Politics

Obama Hostility Syndrome

I guess “Obama Hostility Syndrome” applies to the far left as well as the far right. It is a condition whereby fault is found with anything and everything Obama does.

Short memories and impatience rule the day for so called “progressives”, who give little credit to Obama for the work he has done for women’s right to choose and right to equal pay, defense of stem cell research, and the right of gays to serve in the military, and would presumably prefer no progress at all to progress they consider insufficiently robust. The reality of a supermajority requirement in the Senate is invisible to them. Obama is apparently supposed to draw lines in the sand, stamp feet, and the Republicans will then quake in their boots and start supporting progressive legislation. They seem to forget we were losing 700,000 jobs per month and GDP was falling at a 6% clip when Obama took office, but now unemployment is unacceptably high, and it’s Obama’s fault, as if a second spending bill would somehow make it through Congress if Obama only demanded it. There seems to be amnesia about the saving of the auto industry and hundreds of thousands of jobs with it.

The weak healthcare and Wall Street reform bills barely squeaked by. Stronger bills would not have made it through the Senate at all. Obama’s foreign policy has been almost exactly as promised. Our standing in the world has been largely restored. Candidate Obama promised to not pursue prosecution of the Bush administration because he considered it counterproductive. Please stop complaining about it. Yes, he put some conservatives in his cabinet; he promised to do that, too. Anyone who thought Obama was a fire-breathing lefty just wasn’t paying attention. Progressives were instrumental in helping Obama get elected, for sure, but so were moderates, independents, and Republican converts. Obama’s responsibility is, ostensibly, to all Americans, but even his constituency – those that voted him into office are, overall, decidedly moderate.

Given stiff opposition and vitriol from both the left and the right, Obama has been surprisingly effective, signing into law more substantive legislation in his first two years than any president in forty years.

So get over it. We have an election to win, a Senate majority to preserve, and a House to take back.

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2 Replies to “Obama Hostility Syndrome

  1. The only hope that we have for the 2012 Senate election is that the republican over-reach on labor, climate change, Medicare will create another sea change election with large swing to dems. The dems have many more senate seats in play in 2012. I expect the Senate to go repub because of the numbers and the fact that Obama’s centrism have demoralized the base. Young voters will not turn out to vote for the kind of minimalist change that Obama has provided. The activist base will not turn out for this guy. He will win re-election nonetheless as a Clintonesque, pragmatic centrist who knows how to win elections, if he knows and is committed to nothing else. Too bad that he was not the bold FDR type leader that we needed in 2009 when he was sworn in. That was the political opportunity of a lifetime to make fundamental changes that would have put this country on a path to green energy independence, a path where we could reduce our military footprint around the world that is dedicated to delivering cheap oil to power SUVs. This path leads to disaster. The centrist dems travel that path with less enthusiasm than the average repub, but the path is the same. How many elections do the dems need to lose by being too timid with a progressive agenda before party loyalists wake up?

  2. Obama’s legislative and policy failings from a progressive point of view are many and varied, but not at all unexpected by anyone whose ears heard what he was saying, rather than what they wished he would say, during the campaign. Those failings are not the subject of my response to Sarge.

    In my opinion, Obama has failed as Party leader.

    Instead of fulfilling his promise to be open to all voices, all ideas, he has regularly attacked the so-called left for being political activists, i.e.,citizens who take seriously their civic/political responsibilities to pay attention to and participate in the political dialogue.

    He has ridiculed, demeaned, been unresponsive to or negative toward the comments he claimed he wanted to receive, if they come from progressives.

    I would prefer to have a better Democratic candidate than Obama for president in 2012 but do not have even a faint hope of it. He will be better than any Republican candidate, but that is the sum of any praise I can muster for him.

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