If you want to know what we're up against on the left however, read the Smirking Chimp website these days and ask yourself why they're always doing fundraisers so they can bring you authors like Mike Whitney and articles like this on why Barack Obama is doomed.
No, Mr. President, Europe is not to blame and neither is congress. You, Barack Obama, are 100 percent responsible for the high unemployment and the dismal condition of the US economy. If you had been paying attention to business and listening to the zillions of competent economists (Stiglitz, Krugman, Reich, Thoma, Weisbrot, Galbraith, Baker, Roubini, etc. etc) who've repeated ad naseam that we needed more fiscal stimulus (and financial regulation "with teeth") then we wouldn't be in this mess today. But, now, because of your lackadaisical sit-on-your-duff-and-do-nothing attitude, the economy is headed back into the shitter which will pave the way for a Romney victory and 8 more years of trickle down, starve the beast, corporate welfare and warmongering. Thanks alot, Barry.
Whitney's tirade is typical of the "firebaggers" or "emoprogs" or "puritopians" these days, the folks who have no intention of voting for Barack Obama this November out of a sense of personal betrayal and unconstrained fury.
The bottom line is that Obama hasn't done a damn thing to fix the economy or put the country back to work. He thought he'd done "just enough" to finesse his way through the election and win another 4 years, but that's not the way it's working out. Now it looks like Obama will be a "one termer" who'll return to Chicago sometime in late January 2013 to join the "lecture circuit" and work on a multi-million dollar book deal. And the rest of us will be stuck with vulture capitalist, Mitt Romney.
President Obama has done "nothing". He is "100% responsible" for the economy's very real problems. Whitney also characterizes the President's chances of winning re-election as "zilch" elsewhere in the article. And most of all he is telling readers to accept being resigned to not just four, but eight years of Mitt Romney as President.
[...]The truth is, Obama could have pushed through any amount he wanted. He was elected in a landslide with a mandate to change the direction of the country. No one could have stopped him. He had carte blanche. Instead, he chose to betray the trust of the people who put him in office. He surrounded himself with the same Wall Street flunkey's as Bush and then proceeded to starve the government as best he could without literally sending the economy off the cliff.
Isn't that what happened, I mean, if we're going to be honest with each other?
It's not, of course. But Whitney and many like him, furious that Barack Obama hasn't been able to fix anything because of the existence of the other branches of the government, ignoring the real betrayal of Senate "centrists" and Blue Dogs in the House, and ignoring the lessons of 2010's election debacle which handed the House to the GOP assuring the last two years would be awful for 90% of America, have a narrative to sell.
Sites like Smirking Chimp and Fire Dog Lake set themselves up as the opposition to the powers that be from the left. They got donations. They gained political power in DC circles. Then something awful happened to them.
A Democrat was elected President. Suddenly their donations dried up. So they simply changed targets from Bush to Obama. It became a nice niche to have, and others joined the fight, picking up the model. They consider 2010's loss of 60+ House seats and 7 Senate seats as a personal success that they are happy to take credit for in order to "teach Obama and his supporters a lesson."
If you recognize the outright fanaticism of fever-bright "purity" at all costs layered over cynical manipulation to maintain status and power as representatives of the "party's true base", that's because it's the exact tactics that the Tea Party used to great success in 2009 and 2010 in cowing and purging the GOP of moderates, all while taking in oodles of cash for wingnut writers and websites.
The tactic isn't quite as successful on the Democratic side, but it's still a burgeoning cottage industry on the left. And make no mistake, they plan to continue to blame Obama for a long, long time. But you'll of course donate to their righteous cause to stop Mitt Romney in 2016, won't you? Or his successor in 2020? That's at least eight years of fighting the "good fight" by playing to lose, you know.
The reality is at this point in the game there are several "liberals and progressives" who are deeply invested in Barack Obama's defeat in November, financially, politically, professionally and personally. The only tool they have to generate page views and money is outrage, and that has to be directed at the President no matter what he does. The folks on the "left" who are now bound and determined to see the President defeated in November are trapped in a hell of their own making. And they profit the most by being the lords of that hell when we are all forced to join them under another Republican rule.
Only this time around, eight years of Romney would pretty much destroy the country, assure a Supreme Court that would be arch-conservative for decades, and would dismantle the safety net under hundreds of million of Americans for good, all but ending our 236-year experiment with representative democracy.
They're strangely okay with that, however. That should tell you something.