Sometimes it seems as though the only kind of dissent allowed on the left is criticism of our own President. Support him and you can be accused of being a teenager or cheerleader, a “blind” supporter.
Ironically, supporting him amidst the raging accusations from both sides actually qualifies as the real dissent at this point. Join DIck Cheney in calling him a “ditherer” and you’re cool. So early in his presidency, have we abandoned him! Fickle liberals.
Of course, that notion lies at the extremes. I’m hoping most of us aren’t interested in being labeled dissenters or supporters, as much as we are interested in truth, accuracy, and justice. That’s really what it means to be a progressive, post-Bush.
“From Arianna Huffington on his left, warning that rising unemployment could be “Obama’s Katrina,” to the ever-crazier Glenn Beck on his right, threatening to desecrate the memory of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with an anti-Obama March on Washington 37 years to the day after King’s triumphant convening: His critics are sparing no rhetorical excess in their rush to denounce the president.”
“Obama’s Katrina”? Really? That’s not journalism or commentary; it’s hyperbolic hysteria meant to whip the base into a frenzy. Like Fox news does to the right; to the extent that the radical right is now so marginalized by their false anger that they can’t have a conversation with anyone in the real world without alienating themselves. Danger, Will Robinson.
We have the power. Let’s not make the same mistakes the right did.
The “leftist” meme that attacking “our” president makes us deep and serious is as juvenile as the right’s refusal to question their authoritarian dictators.
It’s actually rather boring and predictable, and reveals a failure of critical thinking , particularly when it’s as disingenuous as “Obama’s Katrina” and “Obama’s Vietnam” – another hysterical headline which necessitated taking the wars out of context to make a point. I hate these wars, too. I wish Bush had never started them.
I was one of the minority who didn’t buy W’s excuses from the beginning. I wept the day he announced he wouldn’t wait for the UN. I told my father that day that this would change the world. I felt it in my blood. I was so horrified by where we were going, and so powerless to stop it.
I felt that we would not be able to get out once we were in. And that’s where we are now. We can’t get out. This isn’t Obama’s fault. He was one of the few with the courage to come out AGAINST Bush at the time, while everyone else was cowering to the right’s demands that patriotism insisted you go along with Bush.
That’s the man we have in office right now. A man of principle and honor, who wants peace as much as we do. A man who never would have started these wars. A man who is doing everything he can in his international relations to make sure we don’t end up in another war. Context.
Attack him when it’s real. Or, don’t attack him when it’s real; just report events accurately. And there are plenty of excellent liberal writers doing just that – digging into the DoJ and other areas where the scourge of Bush demands light. Examining Obama’s policies and relationships. Good for them. We need courageous reporters whose goal is the truth.
But can we be more loyal than the right are to Obama? Or would that ruin our image of ourselves as underdogs defending justice at any cost? Would it matter if we could actually defend justice in the long run by supporting our president?
After all, he’s carrying our agenda. Shouldn’t we consider how to support our President in a way that gives him the mandate via public approval that he needs to get certain things accomplished? Do we bear no responsibility at all?
Frank Schaeffer keeps warning the left to support their President, as they have no idea what kind of attacks he’s under behind the scenes. Seeing as Frank came from that crowd, I can’t help but give some credence to his thoughts.
At any rate, hysterical criticism does not a brilliant mind make.
There are real criticisms to be made, but just as importantly at this early stage of his presidency, there are actually also good things to report. They just don’t generate as many hits/clicks as bad things, so they aren’t covered. We all love a train wreck.
How often do you read a headline like “Obama’s Brilliant First Year; by January, he’s accomplished more than any first-year president since Franklin Roosevelt.”? Hat tip to Slate for that inspiring read. Paying attention to the accomplishments of our President is apparently akin to lining up to see “New Moon” post age 13, in both shame and levels of school girl adoration. No serious person would do it. Truth be damned!
Imagine my surprise reading a list of Obama’s achievements in his early presidency. There’s a lot to like in there, for anyone who respects our constitution and was gravely concerned during the bush years about the direction of our country.
For instance, the White House and federal government are respecting the Freedom of Information Act. It may seem small on paper, but this is most assuredly not a small thing. It’s one of the many things we need in order to have a real transparent government of the people.
To this end, he instructed all federal agencies to promote openness and transparency as much as possible. In September, he limited the lobbyists access to the White House. He ended the previous stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan longer than their enlistment date! New funding for science and research. He instituted immediate and efficient response to the floods in North Dakota and other natural disasters.
“Obama’s Katrina”? I think not. There are many more on the list, but one which moved me personally was Obama’s instituting enforcement for equal pay for women. Small things that add up to a much better life in often unnoticed ways.
Apparently, Arianna thinks Obama is Bush – and she’s not alone in this sentiment. Take a cruise through any “democratic” website and you’ll see more of this meme than you might expect. Ironically, this is the right wing’s talking point. They’ve been falsely equating Obama to Bush, hoping it would catch on. And the left is all too willing to help them out, under the sadly misguided cover of “questioning authority”. You’d think we were in high school.
If I see one more article comparing him to Bush because he did one thing the same way, I’m going to lose it. It’s not about being a fan; it’s about accuracy and context. And most importantly, it’s about pragmatism.
Shouldn’t we be on our own side? Can’t we save the hysteria for when the Republicans get something real on him and we all abandon him as we did Clinton? Their witch hunt is in full attack mode, so it’s coming. We could save our fire. There’s always plenty of time to shoot ourselves in the foot. No need to rush.
What now? He’s just like Bush! Should we impeach him? Why the heck not? There’s got to be someone better we can get elected, who can handle two %^$@&@* wars and a global economic meltdown as well as right wing haters armed and at the ready and an obstructionist party bringing down every attempt to actually do the job they’ve been elected to do.
ENOUGH! We are better than this. We are smarter than this. We can do this thing.