I thought a lot about writing this diary before actually writing it, and I suppose that, to be honest, I'm writing it against my better judgment. I don't want to add to the meta wars. I think that they're more or less experiments in navel gazing, fights among a rather obscure (yes, I said it*) political community that don't mean a whole lot when judged against the larger backdrop of the American voter at large.
All that being said, I'm going jump into the shark-infested water of the latest flame war and give my $0.02 because, hey, everyone else is doing it.
*This community, while powerful when united in one cause and near and dear to my heart, often gives itself more credit than it deserves when it comes to the direction of our national politics and how much sway we have electorally. While I recognize the very awesome power of this blog when it comes to specific and narrow issues, I do think that many here tend to overstate it's significance when it comes to changing the tone of politics in general. I do not, however, have any doubt about the the power of each individual within this site to do tremendous things, and I know that many of you have in fact done just that.
I could sum this up all with a couple of sentences:
The so-called "factions," the "haters" and the "cheerleaders" are constantly screaming past each other. The rest of us are staring in bewilderment at how both can be so sure of their righteousness and yet contribute so negatively towards this site.
Off the top of my head, I can think of at least a couple dozen kossacks whom I respect and enjoy until the topic of President Obama comes up. When that subject comes up, I am a blind cheerleader to half of them and a traitor (an in some cases, racist) to the other half.
And I can hold my own against them, because I feel that both my criticism and my praise are measured and objective. I do feel like there is plenty to criticize and praise when speaking in general about this administration. When we move from the general to the specific, however, I tend to be quite pointed, and I think that most people are.
Now, excuse me while I dance on this tightrope for a moment....
To the constant critics: there is a lot that we have not accomplished. There have been many times when this administration could and should have tried harder, fought back, and refused to let the right wing dominate the conversation. I understand that and I share your frustration. That does not mean, however, that all is lost and that we haven't made any progress. I absolutely agree with you that we need more progress, and we needed it yesterday. I do not agree with you that more progress is entirely possible if only Obama would do more.
So let's agree that Obama can and should do more, but that even with his full support a lot of things won't get done when and how we want them to get done. Some of them are within reason. Some of the are not. How much blame lies with Obama varies from case to case, but let's not write him off as a failure and sell-out before anything has even been done on any given issue.
To the constant praisers: There are very real reasons why people are getting frustrated and tired of Obama. I understand why you want to defend him because from the day he took office he was bombarded with right-wing memes and constant attempts to undermine him. It never ends. There is a very strong, powerful and influential cable network that does nothing but breed fear among the citizenry, and it is especially disheartening when you log on to a liberal site, a site committed to Democrats, and you see a bunch of grenades thrown at him from the left as well.
To the rest of us: Let's not let the lunatics run the asylum. There are more of us here who see the good and bad of this presidency than there are those who only see the former or the latter, but we're letting them run this place, we're choosing to back down and give up and let them keep fighting amongst themselves while we are trying to work towards specific goals.
I am not a moderate Democrat. I'm a fierce liberal and will always be one. But I do know that there are shades of gray, and I think that most people here know that as well. The problem is that those of you who feel most passionately about President Obama are drowning out people like me, people who know he's not been great but he's not been awful. And those of you on BOTH sides are losing allies.
I'm tired of being told to clap louder if I praise Obama, and I'm tired of being told that I want a pony if I criticize him.
And I'm tired of the those of you who are on either side of that aisle controlling the conversation, because I think that most people are more concerned with specific issues than with one man.
So please, continue fighting. Meta is fun sometimes. But, please, don't attack people who are your allies if you think they've strayed too far from love or hate. Chances are we agree with you on a lot more than what we disagree.
Now I've said my peace. Let the infighting continue.