Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Obama the Pro-NSA "Moderate" Uber-Progressive

Now that Obama is getting ridiculously low numbers in public opinion, it's time to revisit the disenchantment of 2012.
. . . unless national security is pretty much your sole obsession, I really have a hard time understanding progressives who are disappointed in him. Obama has gotten more done for the progressive cause than Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, JFK, or Harry Truman—and, on balance, nearly as much as LBJ . . .
Kevin Drum basically argues in that election year piece ('A Pretty Damn Good Presidency') that Obama was really an uber-progressive even though Obama and his associates made it "pretty clear" that they despise the progressive base.  This piece, of course, was an effort to rally the disenchanted progressive base months before most of the media blitz that consisted of vilifying Romney, politically spinning Hurricane Sandy, and de-spinning jobs and the Benghazi debacle.  Obama had somehow managed to communicate to progressives that he despised them in spite of doing more for them than a host of liberal icons.  Drum didn't explain what this "seems to despise" consists of (it is a vague nod to the vague alienation his readers apparently felt), but contented himself with reminding his liberal audience that it is obviously just an act.  (Or alternatively, arguing that Obama believes in progressivism in spite of despising everyone.)

This is an interesting comment compared to the following from RationalWiki's hit piece on Dennis Prager   (note that 'RationalWiki' is using "rational" as a synonym for "progressive"), given the staunch depiction of Obama as a centrist:  

Who Prager believes the left consists of is unclear since his definition of the left apparently means that Barack Obama is our first leftist president, with the possible exception of FDR. This is another blatant lie since JFK, LBJ, Carter, and even Nixon and Eisenhower governed to the left of Obama.
Personally, I think Prager's giving Clinton way to much credit.  In terms of the New Left, it may make sense to exclude FDR, but really Wilson, FDR, LBJ, and Obama hold to the essentially statist thread of progressivism.  The essence of progressivism is (and most progressive supporters may be unaware) reinterpreting the Constitution away from the limited government it explicitly sets forth to implicitly support a collectivist oligarchy.  RationalWiki isn't there to explain to the not-savvy what they mean by "govern to the left."  No matter how much Obama does for the progressive cause, it is a "blatant lie" that Obama is anything but a moderate.  So much so that unless you are "solely obsessed" with national security (as leftists were before 2009), you liberals have got to embrace Obama's commitment to Sparkle Motion.  

Note here also how Kevin Drum's rhetoric differs from the pre-2009 umbrage at George Bush's unacceptable, reprehensible, fascist, extremist, imperialistic policies for national security: "a continuation of the mainstream national security policy that both parties have endorsed for decades with only minor differences."  This is how he describes what the progressives considered a cancer that Obama was going to root out.  And when Obama gives us a "continuation" (more intrusion, data collection, news agency snooping, use of Patriot Act for things other than terrorism, but hey, we've thrown out the guidelines for interrogation so torture officially does not happen -- and therefore has no oversight or visibility), it suddenly is no big deal.  Why?  Because progressives are getting what really mattered to them all along.  Because it's okay if your liberties are bought with presidential activism.  As long as it's liberal activism.

Now, Obama got seriously low numbers in 2010, leading to a sweeping change in the House.  Democrats had no choice but to deny the connection entirely, of course, so they changed the rhetoric: People weren't legitimately upset -- their latent racism was finally bubbling up (just like it did for Hillary on Hillarycare).  I sometimes wondered whether the typical progressive was really that over-the-top, but recently was invited out to eat with a group of progressives (nice people) who became very upset when the topic turned to people who don't like Obama. The explanation:  Racism.  A complete echo of the rhetoric. I wasn't part of that sidebar conversation (loud though it was).  If the "I won" presidency was so antagonistic that the people's new Representatives couldn't deal with him, he didn't need to cave as Bill "End of Big Government" Clinton had to; just ramp up the racist libel.  (You didn't actually fall for that unified America crap, did you?)  But the racism charge didn't slow the Tea Party reaction to the ill-conceived Affordable Care, and after Andrew Breitbart started to expose the racist libel, they manufactured something more elaborate: the "spontaneous" Occupy protest (as spontaneous, it turns out, as the Benghazi "protest").  

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