Paul Krugman and Anglachel have two important posts up. After you read them, you’ll get a sickening feeling that things are about to get worse. If anyone expected Barack Obama to use his veto pen to stop the Republican Horde from wrecking havoc, they might want to rethink that notion. As Paul says in Freezing Out Hope:
It’s hard to escape the impression that Republicans have taken Mr. Obama’s measure — that they’re calling his bluff in the belief that he can be counted on to fold. And it’s also hard to escape the impression that they’re right.
The real question is what Mr. Obama and his inner circle are thinking. Do they really believe, after all this time, that gestures of appeasement to the G.O.P. will elicit a good-faith response?
What’s even more puzzling is the apparent indifference of the Obama team to the effect of such gestures on their supporters. One would have expected a candidate who rode the enthusiasm of activists to an upset victory in the Democratic primary to realize that this enthusiasm was an important asset. Instead, however, Mr. Obama almost seems as if he’s trying, systematically, to disappoint his once-fervent supporters, to convince the people who put him where he is that they made an embarrassing mistake.
Whatever is going on inside the White House, from the outside it looks like moral collapse — a complete failure of purpose and loss of direction.
Hoodwinked? Bamboozled? Is Obama making fun of the Obots? Or did Anglachel accurately assess Obama’s political compass? From Season’s Greetings, she writes:
Obama is not a Reaganite, no matter how much he enjoys fellating the corpse of the Gipper. If he really were a Reaganite, he’d know how to preserve and expand power.
I’ve written before that Obama lacks any sense of or taste for politics, and think I have his political philosophy identified, namely a very patrician Hoover-ish progressivism, but something Krugman wrote today made me have a very bad thought
What it looks like to me is Obama methodically reversing the desires of the people who voted for him, inverting every virtue and intention they projected on to him. If someone was trying to deconstruct the Democratic Party from the inside – betray its hopes, derail its changes, destroy its legacy – you couldn’t ask for a better example.
Almost like an act of revenge.
I said in Primary Objective that Obama was not mortally unpopular with the base, but I’m having to rethink that claim much more quickly than I imagined given the way he has increased his pissing on the Democrats since the mid-term losses. If he has no loyalty to any part of the party and is eager to walk around with a big “Kick me” sign taped front and back, then it makes no sense for the party to follow him off the cliff. Krugman closes by saying, “It would be much easier, of course, for Democrats to draw a line if Mr. Obama would do his part. But all indications are that the party will have to look elsewhere for the leadership it needs.”
Anglachel urges a primary. Well, that’s to be expected. She’s one of the “shrieking band of paranoid holdouts”. But Krugman writes for a large megaphone. Oh, sure, who listens to Krugman? Obots came –>this<– close to calling him a racist for not kissing Obama’s, er, whatever, when he took office.
But for the good of the country, Obama must be primaried, regardless of the perceived incivility and the probability that the entire op/ed page of the Washington Post will get the vapors. I think even Atrios is coming around:
One thing that’s been true since I’ve been paying attention is that everything The Left does is wrong. By The Left I mean everyone to the left of the basic governing power. Third Parties are bad, sitting out elections are bad, putting pressure on elected reps is bad, protesting is bad, primary campaigns are bad, media criticism might hurt their feefees and is bad, saying mean things about Rush Limbaugh is bad, actually discussing your views honestly is bad, etc. Obviously the failure of The Left to take control and run the country does suggest that it is doing something wrong, but no one ever really offers much constructive advice other than…please STFU.
Is the base going to STFU and graciously commit sepukka in order for politeness to flourish? “Let good table manners reign!”
Update: Ian Welsh pounds the drum for primarying Obama too. He goes even further than we do and says Obama is a bad man. Amoral or Immoral? Does it matter?
If the party base and the hung over Obots really have a political philosophy and if they really want the democratic values of the Democratic party to triumph, they’d better join us toot sweet. Because, like it or not, there is only one person *at the present time* who can take on Obama and win. Even if you are still suffering from CDS psychosis, I urge Obots for the sake of UNITY to join with us and push back. Because until you give Obama a serious threat to his political career, he is going to take the party and the country down with him. We have always said that our objection to Obama had nothing to do with his skin color. It has everything to do with his lack of political convictions, his inexperience, his unpreparedness, and his contempt for the voters.
Howard Dean may be the alternate candidate for Whole Foods Nation but Obama knows that Dean poses no legitimate threat to him. He has absolutely zero appeal to the working class. Democrats cannot win in 2012 without the working class. And the reason Obama is not going to push back at the Republicans is because he thinks the working class has abandoned the Democrats to join the Tea Party. This is partially correct. The working class would be more than happy to get behind a Democrat who supports the FDR style programs they love and who shows leadership qualities in the face of adversity.
As long as the Obots won’t even entertain the notion of supporting someone like that for president, Obama will continue to drown Hope in the Potomac. Once you start to roll the idea of a popular primary challenger around in your heads and let Obama know you’re seriously thinking about it, you will start to get the Change! you voted for. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and try it. Start making some noises that you’ve changed your minds and now “she who must not be named” is looking pretty good right about now. Make it sound convincing. Praise her statesmanship, her presence on a world stage, her calm and steely resolve. See what happens.
He doesn’t fear you, Obots. That’s why he’s giving you the finger and brushing your dirt off his shoulders.