Salon is a piece of crap. Sorry I couldn't think of a snappy intro. Of course, I am referring to Thomas Frank’s hit piece in Salon, “Right-wing obstruction could have been fought: An ineffective and gutless presidency’s legacy is failure.” Yep, that’s the one. I know from my journalism classes that editors often write the headlines, but even if Frank did not write it, the headline pretty much summarizes the article. By the way, Kevin Drum at Mother Jones did a decent job rebutting Frank’s article in “If the Left Wants Scapegoats, Just Look in the Mirror. “ One point in the Drum’s article I latched onto is “The rest of us, who were unable to take advantage of an epic financial collapse to get the public firmly in favor of pitchforks and universal health care, deserve most of it. The mirror doesn't lie.” He could have written that one sentence, and his article would have been brilliant. That’s the point of this post. It’s that one sentence I’m going to address, not Frank’s piece.
We all remember the healthcare debate and the stimulus debate and the every other debate over an important issue ad nauseum. And where was the Left during myriad hours of debate? Bitching in front of every available TV camera and microphone. Remember “Kill the Bill” from the likes of Keith Olbermann, Howard Dean, and let’s not forget the King of the Whining Lefties, Michael Moore. How easy for those lefties to urge Congress to kill the bill because they weren't one of the millions uninsured or under insured in America. Ed Schultz even urged Democrats to sit out the 2010 elections, and we all know how that worked out for us. Shortly after the stimulus passed, the Left was criticizing it too because it wasn't enough. It didn't have enough money for infrastructure.
I remember distinctly Olbermann and Bernie Sanders on Countdown agreeing that “Obama needs to grow a backbone.” I immediately fired off a tweet to both for accusing the President of cowardice. Olbermann, in response to my tweet accusing them both of being disrespectful, denied that their labeling Pres. Obama a coward was in any way demeaning or disrespectful. That was only one of many times Olbermann was wrong. If he didn't coin the term “cave” to describe Pres. Obama’s behavior, he certainly used it generously enough.
I cannot think of a single negotiation that Pres. Obama had with the GOP that Olbermann did not blame the President in one of his fiery commentaries. And he wasn't the only one. The Left, Cenk Uygur, Bernie Sanders, Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow, David Sirota, Chris Hayes, etc., pounded on the President daily. Every damn time his back was to the wall, the Left joined the Right in berating Pres. Obama. Sometimes it was difficult to tell the two sides apart.
The first couple of years Jane Hamsher, Markos Moulitsas, and Adam Green were all over MSNBC speaking for “Obama’s base,” or so they thought. Twitter set them straight in a hurry on that idea. Where are they now? Who gives a damn. Oh, and let’s not forget Bill Maher thought “he voted for the black guy but got the white guy instead,” a line Michael Moore often gleefully repeated.
Another darling of the Left is Joan Walsh, who eventually wrote a book about herself, What’s the Matter with White People. Her adventures in twitterdom were mighty unpleasant for her as the real base rose up collectively to set her straight. To this day she and her buddy Chris Matthews become unhinged at any crisis, looking first to blame the President. I still occasionally watched MSNBC until the IRS “scandal” broke, and it was Matthews’s hysterical (I do not mean funny) behavior that finally drove me away for good. He was already indicting Pres. Obama before the story unfolded and going down the path of coulda, woulda, and shoulda.
One of the sorriest spectacles produced by the Left was over LBGT rights and the repeal of DADT. We all watched in horror as Dan Choi evolved into the darling of MSNBC. The Left was clamoring for an executive order to overturn DADT—we want what we want now! The fact was Pres. Obama explained countless times in many venues that an executive order could be overturned by the next President, and he wanted it done legislatively, a permanent fix. The lowest point in this debacle was when Maddow announced that Pres. Obama would have voted no on gay marriage had he been in the New York state legislature, and “Obama would have voted no!” became the anthem of the Left.
The list of examples of the Left betraying Pres. Obama is endless from voting to keep Guantanamo open to the latest crisis in the Ukraine. Not only does the Left desert Pres. Obama during every crisis, they actively undermine him. Where’s the evidence? Just read the timelines on Twitter of any member of the critical Left. You will see a constant barrage of anti-Obama tweets. If the
so-called lefty journalists and pundits aren't criticizing every step the President makes, they are continually second-guessing him and usually offering him advice, most of which is ridiculous. And then when President Obama is successful, the critics don’t praise him or report on the successes, but instead they just ignore the accomplishments.
The duo of Stephen Cohen/Katrina vanden Heuvel frequently takes to the airwaves and twitter to denounce Pres. Obama’s actions and decisions. Vanden Heuvel, playing the role of psychiatrist by analyzing the President, announced that he is “conflict averse.” Cohen, her husband, told a pundit that he voted for Pres. Obama “out of a sense of social justice.” Folks, right there is some snootified white privilege. Vanden Heuvel, the editor of
The Nation, is a twitter tornado during any crisis, especially during the Syrian and now the Ukrainian crisis. Both she and her husband would rather lay the blame for both at Pres. Obama’s doorstep than Putin’s.
She and her minions were certain Pres. Obama was going to attack Syria. So certain, in fact, that when Putin caved, she claimed credit for herself and other Lefties, for not only a peaceful settlement, but preventing a war. Excuse me? What war? Just the other night on Twitter she urged against rushing to judgment about who shot down Flight MH17. When confronted with evidence that it was the separatists, a group widely known to have Putin’s support, she said there was no proof Putin was supplying them with arms. See what I mean about not being able to distinguish the Left from the Right? This hair-on-fire behavior isn't just reserved for the rich and famous. Oh no. I see it on my timeline all the time. I’m not advocating blind following but a little faith in the man would be refreshing.
You know what, Thomas Frank and the rest of you lily-livered purists, you have no idea what courage is. You think it didn't take courage for a young little-known senator to take on the Clinton machine. It didn't take courage to take on the leadership of a country that was on the brink of economic collapse. It didn't take courage to face the opposition alone every freakin day. It didn't take courage to put his political capital on the line to get health care reform, to fight for LGBT rights, to defend this country from attack, to
single-handedly put this country back on a firm economic foundation. Do you think it doesn't take courage to face down Putin? Do you think it doesn't take courage to get up every morning to lead a profoundly ungrateful nation, and all the while showing us grace and dignity?
President Obama has had to battle a vitriolic right wing media, a political party with racists at its core, a cowardly Congress, a grossly incompetent and lazy press, and whining Lefties who don’t have vision but have plenty of criticism and advice. You think that doesn't take courage? And where were Thomas Frank and his ilk whenever battle swords were drawn? I believe they went the way of the Sunshine Patriots.
My apologies for not providing links like I usually do. Frankly, I was so pissed that I just pounded this out. You’ll just have to trust my recounting of events—or not.
Obama has a clear out of Syria bombing given the UK vote. But he won't take it. More scared of what GOP hawks are going to say about him.
Why isn't Pres Obama calling for immediate ceasefire in Ukraine?