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View Diary: Bull's Eye! Chait on Liberals, History, Obama. A must-read for Progressives... (62 comments)

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  •  Typically intellectually lazy (9+ / 0-)

    'the only legitimate and reasonable criticisms of this administration are the ones that I make when I'm upset or disagreement' tripe from a hagiographer-for-access Villager who considers himself a hard even-handed critic.

    (The debt-ceiling hostage negotiations drove me to distraction.)

    The war on straw continues unabated in neo-liberalandia.

    What's very telling about Chait is that he can't say people who were upset with, say, Rick Warren being given so high-profile a position in the inaugural despite being a serial homophobic bigot, are wrong for being upset. He can't, because it was a mistake (both a political and practical one) and he knows it. Rick Warren is, in fact, a homophobic bigot who has, of late, spent a great deal of time engaging in the sort of Rightwing crazytalk about Obama as the next evangelical wingnut. Obama did not , in any way, receive any credit from the evangelical Christian Right for having Warren offer thanks to God on his big day. It was a gesture that earned him not a moment's pause from the Right's spit in the face, and dark ruminations that Obama was born in Kenya and couldn't provide the masses with proof he was even legally able to be President.

    So, Chait putters and bumbles around to avoid dealing with the substance of any particularly specific criticism of this administration to paint a very diverse crowd with a range of specific criticisms that are often spot on (which, of course, only gets noted in hindsight with the classic 'nobody could have seen x coming' tripe that has become legendary in the Village) as a very monolithic and unserious one.

    It's 2011, this unserious bullshit didn't work in 2009.

    But what's really telling is how Chait utterly slags the Clintons in the service of smearing and tearing down people he's strawmanned and oversimplified to make his case. Telling because what Chait is doing to strawman Obama critics now is exactly what he did to strawmanned Clinton critics then. Welfare reform and the Third Way agenda didn't help innoculate Clinton from the Right, and didn't help make America a better place for the middle class and the poor. He's admitting the people he slagged then were right, to slag people he will be framing as right tomorrow in the defense of some future hypothetical body of critics. It's laughable how he has turned on a dime and is just jeering and smearing at the Clintons as craven and full of trainwrecks and fails and Rightward moves to fit his narrative. In a decade or two, Chait will be doing the very same thing to Obama in the service of some future neo-liberal who has taken some heat. Because the criticisms that were made were not crazy or unreasonable, you have to play this game.

    But where Chait really loses his leg is how he plays the 'I'm a harsh critic when it's warranted' piffle. How can you tell something is a legit critique of the White House? When Chait makes the point. Every single specific criticism of the Obama White House that he dismisses as unserious or uttered in pique become serious and thoughtful the moment that he adopts them. His personal disagreements with the way the administration has gone about this or that that irks him is, in no way, more serious than those with actual issues with the administration.

    Liberals are dissatisfied with Obama because liberals, on the whole, are incapable of feeling satisfied with a Democratic president.

    This is so fundamentally stupid and unserious that it's self-refuting of any claim to having a serious argument. If it were to be submitted in a debating class it would be quickly returned to the student.

    But I don’t think any of the complaints—right, wrong, or ­otherwise—really explain why liberals are so depressed.

    Right, wrong, or otherwise.

    Meaning, it doesn't matter if the criticisms are substantive or not. Chait is too busy playing Dr. Phil to actually look regardless.

    Of course not. Because this sort of tripe and drivel is designed to shut people up, not actually provide any kind of thoughtful analysis of anything.

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 01:48:57 PM PST

    •  Ding! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cybrestrike, LeftHandedMan, pot, jabney

      "But where Chait really loses his leg is how he plays the 'I'm a harsh critic when it's warranted' piffle. How can you tell something is a legit critique of the White House? When Chait makes the point. Every single specific criticism of the Obama White House that he dismisses as unserious or uttered in pique become serious and thoughtful the moment that he adopts them. His personal disagreements with the way the administration has gone about this or that that irks him is, in no way, more serious than those with actual issues with the administration."

      Absolutely.

    •  Exactly. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cybrestrike, pot, esquimaux, LeftHandedMan

      He could have kept it brief and to the point:

      "I don't like liberals."

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