Liberals now openly speaking of their desire to dump the messiah

Matt Stoller writes at Salon:

No one, not even the president’s defenders, expect his coming jobs speech to mean anything. When the president spoke during a recent market swoon, the market dropped another 100 points. Democrats may soon have to confront an uncomfortable truth, and ask whether Obama is a suitable choice at the top of the ticket in 2012. They may then have to ask themselves if there’s any way they can push him off the top of the ticket….

Obama has ruined the Democratic Party….

The funny thing is, however, that Stoller thinks Obama has ruined the Democratic Party by governing as a conservative. Now it’s true that Obama has followed some of G.W. Bush’s policies that he had previously attacked, so the leftist claim that Obama has become the enemy is not entirely baseless. Still, can anyone seriously maintain that the reason Obama has failed, the reason he is now universally seen as being up a certain kind of creek without a paddle, is that his policies were too right-wing? Was Porkulus right-wing? Was the ramming through of Obamacare a conservative act? And those are the two signature initiatives of Obama’s presidency.

This by the way is typical of the left’s mental operations; whenever someone on their side screws up, they automatically construct it as having been caused by something evil on the right. Thus last week numerous liberal commentators spoke in anguished terms about the horrible insult—even the constitutional coup!— John Boehner had inflicted on Obama in telling him that Wednesday night was not good for the speech to Congress and could he make it Thursday night instead. In reality, Obama was trying to stick it to the Republicans with a cheap partisan trick, and Boehner simply refused to go along. The foul-up was 100 percent the White House’s fault. But liberal opinion writers blamed the monstrous Boehner for the imbroglio, and said that Obama should have been even more partisan in his confrontation with Speaker than he was, that he should have dug in his heels on the speech date, and—what?—forced the Congress to host his speech the same evening as the Republican presidential debate? That’s the way many liberal columnists were talking.

The same logic applies to the left’s attitude toward the Obama presidency as a whole. They cannot admit that his collapse has been due to the irrational and destructive leftist policies he has doggedly pursued, and they think that the cure is for him (or his dreamed-of Democratic replacement) to push policies that are even more leftist and destructive.

- end of initial entry -

Steve D. writes:

Your entry today on Democrats wanting to dump Obama reminded me of an anecdote from Nazi Germany. It is apropos not because I’m trying to claim any sort of political equivalence between the Democrats and the Nazis (I’m not—really), but because it illustrates the principle that is in play here.

This involves the ouster of General Werner von Fritsch, the commander-in-chief of the German army, who was forced to resign in 1938 in order to pave the way for Hitler’s accession to that post.

In his diary, Ulrich von Hassell, who had been ousted as ambassador to Rome, penned his recollection of comments spoken to him by the now-exonerated Fritsch. “This man, Hitler, is Germany’s destiny for good and for evil. If he now goes over the abyss, which Fritsch believes he will, he will drag us all down with him. There is nothing we can do.”

There is nothing the Democrats can do. Their principles (or lack thereof) have brought them to this moment. Obama is the meaning of the Democratic Party. It will be almost impossible for them to dump Obama—not only for the very practical reason that it would infuriate their tame black voting bloc, but also because—as you point out—they still haven’t moved far enough left to satisfy themselves. And while finding a candidate who is actually to the left of Obama would be difficult, finding one who is viable would be impossible. Can you imagine the outcome if the Democrats dumped The One for someone like Dennis Kucinich? The rout would be so complete that the Democratic Party would probably cease to exist.

Just as the Nazi Party ceased to exist in Germany, once events had played out to their inevitable conclusion, the Democrats are beginning to realize the nature of the thing that’s staring them in the face: doom. No wonder they’re getting jittery.

Ken Hechtman writes:

And Danny Schechter joins the pile-on:

Among other things, Danny Schechter directed the campaign documentary “Barack Obama: People’s President,” a couple of years ago. If he’s lost the faith, there can’t be a whole lot of true believers left.

LA replies:

Lost the faith in leftism, or lost the faith in Obama as a leftist? :-)

Big difference.

Ken Hechtman replies:

Lost the faith in Obama as a leftist. You’re really not crediting how much Obama’s progressive supporters feel personally betrayed. Maybe you can’t imagine positions and policies to the left of Obama’s “achievements,” but they can.

LA replies:

For a moment I thought you were saying he had lost the faith in leftism.

James R. writes:

It always amazes me how many leftists/progressives, who are essentially Fabians, don’t understand Fabian incrementalism. It’s my opinion that Obama, far from being “stupid” and an “empty suit” (as conservatives have it), or a “failure” who has “disappointed leftists,” who thus should feel “betrayed,” understands incrementalism far better than his disillusioned ex-supporters on the Left do.

He accomplished what he could—this time. Setting the stage for the next ratchet. Now he is simply holding on as long as it takes for his policies to be cemented. He hopes to get re-elected, not so that he himself can advance the ball any further, but to insure that his policies won’t be reversed. That they will take root and have the time to do their work, which is precisely to set the stage for the next step. His health care plan will result in “private insurance failing, the market has failed, therefore we must have single payer.” His union policies, while falling short of what union members want today, are setting the stage for a corporatist-Fabian future.

As an undergrad I had a sociology class with Professor Joel Rogers at the University of Wisconsin. The only sociology class I ever took. Very enlightening. Helped open my eyes a lot—indeed was one of the things that made me realize I could not continue to be a moderate liberal (quite the opposite from what Prof. Rogers hoped, I’m sure). Anyhow, apparently Professor Obama and Professor Rogers were compatriots back in the day. Obama eventually even signed on to Rogers “New Party.”

Anyhow, it’s all right there in the manual and I’d call these guys “cynical idealists.” They know they can’t achieve everything at once, but move on multiple paths to lay the groundwork. Remember back during the push for Heath Care, when Rep. Kucinich was taking a principled leftist stand against the bill, standing firm for single payer and wanting at least a “public option”? Then one day President Obama invited Kucinich over—I think for a flight on Air Force One—to explain things to him. Rep. Kucinich switched his vote, bringing with him a number of principled progressives who were holding out. I’m pretty sure it was explained to them exactly how this would work to achieve their ultimate goals.

The problem with most leftists is that while they are Fabians in their head, they are impatient in their hearts and get intemperate.

But, as I said before, this too shall pass, and by this time next year the usual suspects will all be onboard, working furiously to re-elect Obama, volunteering to man phones and get out the vote, shoveling money his way, and in the official press beating the drum for how America’s only hope is to re-elect the very man they are now saying they are disillusioned with and decrying. It happens every time like clockwork.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 05, 2011 12:08 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):