expect of them– it is never enough, but always wanting more.

    These bloggers are a side issue, though, in the greater picture. Obama is not in trouble because of them, but because of the rage of the American people who HAVE had enough. They didn’t appreciate having Cap and Trade, National Healthcare, TARP, GM and Chrysler takeovers, etc. shoved down their throats. The American people are not dumb, and are not so easily led by the nose as progressives might think. We’ll see how satisfied the complainers on the left are after November 2. They’ll be pining for the “good ole days”!

  15. TexaTucky says:

    How twisted the panties of liberal pundits get when they try to intellectualize and nuance the things that common folk just “get”.

    Obama is his own downfall. He’s the eternal puer who doesn’t know what to do even though somebody bought him some bigboy pants. He is the Trilby whose string of Svengalis have left him an empty shell of a man with no original thoughts or urges other than the one to follow the Rules a la Alinsky his benefactors taught him.

    How sad for someone not yet 50 to be nothing more than a Potemkin village among men.

    • Thomas Berwick says:

      The term “literary wedgie” comes to mind, TexaTucky. I would imagine that you live in Texarkana. LOL

  16. Peter, your analysis is usually among the best, but for all the problems of the Obama administration, if you think that some dishonest posts on FireDogLake are what ails them you’re way way off target.

  17. Andre says:

    Yea, and here’s a “Liberal Blogger’ for you:

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/09/you-vs-corporations/

  18. Chris Darling says:

    Peter, this is an insightful post. However, the title is wrong. How about something about “Obama Creating Unnecessary Antagonism With Professional Left.” Obviously I am not a headline writer but my point is that the blame in your headline makes it seem like the fault and the problem lies with the bloggers. In fact, if Obama took some principled liberal stands, nearly all of the naysayers would fall into line which you note with your comment about the Mosque Speech.

  19. fgm says:

    I haven’t noticed anyone here acknowledging that most of the country, 60-70% depending upon which issue you choose, doesn’t agree with the healthcare fiasco, illegal immigration enforcement, trillions in new debt, unemployment fixes/policies, failure to extend existing tax rates, cash-for-clunkers, government takeover of industry, etc. That may be the reason that Obama’s party is going down in flames. It seems like the people aren’t buying what he has to sell. November 2 will be first time since Obama has taken office that the voters will issue their judgement. Unless you want to count MA, NJ, and VA special elections.

    • Russ says:

      Good point fgm, We know why republicans hate his policies, we know why the left is disenfranchised but why are the moderates overwhelmingly jumping off his bandwagon? Could it be that they hate the direction that democrats are taking this country in? Could it be that JOBS were the most important issues and yet democrats focused instead on left-wing radical ideas? Could it be that anytime anyone disagreed with his policies they were accused of being racist? Could it be because the lies of liberals? Moderates and Republicans don’t oppose immigration! They oppose ILLEGAL immigration. They don’t oppose Muslims, they disapprove of a Muslim “community center” being built in the area where the WTC stood. And yet, once again that old worn out race card is thrown out by democrats. If Americans hate Muslims so much, why are hate crimes against Muslims a tenth of what they are against Jewish people? Could it be that the people are tired of the “great uniter” demonizing anybody or any corporation who gets in his way?

      • pts says:

        Hear, hear. Philosophically the US is a center-right country. Progressives and sociaist like Obama want it to be very left. That is not going to make it so. Once the hope and change bubble burst, the centrist independents realized they made a mistake and came home to their more conservative roots. That’s all Beck is about, that’s all Hannity and other elements of Fox News are about, that’s all the Tea Party is about: Bringing the independents back to their roots. Most Americans understand that Socialism is a failed economic system that has brought ruin to millions of innocent people where ever it has taken root. That all said, most Americans want reform of the healthcare delivery system to make it fairer and less costly. Most Americans don’t like the excessive compensation in some business models. And most Americans recognize that most of these problems are caused by government interference through misguided social engineering policies, and not the the free enterprise, capitalist system itself which has, after all, delivered more material benefits to more people than any other system tried or in use today.

        • you are rooty tooty nutcakes if you think anything about OBAMA™ is “left”…let alone “very left”.

        • Bill Michtom says:

          The US is not a center right country. When people are polled on individual issues, they are more liberal than the politicians they vote for. For example: 76 percent of respondents said it was either “extremely” or “quite” important to “give people a choice of both a public plan administered by the federal government and a private plan for their health insurance.” http://huff.to/bW1o9f

          When the polling is self-definition, an “are you conservative, moderate or liberal” kind of question, the results are to the right of center.

  20. PrewettLassie says:

    So am I to assume you think Americans should just fall in line with their political party, and never voice any kind of differing opinion?

    This article frightens the heck out of me.

  21. thegsmiths4 says:

    The real reason the progressive bloggers are upset is because they are being subjected to the same hypocrisy and double dealing the right has suffered for years.

    Being on the receiving end , they are realizing that “the ends justifies the means” is not noble but an excuse to cheat, lie and break the law. How it feels to be denigrated and insulted just for speaking out. The anger and frustration of having their concerns dismissed as the ramblings of dangerous kooks.

    At least the progressives can find comfort in that their way of life is not being torn apart and thrown away. They like government. control.

    • Marker says:

      Could there BE any more hyperbole on this comments page? What a bunch of drama queens.

      This comment is one example. Seriously, how exactly is your “way of life” being “torn apart and thrown away”? I would like to know: How has your life changed since Obama became President in a way that constitutes your way of life being torn apart and thrown away?

      • thegsmiths4 says:

        I stated that is “being” torn apart, not “has been” torn apart.

        I use the term “torn apart” because when something is torn apart it is no longer resembles the whole. In Obama’s own words, he wants to fundamentally change the government. He wants to change the basic underlying structure by which we are governed so that it no longer resembles the one we have today. “Torn apart” is hyperbole? Wrong.

        Its true that other administrations in the past have limited our freedom. There has always been corruption in one form or another. These administrations still governed themselves based on the constitution and respected us in public. We still have some right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

        Obama’s government has already violated the constitution. The large number of czars filled with people appointed by Obama has created a new branch of government that is only accountable to him. He doesn’t like the people he governs. He has publicly used a derogatory sexual term to refer to an opposition group.

        The left is finally catching on to Obama being willing to say and do anything to get what he wants. So far, everything he’s done has given him more power. What will he do with it? The left should be just as scared as we are.

        • Thomas Berwick says:

          Excellent rebuttal, “thgsmiths4″.

        • Genghis says:

          You’re preaching to the choir. Yours, that is, not mine. You haven’t said anything specific. I’m willing to consider a good argument, but simply spouting opinions without any factual backup is not going to change anyone’s mind. “Torn apart” is non-specific hyperbole. What specific thing in your life has changed or is changing, something that actually relates to Obama’s “changing the government”? Which Presidential decree, which piece of legislation? The “czar” complaint is silly. Bush had czars (“domestic policy czar Karl Rove”); it’s a media term, not an indication of *soshulism*. The economic meltdown was going to have to be dealt with by whoever became President – what exactly would President McCain have done differently? I get it that you don’t like that Obama is President, but without specifics, all you are showing is that … maybe you’re just a troll, and not worth considering. Please prove me wrong; I’m always looking for a conservative voice that can express themselves without being personally insulting.

          • Genghis says:

            In the interest of brevity, maybe you could pick the single worst thing in your life that is being torn up by Obama’s policies. Links to factual info are helpful.

          • thegsmiths4 says:

            The health care bill.

            My husband has was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease. His kidneys could fail now, or they could fail 20 years from now.

            The government run systems in other countries all have the same problems: inefficacy and waste. They all show that fixing prices does not lower costs, it lowers quality. Limiting how much a provider can charge creates a shortage of providers. Universal plans can only provide basic services to everyone. People who want or need more have to buy additional insurance. Under this type of system,. there will still be people who get better health care because they can pay more. People who can’t afford insurance will still have to afford the higher taxes.

            http://xnet.kp.org/kpinternational/2007%20European%20Health%20System%20Comparisons.pdf

            http://www.heritage.org/Research/Lecture/Perspectives-on-the-European-Health-Care-Systems

            The track records of government run systems in other countries means that under Obama’s program, the health care my husband needs will lose quality, require higher taxes and will force us to buy insurance because universal plans only cover basic services, not the treatments he will need.

            Currently I I have BCBS family coverage. I wanted a plan that will cover the major things yet help lower the costs I will pay out of pocket. This plan does that. It has 80/20 for emergency room and surgery including transplants. The rest I pay out of pocket at a discounted price. I can go to any doctor or hospital I want. The plan only costs me $225 a month and I don’t have to pay higher taxes. Individual coverage was quoted at $80.

            Obama’s plan takes away any control my husband will have over his health care. Even if he pays for additional insurance on top of the taxes, the quality of his care will get worse.

            This health care bill has changed all our plans for the future. There is no guarantee that the current system will work in the future. But history guarantees that the system created by Obama won’t.

          • Bill Michtom says:

            I can’t click in under the gsmiths4 comment below, but that is what I am responding to:

            To put it simply, this: “The government run systems in other countries all have the same problems: inefficacy and waste. They all show that fixing prices does not lower costs, it lowers quality” is horseshit.

            Using the Heritage Foundation is like asking Ted Bundy to comment on capital punishment.

            And the Kaiser Permanent statement doesn’t support what you seem to think it does.

            Read some of the 2010 report from the Commonwealth Fund.
            “The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society’s most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults.

            “The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy.”

            “Executive Summary
            The U.S. health system is the most expensive in the world, but comparative analyses consistently show the United States underperforms relative to other countries on most dimensions of performance.” http://bit.ly/97InYN

  22. friedrich says:

    Obama’s presidency is failing because his policies are bad. The fact that people notice his policies are bad and blog about the failure is not the cause. It is one of the results. You seem to be suggesting that his failures would not be failures if no one spoke about them. You would be at home in North Korea or Mao-era China where the leader is always right even when he is wrong.

  23. Shane_c says:

    You give the “professional left” way too much credit. The economy and Obamas policies (that are too liberal for the majority of voters) is why he’s sinking in the polls. And liberal bloggers didn’t set the stage for Obama’s victory. People being tired of republican rule and the bottom falling out of the economy at the end of 2008 did. Had that not happened McCain probably would have been elected,

    Theres is a cycle in politics though: Republicans rule for while then the voters figure its the Democrats turn. Obama ran as a moderate who would be bipartisan (“no reds states or blue states just he united states”) and the voters don’t feel that thats the way he has governed. He has paased stuff with just democrat votes. He needs to do what Clinton did after ’92 and move to he center if the wants to get reelected.

    He needs to do exactly what “the professional left” doesnt want him to do. The fact that they are complaining is the one good thing about his administration. Theyre just not complaining enough. He has to go even farther into the center for he voters to feel he is in the mainstream.

    • Binky_bear says:

      Unfortunately, Republicans rule until their corruption collapses the economy; then Democrats govern and repair it until people are again amenable to the snakelike hiss of Republican seduction, which then produces a lather/rinse/repeat cycle. Teddy Roosevelt had to leave the Republican party to try to fix the country. Coolidge and Hoover-crash. Nixon-crash. Reagan-Bush-crash. FDR-saves capitalism by regulating it. Truman-tries to keep it going. Kennedy-Johnson-even better safety net. Carter-begins deregulation, hammered by post Nixon-Ford malaise.
      Clinton-raised taxes on the wealthy and made them cry, gave in to the business crooks too many times and a bunch of whoremongers publicly lynched him as a sinner. Bush-crash. Obama-the patient may be stabilized but we have no House willing to diagnose and treat the underlying condition-that corruption is endemic in business and society and government, and the wealthy elites are running it to benefit their avarice.

  24. ibnabdulhalim says:

    Yes, it’s unfortunate that the eternally high-minded have turned against him, just as they did to Jimmy Carter. While agreeing with you there, I don’t think they matter, nor do I accept their claim that Obama owes his election to them. If they were as skilled at reading polls as you say, surely they’d have noted what everyone else has: in this election as in the last it’s the independents that matter. And we all know how the numbers for liberal and conservative self-identification have been trending.
    Sure, the left-progressive wing of the party worked hard for his victory, but many others did too, particularly independents drawn back into politics. They thought they were working for a revived consensus politics, a post-racial future, and a reformed political process. But what did they get for their trouble? Reid and Pelosi in the driver’s seat, enthusiastic mud-wrestling with Rush and the rest, and open contempt for even moderate conservatives. And that calm, measured, post-racial candidate had morphed into the thinnest-skinned and race-conscious president in our history. Granted, much of this was calculated atmospherics, intended to keep the left on board. If he hadn’t wasted his breath on them he might have held onto a fraction of the electorate that really matters.

  25. Johnny says:

    “…the frightening case of Anwar al-Aulaqi, a heinous individual who now faces a judge, jury and executioner in President Barack Obama.”

    Peter, it would have taken some courage, okay a teeny-weeny bit of courage, not to editorialize here, heinous individual. So you’ve met?

    You flunked the courage test.

  26. Genghis says:

    Democrats couldn’t govern effectively when they had both houses and the Presidency. Health Care without single payer and with back room deals to Big Pharma? That’s a victory? Still in Afghanistan, still no repeal of DADT, Gitmo still open, each news cycle goes to those on the right, and Biden is surprised we’ve lost interest? Just once, why couldn’t the Senate Dems have forced an actual filibuster instead of accepting each threat? I’ll be voting Democrat this fall, but I’m hoping some actual leadership rises to the surface before the 2012 cycle.

    • Thomas Berwick says:

      Spoken like a true “Genghis”. Vote Democrat with complete and utter disregard.

    • Pego says:

      Heh, This is why the left thinks the right can’t tell the difference between Pundit-speak and reality. http://zfacts.com/p/318.html There hasn’t been a Republican conservative in office since Truman. If you notice that little rocket upwards of National Debt at the beginning of this chart? That was when Truman tried what Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner is proposing to do now.

      Is it better to be effective in laying waste to the American economy and constitution, or be ineffective in completely reversing the past devastations? I know where my vote will go.

      If we need to stop this cycle of voting for the least horrid offering that makes it to the table we are going to have to constitutionally reform our elections to eliminate private funding altogether. There is no way that anyone can make it to the top of either state or national elections without becoming dangerously indebted and involved with the richest corporations, whether they are American or not.. We are not, now, voting for left or for right, we are voting for the corrupt or the least corrupt.

      We also can no longer allow 4 to 6 multi-national corporation, most often war profiteers, to own our information/news outlets. Democracy cannot operate in a system that treats vital public information as “entertainment” allowing the most informative to disappear and the silliest entertainment and most biased propaganda to take it’s place.

  27. yogi-one says:

    Ritholtz is correct. It’s Joe Taxpayer Vs Goldman Sachs, Joe Taxpayer vs BP, Joe Taxpayer vs Big Coal, Joe Taxpayer vs Big Insurance, Joe Taxpayer vs the Pentagon

    Bush and Obama are both carrying their water, Bush while fronting out to be a conservative, Obama while fronting out to be a liberal.

    Ritholtz is correct: it’s corporations vs you, and the rub is that now a corporation is even more of a person than you are, because corporation have all the rights that you do, but have legal language that exempts them for nearly all the liabilities you can be sued for.

    And they have more money and power, which, in a system where money and power determine how much justice and democracy you get, means they own the criminal justice system (certainly we have seen the SCOTUS is all but enslaved to them), they effectively own the political system, they set, monitor and censure the political debate through corporate control of the mass media, and they litigate fiercely with nearly unlimited funds to protect their interests.

    Historically, feudal structures were phased out and replaced by various models such as parliamentary democracy, communism, and various kinds of combinations of socialism with democracy and communism. Now the tectonic shift in social structures is to organization by corporation.

    Everyone who has worked in a huge international corporation understands this. You meet people from all over the world, all different religions, all different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Verizon, IBM, Microsoft, HP, Chevron, Exxon etc are nothing if they are not diverse and multinational.

    In today’s world, the most single defining characteristic of your public persona is not what nationality, religion, let alone political affiliation you have, but which company you work for.

    Today, it’s not even what your profession is your most important identifier (I’m a computer scientist, I’m a middle manager, I’m systems engineer, etc) but which corporation you are employed by or contract your services to.

    So, as long as the left and the right are duking it out in the blogosphere and on network television, the corporations are quietly getting everything they want behind the scenes because – well, because they can, and all corporations are mandated to improve profit margins above any other consideration.

    Every single corporation that has ever existed exists to generate profits for its owners. Period. Safety, human rights, political affiliation, environmental impact, etc ALWAYS are secondary considerations, and many corporations will not consider these secondary items unless there is good reason to believe that ignoring them will adversely affect profits.

    That is the world we live in today.

    • Russ says:

      And it’s these same corporations that provide jobs. It’s funny that moonbat liberals love to demonize people for making a profit. Hey, I’m going to invest my life savings into a company so it can lose money! Teachers unions, and other unions invest their retirement funds into the stock market so that they get a good return on their money… and then turn around and whine about unfair profits. The desire for profits is what has made the United States the leader in technology, new medicines.

      • Thomas Berwick says:

        And that’s only the “tip of the iceberg”, Russ. Your “new medicines” comment reminds me of a bit of research I did on Monsanto recently. Anyone interested in the advances this company has made over the years should check it out in Wikipedia. It is astounding.

      • Schooner says:

        Yep, tons of jobs. Just none of them in the US.

        • Thomas Berwick says:

          The point was ADVANCES, not jobs. Perhaps if you and your UNION buddies hadn’t driven those jobs out of the U.S., they would be here.

      • Pego says:

        Those major corporations do not make jobs, they eliminat jobs and export them as rapidly as possible. Small business ALWAYS create the strongest level of employment and the least loss of job when one fails

  28. clare says:

    thank you Peter

    it is good (and not surprising) to see that principles over party characterization from you – was just over at another Major site only to read self identified ‘progressives’ contorting themselves to defend “a chilling, precedent-setting Constitutional breach” oy

    “Obama has done much good and has achieved a number of impressive legislative victories”

    I mostly follow you on twitter and Facebook, so there are probably a number of posts on this I have missed – am genuinely curious what you would characterize as “much good”

  29. I find it very interesting that so many bloggers who supported Obama initially (over other candidates) are on the side of questioning him now and that they don’t see the incongruity there with their own actions. I’m totally fine with their critique, it just seems to me that some are trying to have their cake and eat it, too. Clearly they feel disappointed and misled, but for those who were pro-Obama before the election and are somewhat anti-Obama now, I have to raise this issue:

    I took a lot of heat and unkind mocking from some fellow liberal bloggers about my support of Hillary Clinton for the 2008 election (as did other Clinton supporters — just ask the ones who stopped writing at the Daily Kos), as well as for the fact that I dared ask critical questions about Obama rather than just jumping on his bandwagon. I was told to shut up and to stop whining. I was made to feel like I wasn’t being a “good” Democrat because I didn’t buy everything the pro-Obama forces were touting. It was made clear that many liberal bloggers didn’t want to have a conversation, they just wanted to root for Obama. Now that many of those same people are disillusioned, I find it interesting that they are questioning and critical, just like I was before the election.

    I’m all for anyone asking critical questions about anyone in power, including Obama, but I’d just ask that those who are critical of him now remember how you liked to make fun of those of us who dared raise some of these questions about what he would really do if elected. I don’t think anyone should be oh-so-shocked about what we got.

    • Russ says:

      WHAT!!! You weren’t an Obama supporter!!!! You, you RACIST!!! —- Join the club, us republicans get called it all the time because we don’t support Obama’s policies, illegal immigration or, even building a community center near where the WTC stood.

    • Ani says:

      I will never forget the horrid skewering we Hillary supporters received in 2008 for having the common sense to recognize the stronger candidate and applying logic in dissecting Obama’s contradictory statements and seeing through the glitz of his campaign. The late awakening of pundits and bloggers is little comfort.

      • Schooner says:

        If you actually think things would be different with Hillary you’re a lost cause. Look at who Obama surrounded himself with, they’re all Clinton people.

        Oh and while the health care bill ain’t great, at least he got it passed. Hillary, not so much.

        • Belle says:

          What he got passed was closer to Hillary’s plan than his own healthcare platform. Mandated healthcare, and deals with PhRMA and Insurance. Ugh

        • Thomas Berwick says:

          “They’re ALL Clinton people”, Schooner? When I think of “Clinton people”, names like James Carville, Paul Begala, Lanny Davis, etc. come to mind. I just don’t recall Raum Emanuel and David Axelrod being that close to the Clintons. Please correct me if I am mistaken about this.

          • Schooner says:

            Emmanuel worked for Clinton as senior political adviser from 93-98. I’d say that makes him one of the Clinton people and he has(had) the top political job. Hillary is of course Sec of State, the top cabinet post followed by Geithner who was an undersecretary for Clinton. Let’s not forget Larry Summers, former treasury secretary. His whole transition team was managed by John Podesta and there were 31 members on that team that had worked for Clinton.

            Don’t forget that Holder also was a former Clinton appointee oh and Panetta as CIA head.

            I’d say that’s quite a few.

  30. Isn’t it amazing how any conversation on the ills and problems of a Democratic adminstration always seems to bring out two sets of trolls:

    (1) The old fashioned “we knew Obama was a evil leftist socialist all along, and now the public is getting back to good old fashioned ‘moderate conservatism’” card, mostly done by the usual wingnuts pushing for a return of the Reagan/Bush/DeLay regime of supply-side economics. faith-based fundamentalism, and cheap-labor, low wage explotation;

    and, (2) the PUMA “Hillary was RIGHT!!!!” boosters who forget that before Obama came along, Hillary was the Chosen One for the corporate DLC neoliberal crowd.

    As a long time Left Independent (currently registered tenatively with the Green Party for now) who has seen the direction of BOTH parties to different flavors of right wing for the past 20 years, I have a slightly different perspective on this.

    The main issue is not the aggrieved sensablilties of Greenwald, Hamsher, or other principled “progressives” over the typical DLC-style smack delivered on then, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and the rest of the so-called “professional Left”; that is merely the outside circus.

    Rather, the REAL issue is that the Democratic Party has all but abandoned, in the name of pursuing corporate money and retaining their place as the alleged “liberal” wing of the corporate state, even the chimera of attempting to represent the true needs and concerns of the majority of working class and un/underemployed Americans.

    The fact that the Republicans have consolidated themselves even further rightward into the land of psychotic lunacy ruled by Limbaugh, Beck, Bachmann, Angle, and O’Donnell, financed by the usual reactionary montebanks of the Koch Brothers, Steve Forbes, and Karl Rove, and now seek to achieve power by hysterical attacks on Obama and the Dems as enablers of “alien forces” (meaning everyone not White, male, fundamentalist Christian, and super wealthy, or those who want to be such)….that only provides a decent cover for the fact that the Dem establishment has pretty much decided that the Left is expendable and that their true “base” is those “moderate conservatives” being exiled out of the GOP by the Teabagger/New Right/Limbaugh offensive.

    Hence, the only choice that Obama, Emanuel, and Gibbs give to “progressives”: Just “stop whining” and get with the DLC/Blue Dog program, because if you don’t, you’ll get Palin as President, and it will be all on your heads, not ours.

    That may help keep some liberals scared enough to stay in the Dem fold…but it won’t in any way stop the momentum of the Right, since even with Obama in charge of the White House and even if the Dems do manage to retain control of both houses of Congress, there are more than enough Blue Dogs and New Dixiecrats that could align with the GOTP to get their favored agendas passed.

    What we are seeing is the typical result of what happens when Democrats use the Left to get elected, and then shunt them aside and throw them under the bus for the ususal neoliberal corporate policies..and then expect “the liberal base” to make up and kiss them at the ballot box in the next cycle. It was like this with Jmmy Carter in 1976, and with Bill Clinton in 1992…and look at what the result was then.

    Maybe, one day, the Left (as in principled liberals and progressives and folks to their left) will take the hints that the Dems aren’t really into them, and organize on their own with their own institutions (including a real progressive/Left party), and on their own terms. That would be far more fruitful than complaining about how President Obama has so severely “dissed” them.

    Anthony

    • Russ says:

      Except Anthony, only 20% of the population considers themselves liberal. Conservatives have 42% of the population and moderates 35%. Having a republican, democratic and liberal party splitting the ticket would pretty much ensure republican rule the majority of the time.

      • Pego says:

        Well, except for the fact that Republicans are no longer conservative. Those guys couldn’t ballance a budget if their life depened on it

    • Thomas Berwick says:

      Anthony, the Democrat policies are the very reason that working class and un/underemployed Americans have true needs and concerns. It’s the economy, stupid!

      • Schooner says:

        Yeah and 30 years of right wing supply side stupidity was so successful. Why just look at the success of ol GW, the worst jobs record of any President since the great depression.

        • Thomas Berwick says:

          You need to check your facts, Schooner. We all understand that you and your ilk blame absolutely everything on “Ol GW”. That doesn’t make it so, however.

          • Schooner says:

            “The current President Bush, once taking account how long he’s been in office, shows the worst track record for job creation since the government began keeping records”. The
            source is the very liberal Wall Street Journal

            http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2009/01/09/bush-on-jobs-the-worst-track-record-on-record/

            “If we exclude Barack Obama due to incomplete data, then the worst performance was turned in by George W. Bush, as the economy grew by an average of 2.09% per year during his time as president. ” That’s since 1948.

            Source: Source: Davemanuel.com – Historical GDP Numbers (United States)

            Debt as % of GDP
            President Party Term years Start End Increase Increase /GDP
            (in percentage points)
            Bill Clinton D 1993–1997 66.1% 65.4% 1.18 -0.7%
            Bill Clinton D 1997–2001 65.4% 56.4% 0.45 -9.0%
            George W. Bush R 2001–2005 56.4% 63.5% 1.73 +7.1%
            George W. Bush R 2005–2009 63.4% 83.4% 2.63 +20.0%

            So, in sum, no jobs, no growth and huge debt. I’d say that makes it so.

  31. Steve J. says:

    While Democrats obsess over Christine O’Donnell’s witchcraft and John Boehner’s tan, and while Palin and Beck spew trite soundbites about defending the Constitution, the White House is getting away with a chilling, precedent-setting Constitutional breach.

    It’s a little painful to type this, but even Glenn Beck objects to the assassinations rationale by the Obama Administration.

  32. Aaron Worthing says:

    Yes, remember, we have never killed an American citizen in wartime except with a judge, jury, etc.

    i mean besides a few hundred thousand confederates. i mean there is that, you know. *rolls eyes*

    And don’t say “they were technically not citizens because they were members of a bellligerant power” or anything like that. That was not the Lincoln administration’s position on the subject. They maintained that the south was not legally entitled to secede, and were legally part of the U.S. They were, according to Lincoln, still citizens of the US. And they were killed by the thousands.

    Look i know it is frightening on some level to give that much power to anyone. But our rights do not survive merely by the government leaving us alone. Ask Theo Van Gogh, for instance. The dutch granted him freedom of speech but failed to affirmatively protect him from those who would take it away from him. So he was murdered for daring to criticize Islam and he is every bit as silenced as if his own government had censored him–indeed more so. And as a point of law, when this nation goes to war, it inherently means that arbitrary power must be exercised. It is precisely for this reason that character matters when choosing a president. Which is not a knock on Obama–I don’t think he would kill these men for improper reasons. But character is important.

    As Lincoln himself said: “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

    As for the overaching point about liberal bloggers tearing Obama down, bluntly i think it is more the rampant spending, and terrrible economy doing the work, not a few bloggers. There are not many americans who are upset at Obama for being insufficiently radical.

  33. Belle says:

    Does Obama, his administration and advisers think the left is “fucking retarded”?

    You can’t cajole, bully, scold or use scare tactics against the left. America has had 50 years of the Military Industrial Complex creating unnecessary wars. We’ve had 30 years of corporate governance, lax regulations, free trade that’s shipped our jobs offshore, and a widening gap between the rich and everyone else. And on top of that we’ve had 8 years of Cheney/Bush. And we’re supposed to be frightened? Or we’re supposed to believe we got change? They must be retarded to blame the base, or the few who speak the truth in the media, for their own failure to show they have any principles.

    Did I need to read Greenwald, Hamsher and company to understand that both parties are completely corrupted by lobbying money and PAC money? Or that every major bill is written by lobbyists, corporate lawyers in consultation with Congressional aides? I already knew that government is merely arm of corporate America. That every government agency has been infiltrated with business and lobbying interests to such a degree that the corruption is endemic and the system is completely and utterly broken. If Obama isn’t going to change any of that, he’s tacitly endorsing the status-quo.

    If the Democratic leadership works within the current system, but claims they’re making untenable compromises because that’s the best they can do, or because Republicans are obstructionists, whilst they rake in the lobbying money, making secret deals with PhRMA and Insurance, letting lobbyists write legislation to create loopholes, are we supposed to be thankful, and overlook the obvious? All the while, they’ve been expanding executive power, passing legislation that can ostensibly lead to any future administration or president committing crimes like assassination of US citizens, unnecessary spying and surveillance, illegal drone bombings in countries we’re not at war with, shutdown of the internet and all digital communications, harassment, and illegal indefinite detention without trial or charges.

    We already learned our lesson from the Clinton administration – that passing corporate friendly laws, and bending over for Republicans and calling it “bi-partisanship” – only enables the next Republican administration to commit crimes against the American people in the name of corporate profits, an expanding empire based on military thuggery and geo-political corporate interests.

    The base isn’t going to feel motivated because they got thrown a few crumbs. If the current administration and Democratic Congress won’t stand up against a corrupt system and even attempt reform, attempt structural change or pull us back from the last 3 decades where BOTH parties have moved firmly to the right, they’re part of the problem. They’re certainly not the solution. And that applies to Obama, anyone in the media who won’t address the obvious corruption and corporate governance, and to those in Congress who vote for corporate friendly junk legislation, falsely touted as reform.

  34. Victor Erimita says:

    Well, the hard Left may be “getting under Obama’s skin.” But they aren’t destroying his presidency. I’m sure he’s frustrated so many in the “progressive base” blame him, instead of the majority of voters and their representatives in Congress, for not turning America into a socialist and pacifist paradise in 20 months. But it’s not because Obama doesn’t want to do that, or hasn’t tried.

    No, what is destroying the Obama presidency is the massive opposition to the progressive agenda he has tried to force on an unwilling public. Contrary to leftist consensus, the American public did nor make a hard turn to the left when they elected Obama in 2008. A great many of them thought, foolishly, that Obama was the mild centrist he portrayed during the campaign. When they found out the truth, with massive deficit spending going to Democrat supporters, labeled as “stimulus,” the health care bill, massively opposed, yet crammed down the public’s throat, the apologies abroad, race baiting in Cambridge, Philadelphia and Arizona, and so on, they became first disillusioned, then apoplectic.

    The voting majorities the Left imagined had wisely joined their extreme leftist views, they now imagine are the hapless dupes of the Left’s bogeymen: Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, et al, and are being duped now to the “far right.” The truth is, they never turned hard to the left, and are not now turning to the far right. The majority of Americans oppose massive deficits, wasted on patronage, open borders and ignored immigration laws, a devastated economy made worse daily by rhetorical demonization and flailing gimmicry, socialized medicine and vast corporatist scams advanced as environmental measures. If you’re far enough left, everything looks :far right” to you, but these are very mainstream positions. Many who hold them allowed themselves to be duped into voting for a revolutionary disguised as a charismatic moderate. They have discoverd their error and are mounting a counter-revolt. Both lefties and righties may be convinced this is a great conservative resurgence, but they are both wrong. It is the rise of the great middle, the mainstream of America. And that is what is destroying the Obama presidency. And the Democratic Party. Not a few bloggers no one outside the solipsistic world of the lefty blogosphere has ever heard of. It is also changing the Republican Party, which will also be destroyed or drastically remade if it does not heed the rise of the middle.

    • Belle says:

      Really? If that were true, that the majority of Americans don’t want a “socialist paradise”, then how do you explain this –
      http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/poll-wealth-distribution-similar-sweden/

      • Russ says:

        Except even Sweden is getting tired of paying high taxes for those on the dole:

        Swedish voters say no to immigration

        Even Sweden, it appears, is tired of being a nation of open borders.

        Often held up as an example of a country Canada should emulate — high taxes, plentiful social services, hockey players who don’t fight — Sweden appears to be going the way of the Netherlands, that other allegedly tolerant country that makes an exception when it comes to immigrants.

        On Sunday, Fredrik Reinfeldt’s centre-right coalition won marginally under 50% of the vote in Sweden’s general election and will take 172 of the 349 seats. The Prime Minister also logged a personal victory by winning more votes for his party, the Moderates, than ever before.

        Also entering Parliament — for the first time — will be the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, with 20 seats. Their success follows a string of electoral gains for similar parties across Europe in such countries as the Netherlands, France, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and Britain.

        As in much of the rest of Europe, immigration was the issue that propelled them into power, more specifically Muslim immigration. Relative to its size, Sweden has been among the top five nations in the European Union in taking in refugees and asylum-seekers, including those fleeing the Balkan wars of the 1990s and Iraq after the U.S. invasion.

        The new arrivals have changed the demography of the once-homogenous Scandinavian country. Today, one in seven residents is foreign-born. The Sweden Democrats say immigration has become an economic burden that drains the welfare system, one of the most generous in Europe…

        • Belle says:

          People always complain about immigration in tough economic times, because fear is the number one emotion that kicks in when people become uncertain about their financial security and physical safety, but the real problem is that with globalization and free trade, much of the labor in the West has shipped to China and India.

          Since the deregulation of Glass-Steagall (written and passed by a Republican Congress) and the subsequent financial meltdown that has ensued, it’s had a ripple effect worldwide, economically. Those toxic derivatives were sold all over the world, not just in America. When the DJI sneezes, all the markets take a hit. The financial sector is creating massive bubbles and bursting them for the sole purpose of stealing more people’s wealth through their pension funds, 401Ks and personal investments in various national and international markets.

          It’s only natural that people in Europe and elsewhere look around them for the nearest scapegoat. Demagoguery works in times of economic hardship. We saw it in Arizona, and we’re seeing it in the mosque debate and the hyperbole surrounding a single prayer room in a community center two blocks from the WTC. Indeed, Hitler used demagoguery to rise to power, blaming the Jews for the economic problems of the Weimar Republic brought on by the Treaty of Versailles. Demagoguery and scapegoating minorities, or immigrants is nothing new.

          Even a right wing government in Sweden or any other country in Europe is still left of the Democrats. The Democratic party is the second most right wing party in the industrialized world. You can guess which party takes the number one spot.

          And people wouldn’t mind giving half their salary away, if they knew they could get free dental and healthcare, unlimited unemployment benefits, paid vacations, great labor laws, free childcare, full paid maternity and paternity leave, free tertiary education etc etc etc. That’s the point of the poll.

          • Victor Erimita says:

            People aren’t “complaining about immigration.” They’re outraged that our southern border is essentially unguarded and that millions of Central Americans get to jump the line that everyone else in the world has to wait in to get into the country. The people who live in Texas, and Arizona areunhappy that drug wars are bei9ng waged on their land or publicly-owned park land, that Phoenix has the second-highest kidnap rate in the hemisphere after Mexico City, and that increasingly, lawlessness reigns. People are upset that their school systems, medical systems and other public systems are being overtaxed by legions of uncontrolled illegals whop don’t pay into the system. They’re up set that the law is being ignored by the government and their corporate employer sponsors. It’s hard to understand that if you insist on seeing the issue through a racist-America template.

            The overwhelming majority of Americans do not want what you call “free medical care,” because they know what that means in countries like Canada and the UK, namely lower survival rates and in many cases, “care” that is awful. Most Americans are happy with their currnt coverage, and covering the legitimately uninsurable (not counting millions of illlegals or people who choose not to pay for insurance) can be done many ways without government taking over the whole system. Most voters know that and therefore have rejected Obamacare and the march toward socialised medicine. All the things you list in your last paragraph as “free” have to be paid by someone. Do you really not understand that?

          • Russ says:

            Hey Bella, why didn’t you mention this about the deregulation of Glass-Steagall?:
            The final bill resolving the differences was passed in the Senate 90–8 (one not voting) and in the House: 362–57 (15 not voting). The legislation was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on November 12, 1999.

            Sure sounds like a bi-partisan bill to me with plenty of democrats voting for it.

            And those “Toxic derivatives” were on mortgage loans… and why did they perform so badly and why did we have the housing collapse? Because of democrats and their push to have people who couldn’t afford it getting homes. Lets see what the New York Times said in 1999:

            Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending
            By STEVEN A. HOLMES
            Published: September 30, 1999
            WASHINGTON, Sept. 29— In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

            The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets — including the New York metropolitan region — will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

            Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people…
            In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980′s.

            ”From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,” said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ”If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.” …
            Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages, does not lend money directly to consumers. Instead, it purchases loans that banks make on what is called the secondary market. By expanding the type of loans that it will buy, Fannie Mae is hoping to spur banks to make more loans to people with less-than-stellar credit ratings.

            Fannie Mae officials stress that the new mortgages will be extended to all potential borrowers who can qualify for a mortgage. But they add that the move is intended in part to increase the number of minority and low income home owners who tend to have worse credit ratings than non-Hispanic whites.
            —————
            So, what did Freddie and Fannie do? They turned around bundled them and sold these pretty much worthless loans as AAA rated mortgages. These were sold to everybody throughout the financial industry.

            McCain and Bush saw the problems with Freddie and Fannie but democrats resisted every effort to legislate them:

            Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.): “The more people, in my judgment, exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness, the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury, which I do not see. I think we see entities [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] that are fundamentally sound financially and withstand some of the disaster scenarios.”

            Sen. Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.): “I, just briefly will say, Mr. Chairman, obviously, like most of us here, this is one of the great success stories of all time.”

            Franklin Raines, former head of Fannie Mae: “These assets are so riskless that their capital for holding them should be under 2%.

            Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.): “The more people, in my judgment, exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness, the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury, which I do not see. I think we see entities [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] that are fundamentally sound financially and withstand some of the disaster scenarios.”

            Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.): “Mr. Chairman, we do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac, and in particular at Fannie Mae, under the outstanding leadership of Mr. Frank Raines. Everything in the 1992 act has worked just fine. In fact, the GSEs have exceeded their housing goals.”

            And speaking of Maxine Waters, why was the bank her husband was working at in so much trouble?

            But what nearly crushed OneUnited was its stock in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the quasi-governmental lenders that guarantee about 70 percent of home mortgages. Cochran says when the federal government took over Fannie and Freddie, it shattered OneUnited. “They apparently lost a ton of money.”

      • Russ says:

        Oh and Bella, I’m sure the answer to that poll would have been different if the question was…. “Would you support giving 50% of your paycheck in taxes to achieve Social Paradise?”

    • Thomas Berwick says:

      Very well stated, Victor. It is refreshing to read a post here from someone that doesn’t have his head up his ass. With all due respect to Russ, of course. LOL

    • Belle says:

      Obviously you don’t understand that the low survival rates you refer to are complete fiction. America is ranked 37th by the World Health Organization for our healthcare, http://www.photius.com/rankings/healthranks.html
      yet it costs more per capita than any other nation on earth. http://scienceblog.com/1567/americans-pay-more-get-less-for-health-care/
      http://www.examiner.com/extreme-weight-loss-in-national/why-change-the-us-has-the-37th-best-health-care-system-the-world
      http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/11/an_insurance_industry_ceo_expl.html

      Americans pay more for their drugs than any other country.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prescription_drug_prices_in_the_United_States

      Life expectancy rates in America rank 42nd worldwide, behind Cuba.
      Infant mortality rates are higher than most any other industrialized nation.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_the_United_States

      Medical errors contribute to almost 200,000 unnecessary deaths per year:
      http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/11856.php

      People are unhappy about mandated coverage whereby they’re forced to buy junk policies from a for profit sector that makes money by denying care. If most people are happy with their current coverage, that’s only because they don’t know that going to the doctor in the UK or Canada, you don’t have to choose from a restricted list, you can see anyone you want, and there’s no such thing as co-pays or out of pocket expenses, and you aren’t denied care, unlike insurance companies, who do it ALL the time, as part of their business model. Insurance companies are the real death panels.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ja8h2wxTzJY

      • Russ says:

        Low survival rates? Jeez, you are so full of mis-information Bella it isn’t funny.

        Life expectancy? So, how does “Health Care” help somebody if they are overweight like a lot of Americans and have a heart attack in their sleep? Or…. die in a gang related shooting? Here’s an article that show’s that the W.H.O. data is pretty much meaningless: http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA547ComparativeHealth.htmlhttp://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA547ComparativeHealth.html

        And if our system is so bad, why is our cancer survival rates so much higher? From factcheck.org:

        According to the U.K.’s Office of National Statistics, the five-year relative survival rate for patients diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1993 and 1995 (and thus followed up to 1998 or 2000) was 59.8 percent.
        The National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results database puts concurrent U.S. rates at 95.4 percent.

        “Medical errors contribute to almost 200,000 unnecessary deaths per year:”

        And having the government in control is going to make things better? Yeah, that’s what we want, the same type of controls we have in the V.A. hospitals!

      • Genghis says:

        Russ’ Fannie and Freddie recount misses some important facts, primarily that F&F’s problems were created by other players. Here’s Krugman’s take: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/14/opinion/14krugman.html

        From that article: “Furthermore, while Fannie and Freddie are problematic institutions, they aren’t responsible for the mess we’re in.

        But here’s the thing: Fannie and Freddie had nothing to do with the explosion of high-risk lending a few years ago, an explosion that dwarfed the S.& L. fiasco. In fact, Fannie and Freddie, after growing rapidly in the 1990s, largely faded from the scene during the height of the housing bubble.

        Partly that’s because regulators, responding to accounting scandals at the companies, placed temporary restraints on both Fannie and Freddie that curtailed their lending just as housing prices were really taking off. Also, they didn’t do any subprime lending, because they can’t: the definition of a subprime loan is precisely a loan that doesn’t meet the requirement, imposed by law, that Fannie and Freddie buy only mortgages issued to borrowers who made substantial down payments and carefully documented their income.

        So whatever bad incentives the implicit federal guarantee creates have been offset by the fact that Fannie and Freddie were and are tightly regulated with regard to the risks they can take. You could say that the Fannie-Freddie experience shows that regulation works.

        In that case, however, how did they end up in trouble?

        Part of the answer is the sheer scale of the housing bubble, and the size of the price declines taking place now that the bubble has burst. In Los Angeles, Miami and other places, anyone who borrowed to buy a house at the peak of the market probably has negative equity at this point, even if he or she originally put 20 percent down. The result is a rising rate of delinquency even on loans that meet Fannie-Freddie guidelines.

        Also, Fannie and Freddie, while tightly regulated in terms of their lending, haven’t been required to put up enough capital — that is, money raised by selling stock rather than borrowing. This means that even a small decline in the value of their assets can leave them underwater, owing more than they own.

        And yes, there is a real political scandal here: there have been repeated warnings that Fannie’s and Freddie’s thin capitalization posed risks to taxpayers, but the companies’ management bought off the political process, systematically hiring influential figures from both parties. While they were ugly, however, Fannie’s and Freddie’s political machinations didn’t play a significant role in causing our current problems.”

    • fightfortheLeft says:

      yet another far-Rightie who believes, despite all of the evidence provided in this article and in these comments, that Obama is “far Left” and trying to enact a “radical, Progressive agenda.”

      Don’t you READ? It’s quite clear that the Left is angry with Obama because he’s NOT doing those things. No, America “never turned hard to the Left.” Nor did Obama or his administration. Your side simply has to try to PRETEND those things are true in order to get out the vote for Republican and Tea Party candidates.

      It’s equally absurd to pretend that it’s a “rise of the middle” that’s threatening to destroy the GOP. In fact its the extreme Right that’s been pushing “the middle” out of the Republican Party for the last 30 years.

      FWIW

  35. Victor Erimita says:

    Well, the hard Left may be “getting under Obama’s skin.” But they aren’t destroying his presidency. I’m sure he’s frustrated so many in the “progressive base” blame him, instead of the majority of voters and their representatives in Congress, for not turning America into a socialist and pacifist paradise in 20 months. But it’s not because Obama doesn’t want to do that, or hasn’t tried.

    No, what is destroying the Obama presidency is the massive opposition to the progressive agenda he has tried to force on an unwilling public. Contrary to leftist consensus, the American public did nor make a hard turn to the left when they elected Obama in 2008. A great many of them thought, foolishly, that Obama was the mild centrist he portrayed during the campaign. When they found out the truth, with massive deficit spending going to Democrat supporters, labeled as “stimulus,” the health care bill, massively opposed, yet crammed down the public’s throat, the apologies abroad, race baiting in Cambridge, Philadelphia and Arizona, and so on, they became first disillusioned, then apoplectic.

    The voting majorities the Left imagined had wisely joined their extreme leftist views, they now imagine are the hapless dupes of the Left’s bogeymen: Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, et al, and are being duped now to the “far right.” The truth is, they never turned hard to the left, and are not now turning to the far right. The majority of Americans oppose massive deficits, wasted on patronage, open borders and ignored immigration laws, a devastated economy made worse daily by rhetorical demonization and flailing gimmicry, socialized medicine and vast corporatist scams advanced as environmental measures. If you’re far enough left, everything looks “far right” to you, but these are very mainstream positions. Many who hold them allowed themselves to be duped into voting for a revolutionary disguised as a charismatic moderate. They have discovered their error and are mounting a counter-revolt. Both lefties and righties may be convinced this is a great conservative resurgence, but they are both wrong. It is the rise of the great middle, the mainstream of America. And that is what is destroying the Obama presidency. And the Democratic Party. Not a few bloggers no one outside the solipsistic world of the lefty blogosphere has ever heard of. It is also changing the Republican Party, which will also be destroyed or drastically remade if it does not heed the rise of the middle.

  36. John says:

    I agree with you on the Alawki (or Aulaqi) case. The man is a traitor and I’m all for sending a special forces team to capture him so we can try him for treason. If he decides to fight and it ends badly for him, that’s his choice. But that’s not the same thing as an order of assassination.

    But on the larger issue, I’m torn.

    I have some measure of respect for Hamsher for holding Obama to the same standard they held Bush. In this case, consistency is a virtue. What’s really stunning is that after all those marches on DC and elsewhere, after all the complaints that Bush and/or Cheney were war criminals…the majority of the anti-war left has melted into the carpet under Obama. Given how many of Bush’s policies (and policy makers) have endured, that’s telling.

    On the other hand, I don’t believe that any US President including the current one whom I did not vote for, is placing us on the verge of fascism. That was a bit shrill during the last 8 years and it still is to my ears. The American system is more robust than that. This mistake isn’t the end of the world. Obama isn’t a monster. If anything, it seems he’s come to realize that things are different when the outcome rests on your shoulders and not somebody else’s.

    • John says:

      Yawn. The fact that you don’t believe it doesn’t make it true. No one who has ever lived in a nation that is on the verge of fascism has ever believed it to be the case. The fact that you, personally, fail to see a possible transformation really is irrelevant.

      The Founders and framers are very clear on this. People who continue to sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither. The fact that, after 250+ years of trial, Americans have now allowed themselves to become so scared that they repeatedly, willingly sacrifice major Constitutional rights (privacy, the right to a fair trial, the presumption of innocence) is frightening. People ought to be fighting this tooth and nail. The fact that they are not is depressing.

      The Founders, specifically, did NOT believe that the American system is so fundamentally strong it could resist this. That’s why they stressed the importance, REPEATEDLY, of citizens being educated and vigilant to avoid this. Our current willingness to abrogate these responsibilities is disgusting and just yet another example of how pitifully short we fall in terms of our duties as American citizens.

  37. Scott Trent says:

    Some good insights in this article into why people who care about human rights are ciritical of this administration. However, I think it’s wrong to portray this phenomenon as “liberal bloggers bringing down the president”–as if the goal was to wreck Obama and not to stand for human rights as a principle with life-and-death implications.

    There’s been no accountability for torturers. Gitmo is still open. “Black CIA sites” still exist where torture is probably taking place. The war in Afghanistan has escalated. The war in Iraq continues, but has been “rebranded”. Obama, his administration, and the Democratic Party have not just been complicit, they have led the country down this path.

    It comes down to a choice for the Democratic Party base: Do you stand with the Party and the wealth and interests they represent, or do you stand with the people with whom we share this planet?

    • Belle says:

      Torture can legally take place in Bagram prison, Afghanistan and elsewhere overseas. That was one of the loopholes in the torture order, among others. Extraordinary rendition is also still legal.

  38. baoxian says:

    Obama’s policies have brought down the Obama Presidency. Staggering debt, heavy-handed mandates, nationalization of US industry, gross corruption through the “Stimulus” bill, placement of criminals and illegal immigrants ahead of US citizens, lawsuits against states trying to preserve law and order. Little wonder the American voters have rebelled against this toxic agenda.

    The right has also solved the Alinsky playbook, mostly thanks to Sarah Palin (oh how that makes you furious). The viability of tea party candidates is a direct result of her teaching conservatives how to stand up to the liberal media hate storm that is inevitably directed toward them.

    I’m really looking forward to reading more about the defeatism and blame game on the left though. Good stuff.

    • Russ says:

      “lawsuits against states trying to preserve law and order.” as compared to those states who have decriminalized and pretty much allowed open selling of pot which is against a federal law.

      So, let me get this straight…. Arizona is trying to enforce a federal law and then you have other states that act contrary to federal law and who gets sued?

  39. Russ says:

    I have a serious question for any liberal willing to answer it… It has to do with illegal immigration… We get that you think that poor people should be able to come to the United States and improve their life… but, how many should be able to come in? I mean, Mexico was a population of 111 million so already 10% are here. Should we just allow all of Mexico to come into the United States? How about the poor in South America? There’s 400 million there? Is that enough for you? if not, Africa has a billion poor people who I’m sure would love to come here too.

    • Fran says:

      What should be done is a renegotiation of NAFTA.

      - Since NAFTA, income inequality in Mexico has risen. The top 10 percent have seen their income increase while the remaining 90 percent have seen their income either stagnate or decrease.

      - Over 2 million Mexican farmers were forced to give up their land because farm subsidies were eliminated and they could not compete with the products dumped on their market by U.S. Big Ag.

      - Initially, many of these former farmers were able to find work when many U.S. factories relocated to Mexico, throwing American workers out of jobs. In a short time, many of these same factories relocated to China or other countries where the wage was even lower than the <$3 / hr paid to Mexican workers.

      Free trade – it doesn't work except for those at the top of the food chain and it's past time to stop pretending that it does. The "invisible hand of the market" fails to take into account the ways in which real people act in the real world. No or few concrete regulations make the system especially vulnerable to manipulation by the those who control the wealth.

      • Ed Snack says:

        Fran, but “Big Ag” is massively subsidized by the US Government, and this administration has made no changes. Farmers in Mexico get swamped because the US Government ! Get rid of the farming subsidies and Mexico can prosper rather more, and you (the tax payer, you do pay tax don’t you?) gets to save billions of dollars as well. Looks like win-win to me.

        Free trade works better than managed trade, every time, only we don’t have much free trade when one side provides massive subsidies. Regulations are the way that the vested interests reinforce their dominance.

    • Victor Erimita says:

      Good points, baoxian. The thing the Left seems not to understand is that “here” is not just a geographic place. It is a culture, a legal system, a commercial system. South and Central America have plenty of resources, and they have had 500+ years to make a go of it. They have not done so because their culture has no tradition of individual freedom and achievment, a stunted tradition of human rights, and a command-and-control culture that flows from centuries of adherence to the Catholic Church. If unlimited numbers of people are allowed to come here form Central and South America, and are not absorbed into the mainstream culture (which is the goal of the Left,) then “here” will not be “here” any more. Which, of course, is what the Left wants. The Left romanticizes every culture but ours, and insists that America subvert its culture in perpetual meas culpa, as we defer to the putatively superior cultures south of the border. But these are precisely the cultures that have produced the conditions millions are fleeing, a fact the Left assiduously ignores.

      • idrw says:

        “Romanticiz[e] every culture”? What are you talking about? The immigration issue is a labor issue. Illegal labor has been invited here by both parties because it makes things cheaper. Whole industries have been allowed to run on this labor without any enforcement. Many on the left recognize this, and want exactly what we say we want: REFORM. I don’t know where you are coming from with your fantasies about the clash of cultures–sounds vaguely fascist to me.

      • connecticutie says:

        Wow, you seriously have a very poor grasp of the history of Central and South America if you think the “culture has no tradition of individual freedom and achievment, a stunted tradition of human rights, and a command-and-control culture that flows from centuries of adherence to the Catholic Church.” That climate may exist, but it’s perpetuated by the endless meddling of colonial interests. See the United Fruit Company, the coup that put Pinochet in power, the coup against Arbenz in Guatemala, all the way back to the Spanish who obliterated the population through disease and murder, etc. I’d say that ‘free market’ (and the church) have worked tirelessly to make sure the people in these countries are resources and NOT free people.

  40. Texas Coyote says:

    Peter,

    I have followed your posts for years. Thank you for many good reads.

    From what I read it seems the most common views about Obama fall into a few categories (leaving aside the mantras of professional trolls and the rants of perpetually clueless wing-nuts) :

    1. Obama really is a liberal and was not lying when he made all those promises before the election. It is the fault of those mean Republicans that nothing much has changed for the better. His hands are tied (as are Pelosi’s, and Reid’s).

    2. Obama really is a liberal and was not lying when he made all those promises before the election. Unfortunately he and the Democratic party establishment are incompetent. They mean well but like Charlie Brown they just can’t seem to win.

    3. Obama has always been a corporate puppet (with a “D” after his name instead of an “R”). He has as many or more Republican friends as Democrats and all the “Sturm and Drang” is just kabuki. Things are working out just fine for him and his paymasters.

    Do you tend to agree with any or a combination of these views, or do you have another perspective you could share?

    It is heartening to see research confirm that while a plurality of American self-identify as “conservative” (this would have been true of their Revolutionary ancestors), their views on concrete issues are much more liberal than that label would suggest. (The wealth inequality issue brought up by Belle being one example.)

    It is the 24×7 job of corporate media whores and professional Internet trolls to keep the FUD factor high, but the grassroots (not confusing same withcorporate funded “astroturf”) is beginning to tire of a society managed by the Shock Doctrine for the benefit of the wealthiest 1%. Too many people saw both Republicans and Democrats fall all over themselves to give trillions of dollars to the worthless financial sector when the curtain went down on the bubble economy only to complain a few moths later that “there isn’t enough money” to provide health care to all Americans. (And that Social Security and Medicate must be cut because “we’re running out of money”.). Too bad that grassroots constituency has no support inside the Democratic party establishment (or perhaps you believe in some version of the “incompetence” theory).

    The U.S. system is rigged against a third party gaining significant political power. It seems the People have to get control of one of the political parties if they are ever going to get the boot of the ruling class off their throats. How do you think this can be changed?

  41. Maestro Pupi says:

    I think Obama’s problem is that he cared more about checking the accomplishments box than about making a permanent difference. All of these bills are poorly crafted hodge-podge monstrosities that no-one understands, so no-one can defend them. As a result, people are more than skeptical, and that means a Republican congress that won’t pay for health care reform. All of the back-patting in the world doesn’t change the fact that Obama’s inability to intelligently design health care reform ultimately means that very little will change.

    But his ego’s nice and big.

  42. Rock Slade says:

    The burden is on the bloggers that Peter Daou mentions, and the progressive activist critics of Obama-ism online….to actually go out and choose a course of action, persuade other voters, and recruit them to this course of action.

    Until they learn how to do this, their actions are self-righteous and pointless. They don’t know how to practice politics, period..

    Let’s see them stay at home in November….or try to start another party (their numbers are too small, I have no fear). This is all a fantasy game for them where they get to feel superior. I find them self-absorbed and bizarre, with their complex theories about political change which rely on an imaginary intellectual and informed public making choices about complicated public policies. Love to see them go out and run some campaigns sometime.

  43. Robohobo says:

    I love seeing the snakes eat their own young.

  44. TKOEd says:

    It’s the economy stupid.

  45. Glen says:

    Interesting analysis, BUT

    If these few bloggers have SO MUCH power, why are they ignored?

    I think instead there were a couple of things the President did wrong that NOBODY SUPPORTED:

    Continued Wall St bailouts
    Continued War on Terror (along with all civil liberties issues)

    Those are the two biggies, and notice both of those are a continuation of Bush policies.

    Then the Dems played dumb, and really piled on against the people that voted Bush out.

    Blocked improved HCR
    Blocked improved FinReg

    If anything the problem the President has is he did a couple of things NOBODY wanted and then tried to pull a couple of fast ones when EVERYBODY was watching.

    So Obama, the WH and the DC Dems can blame the “professional left”, but it was their own actions which went against what the majority of people voted for when Americans clearly voted for change. And to top it all off by just telling everybody how stupid they are because in the big scheme of things they are better than the other guys is about as stupid a politics as we’ve all ever seen. – the beatings will continue until moral improves.

  46. Pete says:

    Obama is Tony Blair. It’s that simple.

  47. cu4hrc says:

    The first time an Obama supported attacked me, verbally & viciously, for being a Hillary supporter my eyes opened wide. They haven’t shut yet! I’ve watched the insanity & ugliness unfold, and saw my favorite news sources — NYT, New Yorker, MSNBC, The Nation become ugly propaganda machines. But I am glad to know I am not alone in my incredulity at how fast and far this administration has fallen… and not alone in fighting the positions now held by Dems that once were held by Repubs.

  48. Chris says:

    Trying to scare us about the Republicans is a joke. They were down and out since 2006 and the Democrats just let them get up and become a legitimate opposition.

    Obama has been a huge disappointment to every progressive I know. He’s lost all his momentum. Like that last bit on the Rolling Stone interview – all talk, no real action.

    The rote Democratic candidates that haven’t shown any backbone will have a tough time these elections. Serves them right. They abetted war crimes and robbing of the middle class.

  49. gurdonark says:

    in the upcoming mid-term, nobody will remember that a group of bloggers wrote strident paragraphs which criticized the administration most congenial to their goals in 2 decades. All anyone will remember is that the base, oblivious to its own best interest, did not turn out in sufficient strength to turn back a far-right fringe opposition.

    Is that the “fault” of liberal bloggers? No, but that’s little consolation.

    I still would rather see people blogging about keeping a majority, at this critical juncture. The liberal blogosphere can help, but it dwelling on these other issues.

    The current situation is clear and convincing proof of the Will Rogers quote.

  50. Elise says:

    Yay! We’re helping Republicans to destroy a Democratic President!! We are awesome and powerful!!!

    /(so-called) Progressive bloggers

    There’s a phrase that keeps popping into my head these days – in a Democracy people get the government they deserve.

  51. Dan says:

    Overall, pretty accurate. One point I would have to disagree with is the bit about Hamesher et al. “cheering him with the ferver of his most ardent fans”. Fell free to include one example of this from any of the named bloggers. The reaction by Digby on the community center speech was basically “good, I guess, but why did it take so long?” Look at the doubt and suspicion in the blogs when the Warren appointment was announced. Both sides have a right to be frustrated. Hyperbole generates clicks…

  52. David says:

    I think Peter’s analysis is off here. If you listen to the more “mainstream” progressive voices – including a lot of the new radio and cable voices – you don’t hear the same kinds of concerns that the ultraleft (Hamsher, Greenwald, etc.) are highlighting. It’s far more a general “are we there yet?” tone from the Olbermans, the Ed Schultzs, the Maddows, Howard “Kill the Bill” Dean, and the Huffington Post snark-verse that is disillusioning some/many on the political left and center left.

    These voices have far more reach than the ultraleft (meant to be descriptive, not accusatory, BTW) and far more influence over the non-wonk liberal political discourse. And a lot of that complaining is not nearly as “grounded” as the criticism of the Hamshers, et. al.

  53. fightfortheLeft says:

    The Left needs to realize that the Democratic Party does not own us, and is not even necessarily our friend. Until we do that, the Dems will continue to take us for granted, continue to use us to get into office, and continue to disappoint us afterward. How many times does that have to happen before we figure it out? In my lifetime, it’s been Carter, Clinton, and Obama…all promising change, all posing as “outsiders” ready to “clean up Washington” and enact progressive legislation…and all letting us down. Sure, there were wins here and there, but has Washington REALLY changed? Is government less corrupt? Have wars abroad ceased? Has the “Defense” Department been reined in and had their blank check revoked? Have necessaryt social programs like single-payer healthcare happened? NO.

    Obama isn’t a “tyrant” and he may even mean well…but he has not proven himself Progressive, nor have Dems in the Senate and House. It’s time to send them a message. You gave them your support….now it’s time to withhold it.

  54. What drew me to read this piece is that among the list of leftists bloggers gnawing painfully at Obama, none of the leftist bloggers was Black, to my knowledge. This shows a fundamental lack of knowledge of the relationship between the afrosphere and the Obama Administration, since Blacks are no more satisfied than white, but may be more likely to stay home on Election Day as a sign of alienation from the system (which Obama and the Congressional representatives now represent).

    I suspect there will be a long list of people telling me that I’m wrong and insisting that the fact that I was thrown out of a blog with 4% Black participation means that I should not be able to comment on a Party with 20% Black participation.

    No one in the whitosphere believed me in 2006, when I said that ending the 43-term white male monopoly of the presidency would be on the agenda in 2008, and they called me a “racist” even for suggesting it. That only shows how myopic they are. Because they “don’t see color”, they couldn’t see President Obama coming.

  55. james says:

    Peter: Putting aside the fact that you worked for Hillary in the campaign and harbor ill-will to the President,like Jane and other bloggers who were Edwards supporters, this post is simply unfair.
    The whole assassination of american citizen/greenwald controversy is framed in such a way to reflect poorly on the administration,when in fact, the suit brought by the terrorist family is about trying to control how the government deals with combatants against the US. They are saying that he is not a combatant,despite his being a leader in AQ and planning attacks on the US. The government is arguing that we cannot allow a court to determine who we target on the battle field. In theory the family is saying that the US government has no right to respond to an attack,even on the battlefield,if the combatant is a US citizen. That is wrong. Of course Greenwald and his fellow bloggers frame it entirely differently to reflect poorly on the President.

    You and they have become the enemy of the democratic party, thus the friend of the republican party. Have you ever discussed your thoughts with Hillary? Does she approve? Does she agree? Thats what I thought.

    Enjoy your pity party, as we true democrats will continue to march on,step by step,making real progress in the real world.

  56. Alice says:

    Oh James, You have not addressed directly any of the issues in any depth and instead have pulled out old tired retreads. What part of the White House are you posting from?

    That “true democrat” line directed at anyone who has any issues with Obama is SO 2008. As is the “pity party” line…I see you still have the old pamphlets. They need to get some new material. That old material isn’t working on anyone. Especially those who have been democrats more “true” than you know for longer than you can even imagine. But then you knew that.

    It is illogical in the extreme to say that Peter should “discuss with Hillary” domestic issues at all but, you probably don’t know that. It is also utterly illogical to suggest that because someone voted for a candidate that they will agree with every tiny thing that person does or says. As if Peter should somehow go along with everything his candidate says or does no matter what. No that type of behavior is clearly more within the expertise and line of thinking of Obama fluffers. Not everyone believes exactly as you do nor do they make decisions with such cognitive dissonance.

    That last line is priceless…”real progress in the real world” If you mean following the worst of the Bush policies and expanding upon them then I’d rethink what you are calling “progress” His list of so called accomplishments are either to the right of Nixon and/or they are all really badly written bills that don’t “progress” anyone anywhere.

    Thanks for the memories and the laughs…and for reminding us all the blind following we are dealing with here. The fact is that Obama has done nothing but, be the Bush Three I thought he would become all along. He wants praise for that and he’s not getting it.

    “march on” narcissists usually do build up quite a little following for themselves. This one is no exception. The problem is that a lot of people are getting hurt by Obama’s not being up to the task in the “real world” But hey as long as they stfu and don’t “whine” about their downfall ..like good little democrats you’re good with it.

    That health care bill was a right wing Heritage Foundation dream and Rahm and Obama made back room deals BEFORE any thing came up for “open” discussion.” With Obama it’s not about passing good legislation, it’s just about passing bills with high sounding titles and media slathering no matter what is actually in the legislation.

    It’s almost worst that Obama has a “D” after his name because if Bush had pulled some of this stuff at least we could call him on it with impunity. With Obama people like you want to cover his rear end no matter how bad he is as a POTUS or what he does.

    Nice formula you have there but, it’s old and tired 1.) Insult them personally 2.) Never talk about the issues 3.) Rinse Repeat

    Like I said what part of the White House are you posting from?

    • james says:

      Alice: You are referring to the targeting of terrorists in Yemen as a ”domestic issue”…talk about illogical.
      You see, that would be considered a national security/state dept. issue,which would clearly land in Hillary’s sphere. You see, she is the Secretary of State….got that?

      As for the whole Obama =BushIII comparison….wow,now that is original!!

      As for Healthcare Reform…show me where Nixon or Clinton got their bill passed,.please. Right;
      Meanwhile 30 million americans who have no insurance will now be insured…tell them this is not progress.
      Good luck electing Dennis Kucinich….when you get that done,we will talk again. Til then, continue to work toward a better America…ie…that is what is called progress.

  57. Alice says:

    I meant “worse” arg! Typos!

  58. Alvin Nevins says:

    If you are a socialist, there isn’t much to celebrate in the work of some of these bloggers, particularly Glenn Greenwald.

    Although Greenwald occasionally defends what he calls “the left,” he has consistently denied belonging to “the left” himself. His own ideas, such as they are, come more from Ayn Rand and Ron Paul than from anyone on the left (the Randian term “tribalism” is one he uses constantly, though it isn’t clear he understands its implications) and he refuses to discuss or even acknowledge Marxism or socialism in general, except on rare occasions when he speaks with faint praise of something or another Bernie Sanders has said or done in the Senate–never citing any of Sanders’s actually “socialist” ideas or statement.

    For Greenwald, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights exist at the absolute boundary of thought, and there is nothing beyond. This imposes a very narrow limit on his intellectual capacity and makes him an expensive and untrustworthy ally for anyone whose focus is rational, scientific, and based on the historical reality of class struggle.

    • CF Oxtrot says:

      Glenn Greenwald is a rank amateur in jurisprudence and a know-nothing in politics.

      So naturally, he is a “well-known progressive blogger.” Naturally. Why? Because Greenwald sells himself as a “constitutional lawyer” (when he isn’t one) and a politically savvy & wise commenter (when he isn’t that, either).

      The 21st Century will be known as the Era of Self-Promotion, a time when idiots and fools became known as sagacious scholars.

      Greenwald’s a statist moron. In a real debate against a really accomplished lawyer with political acumen, he’d be the mop with which the floor is cleaned up.

      • Jan says:

        Glenn cuts to the facts with no fluff . Most folks are addicted to the fluff.
        If you do not like facts then you will not like Glenn Greenwald. He is the only so called progressive blogger who is willing to go where no other progressive blogger will go when he is in the national spotlight on Dylan Ratigans, Maddows. He will talk about the Israeli Palestinian issue based on facts, he discusses the situation with Iran based on facts. He does not repeat Israel’s and the I lobbies talking points on the conflict of the unsubstantiated claims about Iran that have been repeated the last seven years. Rachel Maddow even repeats these false claims.

        Glenn Greenwald stands out amongst the progressive bloggers on these critical issues.

        • CF Oxtrot says:

          Standing out among “progressive bloggers” requires only a better Self-Promotion machine.

          If you’re unaware of the manifold factual errors in Glenn Greenwald’s past, perhaps you should learn the landscape instead of revering the mythology and clique-boosting.

          Here are a few hints: (1) Accepts CIA drivel on Hugo Chavez; (2) Pretends to know and hate neocons while being unaware of PNAC existence during Bush43; (3) Stumped for Democrats in ’04, ’06, ’08 on the theme of needing “more and better Democrats,” while not even realizing it’s not about Dem vs Repub; (4) thinks that the US Govt works like he learned in 11th grade Civics, and doesn’t understand actual machinations of power in DC.

          Point (4) is his biggest flaw and it plays out in nearly every essay he writes.

          Aside from that, he’s an egomaniac who can’t admit he was wrong about things he wrote mistakenly.

  59. Michael Tuck says:

    I haven’t read most of the comments, so I (hopefully) won’t step in the various trollpits and flame wars that have no doubt sprung into life in this thread. Having said that –

    Obama’s presidency has been a study in dashed hopes and disappointments for most liberals like myself. We can recite a litany of accomplishments achieved during his first two years, and we can lambast the forces of shrieking ignorance and hatred on the right that declared war on him before he ever laid eyes on the White House. We can make one justification after another for his lack of action, or his wrong actions — complacent, cowardly, and self-absorbed Dems in Congress, a unified front of insensate opposition from the GOP, the slack-jawed fascination with the “tea parties” by the media, etc.

    But, we’ve seen a pattern develop. If this were poker, Obama would be all but cleaned out now. He leads with the exact bid he wants to make, leaving nothing left to bargain or bluff with except chips he needs, and the right makes him dig into his stash every time. The rationale is that he wants to be “fair” to the right by not asking for too much. Bullshit, it’s bad poker and bad legislation, and doubly so because no matter what he proposes — the entire repeal of the minimum wage, forcible term pregnancies for rape victims, carpet-bombing Iran, whatever right-wing fantasy you can imagine (and Obama would never do) — the right will oppose it. The answer has been obvious since day one: advance the cause that’s right for Americans and be damned to what the right wants. If they block it — be it decent health care, environmental initiatives, infrastructure spending, economic stimulus for working-class people, repealing DADT, whatever sensible program that serious conservatives, moderates, progressives, and liberals alike want — hang it around their necks every damn day until the meme sticks: “we’re trying to do what’s right for America, but those assholes on the right stop it from happening.” Given their history, if they want bipartisanship, we’d welcome it, but they need to be the ones making the advances.

    Liberals like myself, and I presume Hamsher, Greenwald, Wheeler, Krugman, and whoever else, don’t hate Obama. We don’t want him to fail. We want him to try to do some of the things he promised during the election. We want him to take principled stands for what’s right, and not continually contort himself and his agenda into pretzels in endlessly futile efforts to placate the conservative crazies. Succeed or fail, we value effort and the courage of principle, and we’re not seeing it.

    We don’t know what goes on in backrooms. We don’t know how fiercely Obama, or this or that advisor or aide, fights for this or that program or principle. We see what is made public: Obama and the WH constantly giving in or “compromising” with the right and being given nothing in return, and constant sniping and chiding towards us by Obama and his most senior aides. “Whiners?” “Sitting on our hands complaining?” I can’t tell you how demoralizing that is.

    Peter talks about how hard it is for Obama to survive attacks from both left and right. The principled American left is in a similar situation, with Democrats such as Obama, Biden, Hoyer, Emanuel, and so many others slapping and sniping at progressives from their side, and the right screaming and vilifying us from their side. We thought we had someone in the White House who had at least some sympathy for our causes and ideals, especially after eight years of Bush and all that engendered. It is painful and demoralizing to learn that we were wrong.

    I’ve seen two characterizations that sum up perfectly where the left is in relation to the political climate of 2010 America. One: Republicans may be scared of their base, but Democrats hate theirs. Two: Liberals are like the girl that is okay to make out with under the bleachers, but not good enough to take home for dinner. Given those two characterizations, it’s easy to see why so many liberals such as myself find it difficult to summon any enthusiasm for the Democratic leadership. Sure, we loathe the right, and want them kept the hell out of office for the good of the country (Governor Miller? Senator O’Donnell? President Palin? Talk about a prescription for disaster…), but we not only need something to work against, we need something to work for.

    I think that when it comes down to it, we’d like a modicum of respect from Obama and the Democratic leadership. Respect our ideals even when you can’t do something to implement them into policy or law. Respect our efforts on your behalf. Respect our history — after all, it was liberals who made America the great nation that it is today, from Washington to Lincoln to Roosevelt, King, and beyond. Respect who we are, and treat us with that respect. We don’t ask for deference or kowtowing as the ayatollahs of the right demand, and we understand that you can’t always do what we want you to do. But show some goddamned respect, please.

  60. indc says:

    Obama is bring Obama down by talking one way and acting in a contrary way…. if bloggers fine an audience, it is because Obama’s hypocrisy has not gone unnoticed and cannot be covered up by accusation against those who observe Obama’s broken promises and his promotion of established interests to the detriment of the bottom 99% of the population. His so called reforms are weak tea and give away much more of the public interests than they protect and promote.

  61. George says:

    The focus on liberal bloggers is just a case of “don’t shoot the messenger”. The bottom line is the same as it ever was — the economy. Nearly everyone’s doing worse than they were a couple of years ago, and the Democrats are making no promises of brighter days ahead. That’s what people are angry about, and the liberal blogosphere is just reflecting that.

  62. Jan says:

    I posted a criticism of Jane Hamsher in this comments section and you folks did not allow it to stay up.(unless I missed it, looked through the thread twice) That says a great deal about your inability to allow criticism of these lefty bloggers. Many people have experienced Jane Hamshers complete inability take the same kind of criticism that she persistently directs towards our Reps etc. (totally support her efforts) But she is completely unable to take her own medicine.

    Over at Firedoglake if you do not get down on your knees and adore Hamsher you will experience her child like tantrums. If you not only support her actions and at the time criticize some of her strategies or inability to address some critical issues you will experience her wrath.

    Jane Hamsher is the progressive female equivalent to Rahm Emmanuel.

    If you folks do not allow this to stay up this says a great deal about your ability to allow other views to be expressed. Copying.

  63. Jan says:

    “a) they have a disproportionately large influence on the political debate, with numerous readers and followers — among them major media figures”

    Really? When do you hear any of the talking heads (Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews etc) reporting about torture, drone attacks, the Israeli Palestinian conflict, illegal settlements?

    I really do not agree that these liberal bloggers have a “disproportionate” influence on the political debate

  64. Thomas Berwick says:

    Let the destruction begin. ROTFLOL!

  65. txvoodoo says:

    Cosigned.

    Those bloggers were never the base. I can’t exactly figure out their aims, but they aren’t happy unless their particular causes are supported, and supported NOW, in full. Personally, I think they’re self-aggrandizing, and that’s it.

  66. Bill Michtom says:

    I am always skeptical of someone who cites criticisms but doesn’t link to them. Please provide same. Thanks.

  67. Thomas Berwick says:

    Is TOTUS a “crazy activist”?

  68. Bill Michtom says:

    MMondies: Interested in providing actual support for your statement?