From Pine View Farm

Changelings 3

As I have mentioned, there has been much gnashing of teeth amongst some Lefties because President Obama hasn’t turned out to be a fierce fighter for things that are politically impossible. (He is subject to wrath which, by rights, belongs to the U. S. Senate, which has turned inertness into an art installation.)

Much of this results from projection. President Obama’s campaign slogan was “change.”

Persons have poured into to that word whatever they wanted without paying attention to what he actually said.

Lefties poured into it, among other things,

  • single-payer healthcare (which I support but which he said during the campaign was, in his opinion, a non-starter),
  • withdrawal from Iraq (which he promised and is working on),
  • closing that symbol of shame, the prison at Guantanamo (which he is working on but which I think he should have just done, and done quickly, so that it was fait accompli),
  • withdrawal from Afghanistan (which would be directly counter to what he said during his campaign, desirable though it may have become–I certainly would like to see my son withdrawn).

Righties, deciding he is a scary black man, poured into it from their own paranoia a bunch of stuff which I won’t even attempt to list. In their construct, he is, rather than a slightly to the left of center middle-of-the-road American pol, an amalgam of Abbie Hoffman, Karl Marx, Albert Schweitzer, and Che Guevara from another planet in some kind of parallel universe.

Now, some lefties, because he hasn’t done stuff he didn’t promise and is fighting a calcified Senate to do what he did promise, have been, dumping on him. (Where they get the idea that the way to get stuff done is to dump on their friends is beyond me. Mithras expresses my puzzlement succintly. John Cole dissects the illogic of it deftly.)

Certainly, I did and do support President Obama, but I did and do not delude myself into thinking that we agrees on lots of stuff. I wouldn’t have his job for the world and I’m glad he wanted it.

And given the track record of Republicans (and anyone who thinks that track record would change if they got back in is from LalaLand–I want to gag everytime I hear Republicans fulminate about “fiscal responsibility,” as if they would know a responsible fiscal if it bit them), I would have voted for a dead rat had it headed the Democratic ticket.

And, honestly, what you really rather have President McMaverick and Vice President Beyond the Palin?

Much of the discontent on the left goes back to not blanking listening to Obama the candidate in the first place (and the rest goes back to forgetting that successful progressive change in America has almost always been fiercely and unrelentingly fought by them what has).

Patrick Frank, a Facebook friend and a friend on Facebook, in a comment in a Facebook conversation, described what Obama meant when he talked of change as well as anyone I’ve read (quoted with permission):

“A lot of the change Obama was talking about had to do with ending the bitter partisanship in DC and around the country and bringing people of good will together to solve problems. With the rise of the neo-fascist tea bag movement, as well as some on the left who see compromise as sellout, we see schism actually on the rise, as opposed to receding. (others may disagree with this analysis)…This widening gulf is deeply unsettling to many Americans…That’s my take…More later…”

And, by God, President Obama has tried mightily to accomplish this change, the change of which he spoke. But Republicans have no interest in “bringing people of good will together to solve problems.”

No mistake: the partisanship in Washington comes from the Republican side of the aisle and to the extent it has grown on the Left, it has done so in reaction to the Right.

Governmental dysfunction: it’s a Republican thing.



  1. Patrick Frank

    January 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    An excellent blog post, and I appreciate your passing along my words…We are on the same wave-length…Patrick

  2. Bill

    January 31, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    It’s not just a republican thing.  Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are not poster persons for compromise.

    As long as we have two political parties that are more interested in their own advancement than they are in what is good for the country, nothing will change.   Both parties are responsible for the partisan atmosphere in Washington.  Some of the democrats are so partisan, they refuse to compromise with a President from their own party.  We need meaningful political reform that weeps the current two party system into the dustbin of history.  We need elected representatives who are more concerned about good government than they are about getting re-elected and kneeling at the alter of special interests and PACs.

  3. Frank

    February 1, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    We are unlikely to see a parliamentary style of democracy here.  Shoulda and coulda are two different things.

    The point on Reid and Pelosi isn’t a point.  There is no virtue in compromise just for the sake of compromise nor in bipartisanship for the sake of bipartisanship.  And that I think is the point that oftens gets missed.

    Both compromise and bipartisanship are good if they allow things to get done.

    Since the Republican stance is to compromise on nothing, their stance is ipso facto to do nothing, no matter how serious a problem may be.  They would rather see persons starving in the street if feeding those persons meant voting for a bill proposed by President Obama.  That is proven by their deeds.

    Pelosi is not a dictator.  She is Speaker of the House with a large majority; she manages to find positions that a majority of the majority party agrees with, and she fights for them.  That’s her role as party leader in the House of Representatives.  Unlike when the Republicans were in the majority, though, she allows the minority to speak and, if they can get the votes, they can get the amendment.

    Reid can’t even keep the damn Senate Democrats in line.  Why persons try to demonize him as some kind of grand  manipulator of the Senate is beyond me.

    Also, refusing to support a President of your own party, who is inherently leader of the party, cannot be considered “partisan.”

    The root of “partisan” is “party.”  It may be stupid and selfish; it may be noble and beneficent, but it’s not partisan.