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A (partial) recipe for success in the quest to be right, rather than effective.

Let’s attack Obama until he’s hobbled
In public opinion, on the Hill, in the media.

Let’s bolster every teabagger and right-wing tool’s assertion that the man is all speech and no action.

Let’s ignore the actual ACTIONS he has taken (standing in opposition to Fox and the Chamber of Commerce, to name 2), the accomplishments he has had (Lily Ledbetter Act, stem cells, global gag rule lifted, diplomacy re-established throughout the world, auctions of public lands cancelled, permits to mine mountains revoked, Justice Dept instructed to chill on medical marijuana prosecutions, etc...), and the FACT that speeches influence actions.  Among other politicians, other world leaders, supporters, foes and even Fox News.  

Let’s use the FISA vote (from over a year ago) as an excuse to ignore the halt on the biggest mountaintop removal project in history (from less than a month ago).

Let’s drag out Rick Warren and McLurkin and use them as ways to block the view of the hate-crimes legislation that the president signs today, as well as the president’s UNPRECEDENTED spoken support of a repeal of DOMA, his promise to end DADT, his support for ENDA, his refusal to drop Kevin Jennings as a nominee in response to homophobic attacks from Fox and the wrong-wing AND the following "words":

"When you look back on these years... You will see a time in which we as a nation finally recognized relationships between two men or two women as just as real and admirable as relationships between a man and a woman." President Obama 10/10/2009

NEVER.  Yup, NEVER.  That’s when a sitting president has made such an unequivocal statement of support for the validity of same gender relationships.
(But, let’s bring up the fact that the president does not support gay marriage as an excuse for ignoring the importance of his "words" on this matter.)

Let’s impugn his character (to help the right-wing in their quest to nibble him to death with questions of hidden agendas and ulterior motives) by taking every opportunity to not merely criticize what he has or has not done, but to bring his loyalty to "the cause" into question as often as possible.

Let’s do our part to sow and nurture doubts in the minds of the press, the government, Wall Street and the public about the president’s trustworthiness by implying or outright stating that he is a corporate tool, a stealth conservative and a lying liar with flaming slacks.

Let’s buy into the Fox-promoted idea that the economy, wars, policies of secrecy and the deeply embedded culture of human-rights violations and Constitutional illegality that Obama inherited (things that took several YEARS and much Congressional complicity to become as bad as they are now) are now not only his responsibility, but also completely his fault.

Let’s pretend that these things should have been fixed already (Guantanamo, the wars, wiretapping, the PATRIOT ACT, DADT, etc...) and let’s ignore the complexities of these situations and the delicacy with which OTHER PEOPLE in positions of power (be they Civil servants or Generals) need to be dealt with in order to not unwittingly make bad situations worse through hamhandedness.

Instead, let’s always assume bad faith on the president’s part and let’s comment to that effect as loudly and as consistently as we can, in order to achieve the dual goals of undermining the president’s support among people on the left AND making ourselves look prescient and principled when he eventually fails.

Let us, above all, make sure to set ourselves up in a position from which we can say "I TOLD YOU SO" to all of the people who refused to assume bad faith on his part back before we did our part to cripple him from the left the same way Fox and friends were trying to mirror our efforts from the right.

And let us also never miss a chance to point and shriek "Obamabot!" at those who, like us,  disagree with president Obama on several (if not many) issues, yet still support him and refuse to further the narrative that he is fundamentally dishonest, unprincipled and a member of the DLC.

My fellow Kossacks, if we can continue to do this, I guarantee you that we will be doing the country a favor by continuing the tradition of Democratic, purity-test failing, scandal-tainted, ineffective Presidents who spend their last months/years in office fighting unsuccessfully against the attacks of the right-wing and accomplishing little to nothing because they have lost the support of the center and the left.  

We can DO THIS!  We can do what the right-wing can never do on their own!
We can help deligitimize our own president before he has even had a chance to install his own people in the government agencies and courts!

And I say to you, as people who would rather be right than effective, it is our DUTY to not only question his ACTIONS, but to do so in such a way as to help support the right-wing narrative that Obama is a liar, a blowhard and a stealth candidate who is just waiting to screw us over as much as the people he hates in Fox Nation.

In response to the contention that this is a STFU or even a SYFPH diary:

Let me be clear.

People who disagree with President Obama are NOT the same as teabaggers.

(let me repeat that)

People who disagree with President Obama are NOT the same as teabaggers!

People who couple valid criticism with conspiracy theories about his "real" intentions, psychic future-predicting based on anonymous sources about what he will do if not forced to do the right thing, and smears about his secret identity as a DLC-backed hater of real progressive ideas ARE engaging in behavior that is very much like the activities of the teabaggers.
(although they are not the same as teabaggers.  They are worse.)

(and the certainty of a vocal, oppositional, defiant minority that he will do the wrong thing if not forced to do the right thing implies that he is opposed to everything we support.  I find that unhelpful and innacurate.)

I just think it would be helpful if we could be more careful about the words we use to criticize Obama, the administration and other Dems (except a few blue dogs, maybe.)

I think, even if we don't much believe it, that we should treat them, in print, the way we would treat a family member or loved one who is, in our estimation, screwing up.

We would criticize, we might even yell and scream at them, but we would not throw the same rhetorical hand grenades that we would hurl at our sworn enemies or even threatening strangers.

We would, I think, be more careful with our allegations of bad faith based on anonymous sources.

We would, I think, be less contemptuous even when we disagree.

And make no mistake about it, this whole issue is about treating Obama and other Dems, our family like it or not, with contempt without regard for the ways our shared enemies (Fox, hate radio, the corporate media) will use what we say against them, and us, in the future.

We don't have to all just get along, but it would be great if we could save the contempt for those who have earned it.

Originally posted to Commoditize This on Wed Oct 28, 2009 at 08:41 AM PDT.

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