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Not a day goes by that I don't read some diary documenting some failure of the Left and asking - with many exclamation points - how this policy of blaming Obama is working out for you?  These diaries usually consist of three things:  a list of all Obama's accomplishments, a brief history of all the obstacles facing him, and an inquiry as to whether or not those critical of Obama on the Left would prefer a Republican government.

The first two are insinuations.  The third is a threat.  

I'll admit, the first two insinuations have never made sense to me.  The sheer ferocity with which the Obama supporters have turned on their brethren on the Left is of a level usually reserved for... republicans.  And psychologically I can't help but see that as some sort of defense mechanism.  It is almost as if some Obama supporters have invested so heavily in Obama that they have invested part of their identity in his success.  An attack on Obama becomes almost personal; questioning some of Obama's decisions becomes questioning the high level of commitment and investment they have put into Obama.  With Obama being as much a movement as a mere politician that's completely understandable.

But it sure ain't productive.  The insinuation that Obama's detractors suddenly forgot all of the obstacles he faced - because what other reason could there be to criticize him? - is just plain insulting.  Nor are his detractors unaware of his accomplishments.  But the rest of the country is, and it's not because those on the Left didn't clap loud enough.  Those running DailyKos spent far too much time proclaiming that Obama was playing 11th Dimensional chess with his endless premature capitulations and driving away supporters with their rigid intolerance in the process.  They have become much more open to debate, which I enthusiastically applaud, but it was rough going for a while there.  

But the voters don't know about Obama's accomplishments because Obama's not a very good politician, at least not without the enthusiastic support of his base, and particularly the liberal blogosphere, which was his de facto political arm coming into office.  It's just bad luck that Obama's most ardent supporters were his most effective political arm, but listening to something so personal to Liberals as Healthcare Reform being described as Death Panels for months on end with barely a peep from the White House tends to frustrate an already exhausted base waiting for their leader to start leading.  To bring out all these accomplishments systematically to a public ready for change and a party ready to lead was not rocket science.  But there's a global shortage of hand lotion from all the clapping the Left spent the first two years doing and that certainly didn't save the House.

The more contemplative of the Left's supporters have responded to the Obama dissappointments with an admirable serenity I can only describe as Thank You Sir, May I Have Another.  If Obama didn't, couldn't or wouldn't deliver we were foolish to have expected him to do so in the first place and cue the List of Obstacles.  Sure, those detractors of Obama voted for him precisely because he implied he was up to the challenge of facing those obstacles, but holding him to the promises he made during the campaign is soo 2008.  But again, and I cannot stress this point enough, the frustration with Obama is as much political as it is about policy.  Great acheivements mean nothing if the voters don't know about them.  

As to the third message from Obama supporters, the question of whether or not his detractors want Republicans in charge, that is a spurious claim and they know it.  Of course they don't.  But is the President under no obligation to do the things necessary to keep this from happening?  Should we expect nothing more from him than exasperations about Purity when his base asks anything more from him than premature capitulations with everyone on Earth except the people who put him in office?  Unfortunately, it's independents who are all the rage right now.  Statistically, Obama's detractors on the Left are expendable this election season.  Their options are predetermined:  clap louder or consider yourself complicit in whatever republican gains occur in 2012.  That is nothing less than blackmail, and it's a terrible way to motivate your base.

I keep reading that the solution - the only solution - is for the Left to stand together, Because The Republicans Are Worse!  And they are.  But that solution invariably seems to mean that Obama's detractors, and only Obama's detractors, ignore their silly little grievances and support Obama anyway.  What I never see however an offer by Obama supporters to put aside their support on any particular issue and stand tall with his detractors on the Left to demand more from the President for once.  What a beautiful, beautiful day that would be.  

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Comment Preferences

    •  Well stated. n/t (6+ / 0-)

      Hope has a hole in it when Republicans come, bringing shackles and sorrow; branding their greed on the backs of the poor. - W. A. Connors

      by Wendys Wink on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:15:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Enthusiasm is the 1st success asset (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bnasley

      No, really.

      "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

      by KateCrashes on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:44:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  See, I am one who currently doesn't mind the... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Leftleaner, blindyone

      the bitching about Obama.  What I have a problem with is people coming on here with these kind of diaries and seriously have no solutions about how we can change that. People can only here critisism for so long until they tune it out. Give me some solutions. Show me the way to go home, but if I want to here this kind of garbage and quite frankly right wing talking points on how shitty Obamais, I would go to red state, tea party nation or a whole host of f***ed up web sites devoted to bashing Obama. Case in point the posted diary up thread that didnt even let the shadow from Reids breath fade away before she was bashing Obama about quoting"this has gotta end."

      "You took a dump on the little guy..? Why? "Cause, I can." Karl Rovian bible.

      by tdslf1 on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 08:42:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The solution I offer (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        khereva, chipoliwog

        is the one at the end... for Obama's supporters on the Left to stand with his detractors for once, and not the default expectation that his detractors ignore their grievances.  And I'm serious about this, as a productive, political matter, not just to be pissy.  I believe the Left could get more on these issues if we pushed Obama harder.  I think he could have gotten more on many of these issues.  I think it would be productive, and also it would fire up the base.  And the best part is, if it failed then Obama could justifiably blame the base, and the base could study it's failure and learn from it (which I think is one of our strongpoints and also something the right is intellectually unable to do).  

        One of the commenters below described it as a "party discipline" problem and I think that's accurate.  But his detractors on the Left are never going to go away unless their policies are actually tried.  The best way to shut them up is to call their bluff, so to speak.  The Left is going to get thrown under the buss anyways -- that's just good politics.  It would be nice to go down for a reason though.

        •  I have said something similiar to this.... (0+ / 0-)

          in another diary but I will reiterate. Some fights are worth fighting for even if you lose. Tonight was one of them and I personally am glad there was not this cave against planned parenthood and such. I agree that policies have to be tried statement, but the angry mob at the door also has to understand that they are not the substantial part of the country that lies in the middle, who dont want these types of fights and that middle is who Obama has lost.

          He needs to worry more about them because that is were the race is won. SO if he has to be bipartisan or appear to be so, then that is what he has to do. I just dont understand why many on this sight dont get he has to get back the middle argument as well as us. The middle doesnt know what the f*** to think and who to vote for until they see sound bites like they did today.

          The democrats came out in union and called the republicans out and that a compromise was close. That is what the middle sees and that is were the race is won. We over here at DK, are not the middle and thus he is not trying to satisfy all of us, he is trying to win back those independants to counter any loss from our extreme left.

          A few here have said that they wont vote for him again. I believe they are making the calculations that they can make that losses up with the middle.  They may be right but I also know many have seen the candidates on the other side and have said hell no.

          "You took a dump on the little guy..? Why? "Cause, I can." Karl Rovian bible.

          by tdslf1 on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 09:36:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's when the polls say (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            khereva

            there is overwhelming support for something and Obama capitulates anyway.  I get middle ground, but it should be suggested at the end of a negotiation, not freely offered first when polls say it was unnecessarily.  And considering the President is the most watched man in the world, it's hard not to think he could have gotten more if he had just gotten out in front of a camera fought harder for it.  

        •  I don't believe Obama is "pushable". (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NoMoJoe, Johnny Q

          I think that is a fantasy too many indulge in because the reality is too painful.  

          The dilemma for many Left voters is:

          1)  do you not vote for Obama and run the risk of the GOP in charge again?  

          2)  You vote for Obama and enable another 4 years of capitulation and the country stagnates.  

          However, I also believe 2012 is going to be a strange year politically.  The reasons why the electorate voted the way they did in 2006/2008 have not gone away.  

          I think there will be a challenge from the right to the GOP and a challenge from the left to the Democrats.  The conditions may be ripe for a 3rd party candidate.  

          I can say with some certainty that Obama has lost Florida and our 27 electoral votes.  Because of that, I don't have to agonize over dilemma's 1/2 above.  

          Was that a dog whistle or did you just fart?

          by ThAnswr on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 10:18:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, I know. Even if I were vastly disappointed (0+ / 0-)

        in Obama, and I'm not, I simply am not, personality or whatever wise, able to handle the constant moaning - day in and day out, every day, moan moan moan. I would lose my mind in no time.

        However, arising (I think) from the daily moan is a group I just found out about - US Uncut. (I'd heard the name before but thought it was about something completely different.)

        Anyway, it's a sort of decentralized thing that is patterned off the same thing in the UK. They protest outside of banks and do other things locally to highlight the few to no taxes that large companies pay, while everyone else is being burdened.

        Or something like that, I just did a quick read through. Looks good though, for actually doing something, if your focus is on that or similar topics.

        “If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

        by Nanette K on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 09:11:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Oddly enough, the diaries (10+ / 0-)

    I've seen with the most exclamation points are written by those who ridicule others with the "clap louder" accusations.

    This is a blog -- there are tens of millions of Democrats who don't read this blog -- nor could they give a shite about petty in-fighting.  They are thinking about how to put food on the table, pay rents/mortgages and don't have the money or time for the internet where they can express distress for whatever reason.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:18:38 PM PDT

  •  Personally, I wish they'd leave the mention of... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bnasley

    ...of the hiring of two transpeople off their lists.  It makes me feel so unclean.

  •  Stand tall with Obama's detractors? (9+ / 0-)

    I can go to RedState if I want to do that.

    •  Truly, and I love how dear diarist (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KateCrashes, Trix, Cedwyn

      brings back the worn out meme "Left's lack of enthusiasm."  

    •  Again, (9+ / 0-)

      the suggestion that anyone who has a criticism of Obama is akin to a RedState lurker is not very productive.  And why is it a bad thing for the left to stand together on some particular issue and tell the President we demand more?  Do you honestly believe that of all the deals he's made over the past two years that nothing better could have been gained on any of them with slightly better Democratic backbone?  Because I honestly don't believe that.  And all sarcasm aside, this may be one of the Left's main sticking points right now.

    •  For Trix (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      badger, bnasley

      I mistakenly posted this reply to KayCeSF instead of you:

      the suggestion that anyone who has a criticism of Obama is akin to a RedState lurker is not very productive.  And why is it a bad thing for the left to stand together on some particular issue and tell the President we demand more?  Do you honestly believe that of all the deals he's made over the past two years that nothing better could have been gained on any of them with slightly better Democratic backbone?  Because I honestly don't believe that.  And all sarcasm aside, this may be one of the Left's main sticking points right now.
  •  The 30 Year Party Course Is Untenable (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badger, bnasley, GeeBee, khereva, Johnny Q

    And there's really nothing the left can do about 2 conservative parties. Not yet.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:30:38 PM PDT

    •  3rd thingy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bnasley, khereva

      Not that we'd say that or anything, but the non-rich people of Amurka, numbering only 7 as they do, might want a little club where they can have a bit of rubber ancient chicken doused in Campbell's mushroom non-soup once a year and applaud some silly person who talks about people who aren't rich being entitled to silly things like staying alive.  

      OMG.

      I didn't POST that did I??????

      "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

      by KateCrashes on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:48:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But only if those people are willing to accept (0+ / 0-)

        abuse 24/7/365, and all the blame for each of the Democratic failures of the past century.

        Because it's their fault the Dems couldn't pour piss out of a boot if you printed the instructions upside down on the heel.

        Totally.

        grieving citizen of the murdered Republic, unrepentant rebel against the Empire.

        by khereva on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 10:58:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  We have nothing to fear but fear itself (11+ / 0-)

    has been replaced by, you have nowhere else to go.

    Stop the race to the bottom!

    by Paleo on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:56:44 PM PDT

  •  What is the Left? Don't know if I know... (6+ / 0-)

    anymore.  Sometimes it feels good that is so.  I am more self-defined as a liberal.

    When I watch how many on the Left resemble the Right, in behavior and knee-jerk predictability, infexibility, and inability to appreciate the reality of the world in which we live, I worry for the future.

    On an intellectual level, I agree with much of what Obama says and wants, but he too often seems invisible in reaching the goal, and unwilling to follow his rhetoric.  We get lots of accomplishments, but they are weak tea, as principles are traded at the outset to get the deal.  That is why the process is kabuki.  The powers that be, the ones who create the predicaments, have lost no effective power, and may even have more.  Where is that called hope and change?

    Domestically, Obama has been far from great, yet far from the worst.  I keep waiting for him to grow in his capacity, but don't see it yet.  Some of his decisions have made me wonder if he was just selling soap.  Now comes the election.  More flowery speeches and fighting words, but will there be action that addresses traditional Democratic concerns of the middle class and protection of the poor and vulnerable?

    Internationally, there seems no rhyme or reason for many decisions.  Too many mixed messages and I am not sure of the agenda.  He is liked more than Bush, and rightfully understands the dangers.  But is he up to dealing with issues that are far more complex and providing competent leadership based on what appears an inept domestic performance, too willing to accede to adverse interests rather than adhere to principles.

    In any event, he is who we elected, and he is better than what the other side will offer.  But I will act on my liberal principles in making my decisions, even if that means not supporting policies and actions that I believe are detrimental, and despite a laundry list of perfection or allegations of being a traitor to the cause, which are nonsense.

    FWIW

    •  I'll tell you why it is so frustrating (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Samer, Sychotic1, bablhous, khereva, Johnny Q
      Domestically, Obama has been far from great, yet far from the worst.  I keep waiting for him to grow in his capacity, but don't see it yet.  Some of his decisions have made me wonder if he was just selling soap.  Now comes the election.  More flowery speeches and fighting words, but will there be action that addresses traditional Democratic concerns of the middle class and protection of the poor and vulnerable?

      Because after eight years all the GOP ideas had completely petered out.  They had been tried, and had failed.  And with the GOP in complete control of the government they had no one else to blame but themselves (though they tried blaming the Constitution itself for a while... suicide pact, anyone?).  

      Conversely, Democratic ideals weren't just political, they were based in Fact.  On how to effectively grow an economy, how to effectively depose a prisoner of war, things that were tried true and tested with numbers to back them up and a country ready to believe.  What an opportunity!

      But when you just ignore all those facts, waste them in fact, and make it just about politics, we suck compared to the right.  And as Weiner said (and as I have said over and over), we've got to have a better plan than simply waiting for the other side to fuck up.  We thought we did in 2008.  We need to understand what happened.

      •  No question that the Republicans... (0+ / 0-)

        and their ideas were repudiated, but Democrats don't know how to lead and have become addicted to the DC way.

        And Leftists scream and holler and theorize, while the world acts, not to mention some who say they care about people yet treat others like dirt for disagreeing with them.

        •  Repudiated, and then revived (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Johnny Q

          by precisely the man we hired to replace them with something better.

          That's what produced the deep sense of betrayal the Left feels.

          grieving citizen of the murdered Republic, unrepentant rebel against the Empire.

          by khereva on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 11:00:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Left may feel betrayed... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            james richardson

            but many are no less inept and out of touch than those inside the Beltway.  Once more, many on the Left THINK they are smarter, when they act dumber and sometimes as vile as those they deem inferior.  While the inferior accomplish things and the Left flounders.  Obama gets no pass from me, nor others as I have described.

            •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

              Obama's detractors certainly don't get a free pass.  I have seen some blogs that go so out of their way to find things to hate about him, so much effort into hating him... holding on to all that rage is a defense mechanism too, and it's not productive, neither personally or politicially.

      •  Eight years? (0+ / 0-)

        Try 30 years.  When it comes to ideas, the only thing the GOP has left is a "scorched earth" policy designed to appeal to the basest of their base.  That "scorched earth" policy is also the GOP's biggest disadvantage.  What do you do once you're burned the house down?

        Was that a dog whistle or did you just fart?

        by ThAnswr on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 10:24:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  /barf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    second gen
    But never the offer by Obama supporters to put aside their support and stand tall with his detractors on the Left to demand more.  
  •  I think you are avoiding the central (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Samer, james richardson

    issue here. The topic is party discipline. It seems to be breaking down in the Republican Party. It rarely if ever existed in the Democratic Party.

  •  Obama Reschedules His Vacation - (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cumulo

    But instead of going to Virginia -
    He's going to Mammoth Cave.

  •  Heh. Thanks, but no thanks. Why don't you (4+ / 0-)

    instead join the rest of us in attacking the right wing and Republicans, in laying the groundwork for getting more leftish Democrats into office (even local school board) in 2112, and in positively pushing leftish/Democratic principles and policies?

    “If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

    by Nanette K on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 08:45:09 PM PDT

    •  I do that too. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nanette K, Revy, khereva, Johnny Q

      Just because you're not content with Obama doesn't mean you're abandoning the party as a whole.  You're right in that those local races are just as important... probably more so in terms of political infastructure.  

      •  Good, that's mostly all I care about (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blindyone

        Attack away at Obama, all day if you like -- I think it's an inane strategy, but whatever floats your boat and all that. As long as people don't lose sight of who the real enemy is, and what real, long-term work needs to be done in all of our local communities, it's fine with me.

        We won't have any sort of real "progressive" or liberal president, policies, or congress without that.

        “If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

        by Nanette K on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 09:16:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would just add that (5+ / 0-)

          people criticize things to make them better, to try and fix them.  At least the Left does.  Constructive criticism can be beneficial.

          •  Oh, I think constructive criticism is great, and (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            second gen, blindyone

            even necessary, in a healthy democracy.

            The vast majority of the criticism I see on the "progressive" blogs falls very fall short in the "constructive" category.

            I am not referring to you, personally, as I don't know your comment/diary history. Just the general, daily stuff on here. Not constructive, and calling it "criticism" is being very generous in interpretation.

            “If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

            by Nanette K on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 09:43:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Any set of accomplishments that lists legislation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cumulo

    ...instead of performance measures (e.g., military budget, wages, tax revenue, debt, surplus, GDP, inflation, unemployment, net jobs, convictions, pardons), no matter how well meaning and accurate, fails at communicating to voters.

    Americans, the world, in fact, cares about tangible results and only current numbers matter, some possibility in 2014 is academic at best, and more likely irrelevant.  

  •  You forgot to tack in the "He didn't... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Q, Leftleaner

    ...really promise those things! If you listen to his campaign rhetoric you'll see we got exactly who he said he was. You just thought he was a Liberal because you wanted him to be!" apologia. The devout have been hurling that chestnut around for the past 2-3 months. Us, the bitter disappointed extremists deluded ourselves! We projected our impossible Progressive expectations on his obviously centrist pronouncements! It's not President Obama's fault the left-of-lefties are so stupid! That's my favorite inter-Democrat accusation.  

    •  I see (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Revy, dmnyct

      so when he said in the campaign that he was against health care mandates and for a public option (for example) he really meant it the other way around. And the foolish lefties didn't understand, but wise people like yourself understood he meant the opposite of what he said

      and when he said he was for closing Guantanamo, and card-check, and for all health care debates to be carried out in public forums with no backdoor dealing, and when he said he would never allow the Bush tax cuts to be extended, and when he said...

      •  You misread me, brother. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NoMoJoe, david graeber

        I'm not being sarcastic. I've seen that weird argument tossed at critics of Obama in many discussion threads. I'm pretty old school and thought he was going to push for the public option (maybe even single-payer once he was installed in office!), the end of Gitmo and a complete withdrawal from Iraq and the the rest...I wasn't wise at all. I bit like a starving flounder....although the appearance of that shitbag charlatan Rick Warren at the inauguration did activate my wariness, I still actually thought the man was sincere about at least being a Democrat.    

  •  If You Don't Like the Job, Obama Is Doing..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blindyone

    get more Progressives & Socialists elected to deliver what we want.

    Vote out Ben Nelson, Max Baucus, Pete Conrad, Joe Manchin, etc  & every single Blue Dog left in the House.  Install some Progressive or a real Socialist like Bernie Sanders in their place.  Then & only then, will you begin to see the kind of action we want.

    Obama is obviously not the Socialist or Progressive we sought.  He's a pragmatic who leans toward being a Democrat & is operating in a corporate gamed system.  He knows it, they know it & you know it.  

    One thing I know about Obama for sure is that he can get re-elected in 2012.  I'm voting for him again.    

    •  Only problem is (0+ / 0-)

      the progressives and socialists aren't "serious" candidates.  At least according to the Serious People.

      Should a Progressive or socialist actually run, I will probably vote for them and the Serious People can get stuffed.

      You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

      by Johnny Q on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 11:27:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think of it this way (0+ / 0-)

    It's like deciding whether you want to stay in a marriage or get a divorce.

    Once you start living with someone you begin to realize they have flaws. Do you work on your areas of disagreement, or do cut and run, and move on to the next relationship hoping to find that perfect, flawless someone?

    You only have to take a look at the divorce rate to know how many Americans have an idealistic and unrealistic expectation about relationships.

    Since there were diaries and comments here on Dailykos calling for a primary challenge to Obama even before his inaugural date, I'd say that the same lack of realism infects our political outlook, too.

    But in the political realm, we have a glimpse of who we might end up with if we "divorce" Obama. We'll get one of the Republican challengers, and it's not a appealing array of candidates. It's like leaving your spouse knowing that you'll end up with Rush Limbaugh instead.

    Ugh.

    •  That doesn't mean (0+ / 0-)

      you don't ask for more from Obama.  What I state in the diary is we can get more from Obama if we stand together as a party and demand more instead of stand together and simply hold our nose "because republicans are worse!"  I never suggest abandoning Obama.  

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