Deconstructing President Obama: The War Inside the Left
While the Right demonizes Obama ala Bill Clinton, the Left is finishing the job ala Jimmy Carter – bashing the President as a weakling, even calling to primary Obama in 2012 for his many crimes against the progressive base.
Obama isn’t a feel-good President. He doesn’t make fiery speeches about his “enemies”, he doesn’t demonize the Right. He governs from the center, and he is prone to making deals — doing whatever he can to pass the legislation on his agenda. If one were to really take issue with him, I’d suggest that the real concern should be his Machiavellian approach to governing. He’s ruthless in his pragmatism.
But the base doesn’t see this as a strength, let alone a concern. In fact, I’m not sure they see it at all. President Obama will deal with the devil if he has to, in order to get what he wants. If he wants tax cuts for the middle class plus a long term extension of unemployment benefits and the Republicans are refusing to give them unless they get tax cuts for the rich, and the Senate Democrats abandon the President, he will work around them all to get what he wants done.
The Right hates him because he’s “transforming” America and a loud faction of his base hates him because they claim to think he isn’t. I rather think they’re more angry about seeing their quarterback play ball with the other team, sort of like watching your lawyer go to dinner with the opposing lawyer and realizing that you are the only person not in the club. And DC is a club, just like Hollywood or any other closed community. The public finds out what the community wants them to know. Even the deepest enemies won’t stab the other in the back if it means the Club rules would be violated.
While the Left grouses about all of the compromise, Obama has quietly passed paradigm shifting legislation regarding the role of government. This is what is most threatening to the Right and it’s why they want to draw Obama out into a street brawl. After all, they know they can win a street brawl. So does the President.
President Obama is never going to appease his base by kicking some Republican behinds they way this part of his base wants him to. It’s not his style. And so all of the desire and indeed, the need, for vengeance post -Bush debacle is left swelling in the angry hearts of liberal patriots. Given no outlet, it’s all coming out on President Obama. Perhaps he asked for this, since he refused to prosecute Bush et al for war crimes. This concession to the status quo told me that he was well aware of how the Right would come after him one day and when they do, George W Bush will quietly (at the last minute) ask his party to extinguish the fatal torches. So it goes.
There is no elected official whose agenda is pure. President Obama is a pragmatist, a brilliant one at that- but he’s also a politician. He couldn’t get anything done if he were less of a pragmatist, and yet his base would rather feel represented than feast on the fruits of future paradigm shifts. Who can blame them? It was a long eight years under Bush and before that, the Clinton farces broke the hearts of the loyal.
These days it seems anyone caught defending the President without the timidly caveat, “He’s not perfect and I hate him too, but….” is called a blind supporter by this faction. If that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black…..
The blind supporters of the cult of pseudo anti-establishment narratives are just as in lock step with one another as they claim Obama supporters to be. In other words, in this climate, it doesn’t take courage to walk in line with the cool kids muttering about what a disappointment your President is. No, that’s the “in” meme – repeated by all of our heroes on TV and on certain supposedly liberal websites.
And here’s a hint: If you’re hearing it on TV, it’s already an establishment narrative and someone is profiting from it. That’s the irony; that paragon of virtue you think is telling you the truth each night actually has an agenda and they are selling you a persona and trying to keep your attention. It doesn’t matter who you watch. They are all media stars with contracts and egos. That doesn’t mean they aren’t being honest with you, but it does suggest a business agenda.
And therein lies the problem: Good news doesn’t sell. Rage sells. Blood sells. Destruction sells. Rage at Bush got many of these folks famous, put them on the map – and now, with a Democrat in office, many of them were floundering, losing support until they discovered the magic ratings solution of raging on Obama. I’m not suggesting that there aren’t legitimate gripes, but I’m also not going to waste my time debunking that strawman whose only purpose is to delegitimize the very real truth that as usual, there is money, power and profit behind the meme of rage at Obama.
And we are all too willing consumers. Anything that sparks our rage, our emotion, our need for justice as we see it, will score. Quietly advancing an imperfect but progressive agenda is not a ratings blockbuster. It’s an epic fail. The media has floundered for two years trying to figure out how to cover Obama for maximum hits. He was their rock star in the beginning and now he’s their failed Democratic weakling. My, how original. Leave it to the media to always rely on the old stand-bys if nothing else will stick. There’s a saying in Hollywood: “There are no new ideas, just modern interpretations of old ideas.” Hence, I give you the inaccurate Carterization of Obama.
These same folks who cling to the false advancement of their image of intellectual honesty and purity are unable to acknowledge what the President has done. This facts indicates bias and agenda. When confronted with the realities that distinguish, for example, FDR’s ability to wage war on the Republicans with Obama’s, instead of acknowledging the differences and that ultimately, the Republicans are at fault here, the media beats Obama over the head, like the “friend” of a battered spouse who castigates their friend for “accepting” the abuse, as if the battered spouse is responsible for their partner’s actions.
This is often the reaction of a frustrated, powerless friend. It’s always easier to blame the victim than to accept the very real possibility of sheer helplessness and loss of control. Those feelings of helplessness lead to rage and a need to put the fear in a box, label it and tuck it away. In this case, the narrative to soothe our souls is that if only Obama were stronger, this wouldn’t be happening. That is a pipedream. They did it to Carter, they did it to Clinton and they will do it to each President the Democrats get elected. There is no liberal warrior who could change this. The Republicans will not stop trying to destroy Obama no matter what he does. He has NO control over them.
People don’t want to accept this because to accept this is terrifying. Instead, they join the bullies because it feels better to be one of the kickers than it does to be kicked. Being kicked is a helpless feeling and no one likes that. And of course, it’s the feeling of powerlessness that the Rageaholics are exploiting. We must blame someone to relieve the endless pressure of the utter injustice of it all upon our souls.
These folks in the media know that the endless complaints being hurled at the President today will not result in him magically getting more power. They know the opposite is true. They are disempowering him with every spitball hurled his way. But this is a win-win for them, allowing them to justify their untamed rage at his further “failures”, as well as opening a whole new ballpark of profits and power opportunities for them to bash him when he fails (due in part to their daily deconstruction).
This is called a self-fulfilling prophecy and someone is profiting from it, but it’s not the base and it’s not the country and it’s certainly not the middle class, minorities, unions, or any of the other factions that make up the Democratic base. Ask yourself, just what is the point of this and who benefits from it? If you think this is about truth or purity, you’ve been sold a big old bag of tosh.
But this won’t become obvious until years from now; to wit, I give you Jimmy Carter, who is now revered by the same Left that once abandoned him as a weak man while he was trying to serve us. How prescient were those solar panels? What a world we might be living in now if only the media and the Democratic base had had Jimmy Carter’s back.
The Left might want to do a reset before it’s too late.