Thursday, March 31, 2011

Obama's Die Hard Fanclub

I routinely venture outside of the right-wing side of the political blogsphere because I like to hear both sides of the story, I like to know what the other side is thinking, and I enjoy watching the antics of the left when things don’t go their way. Dante's Virgil might not approve of that last one, but nothing lends weight to an argument like a disgruntled opposition. I frequently peruse sites like Democratic Underground, Fire Dog Lake, Daily Kos, and Think Progress. (Don’t worry, I’ve had my shots.) The first two are different from the others in that they are consistent. When anyone does something that they disapprove of, they say so. There is no hemming and hawing about the “nuance”, “special considerations”, or “circumstances”. Someone did something they view as “bad”? They’ll say so. Obama doesn’t get a pass with them. I have frequently read many a post on those two sites that brings considerable ire in the comments sections to bear on him and his underlings for various actions or lack thereof on many an issue. It is now to the point that declarations of “he’s on his own come 2012” are quite common and seconded ad Nauseum. I appreciate consistency and I applaud them for sticking to their guns and their convictions in regards to what they think America should or shouldn’t do next. I don’t always agree with them (rarely, in fact), but I can respect a group that doesn’t carry water blindly for “their guy”. And then there’s Daily Kos. The term “die hard” comes readily to mind when describing their support of Obama. Witness this post that denounces Obama and the resulting comments that follow (Language Warning). I am unfortunately unable to find a certain thread I read earlier, but apparently I’m not alone. The Kos Kids frequently bemoan the in-site search engine’s notorious inefficiency, and my search is no exception. Anyhoo, the thread by a certain “wolverinethad” was a response to another frequenter who had evidently lambasted Obama and his administration for various shortcomings (perhaps it was a response to the above linked thread?). The thread generated an impressive amount of comments (over 750!) and the vast majority of them were supportive and rather “cheerleader-ish” in nature. Of course, there were a few dissenters who were asking how progressives could possibly see the Obama administration and it’s many failings as a good thing or “positively transformative”. There was an interesting exchange (dang it, I wish I could find that thread!) between two commenters that summed up the whole of the 750+ comments into two distinct distillations of thought: Comment #1 (paraphrased) The buck doesn’t stop with the president, it stops with the people. That’s a democracy. (This was widely praised and rather nicely sums up the majority’s feelings on that site.) Comment #2 (again, paraphrased)We hired him to do a job. If I hire someone and have to keep on him/her to competently discharge the duties of that job, I’ll be looking for a replacement ASAP. Comment #1’s gist was that the progressives need to keep on Obama and the Congressional Left to accomplish anything of substance. That without the constant support and cajoling, the whole organization will naturally return to it’s default position of rampant compromise and unadulterated complacency. I shouldn’t have to explain the thought behind Comment #2. (Sadly, Comment #2 was in the minority and may find more welcome companions at Democratic Underground and Fire Dog Lake. Too bad; they made a lot of sense…) I think I see a problem for continued support of the line of reasoning behind Comment #1. Essentially, what the hard core Obamatons are doing is providing politically for Obama what the government did financially for Wall Street in ’08 and ’09: They are allowing him to capitalize his profits (wins) and socialize his losses (defeats). When he does something that they approve of, it’s: “Yay! See? Obama is the coolest!” When he does something that they don’t like, we see: “’We didn’t help him enough’, ‘we should’ve pushed harder’, and ‘we slept though the battle!’” Political wins bring congratulations and more than one exclamation of “credit where credit is due”, while defeat generates self-flagellation and an almost complete lack of accountability for Obama and his cabinet. This is dangerous for the left as it can (and will) be used against them in the future. Accountability was a big feature in the then-incoming presidency (and Congress too, incidentally), or so we were told. Transparency, honesty, and so on were highly regarded and promised to all as a complete departure from the previous administration under Bush. I will also mention in closing that there has been a distinctly low amount of coverage on Daily Kos about Obama’s Libyan Adventurism. I wonder why. "What we are missing, utterly and completely, in this government is accountability." ~ Paul Hawken

Monday, March 14, 2011

Obama, Present and Accounted For

President Present sure has had his hands full lately hasn’t he?

He’s had to vote present on a whole lot of things these past couple of years, but it seems like recently he has increased his work load to include even the more “big ticket” items.

The Budget?







Assault on Unions” aside? Present.

Why that poor man has been so busy that it was recently reported that a staffer had overheard him say something to the effect of, “It would be easier to be the President of China.” That glorious personage probably doesn’t have to listen to quite as much criticism of his job, that lucky scamp!

I’m just glad that we pay him $400,000 a year in salary to handle all this tough Perfect Presidential Attendance. The only thing I ever got Perfect Attendance in was Wines and Spirits class in cooking college. Yes, really. I know first hand how difficult it can be to show up day after day to perform the grueling task of just being there.

That poor bastard.

At least he got a break from all that relentless physical existence by speaking recently against bullying in schools. He confided to the Nation that he too had been bullied as a child. He shared with us that his large ears and “funny name” were natural lightning rods for derision and ridicule. Now it’s his large deficit and funny economic policies that attract the slings and arrows of outrageously outrageous outrage.

He just can’t win, can he?

In other matters relevant to Obama, he recently fired the spokesman of the State Department P. J. Crowley for his vocal criticisms of the treatment of Bradley Manning by the Department of Defense. This went over wonderfully with his base as one might expect. A quick jaunt through Democratic Underground and FireDogLake show the esteemed readership there to be in polite disagreement with the White House’s actions.

It would appear as well that they too are noticing this trend towards the taking on of greater Sustainable Static Existential Responsibility within the Oval Office.

In the words of my father:

“If I didn’t think he despised me as much as I despise him, I might feel sorry for the guy”.