Progressive disillusionment are the bon mots used today to describe the state of Obama supporters and liberal/progressives in general. It is not pretty as there is great discord and apathy among Democrats and Progressives as seen in the quotes below. This, despite the fact that the President and Party have managed to pass major Health Care Reforms, significant financial regulation, rescued the car industry with payback.
On the downside, the Obama administration has gotten embroiled further in Afghanistan with a horrid Karzai regime that is distinctly corrupt and ready to turncoat at a moments notice, failed to deliver an energy plan or successful climate change policy [both domestically and internationally], and with the active hindrance of the GOP, the Banks, many key industrialists and his own key economic advisors [think in particular, Bernanke, Geithner, Summers]- been unable to create the essential ingredient for recovery – more jobs. This death spiral of disillusion is reflected by the US Chamber of Commerce which has worked actively and for long stints to sidetrack healthcare, financial reform and other business legislation but then actively bleats that business can’t move forward because of so much “time and uncertainty” in financial and heath care policy. With no-friends like these – who needs enemies.
Here is some recent thinking on Progressive Disillusionment:
Paul Krugmanan, NYTimes – Curbing Your Enthusiasm
Why does the Obama administration keep looking for love in all the wrong places? Why does it go out of its way to alienate its friends, while wooing people who will never waver in their hatred?…Then there are the appointments. Yes, the administration needed experienced hands. But did all the senior members of the economics team have to be protégés of Robert Rubin, the apostle of financial deregulation? Was it necessary to install Ken Salazar at the Interior Department over the objections of environmentalists who feared, rightly, that his ties to extractive industries would make him slow to clean up a corrupt agency?…
But I worry that Mr. Obama is still wrapped up in his dream of transcending partisanship, while his aides dislike the idea of having to deal with strong, independent voices. And the end result of this game-playing is an administration that seems determined to alienate its friends.
Just to be clear, progressives would be foolish to sit out this election: Mr. Obama may not be the politician of their dreams, but his enemies are definitely the stuff of their nightmares. But Mr. Obama has a responsibility, too. He can’t expect strong support from people his administration keeps ignoring and insulting.
The Seventh Sense – Krugman is abundantly right today
Jonathan Cohn, New Republic – The
Stupidity of Liberal Apathy
…to see that President Obama, and the Democrats, are losing the love of their base. It’s a somewhat predictable decline, given lofty expectations for the Obama presidency and the stubbornly slow recovery…But liberal ambivalence isn’t just foolish substantively. It’s also foolish strategically.
American prospect – Fire on the Left
A friend whom I’ll call David raised a ton of money for Democrats in 2008 and now tells me they can go to hell. He’s furious about the no-strings bailout of Wall Street, the absence of a public option in health reform, financial reform that doesn’t cap the size of banks or reinstate the Glass-Steagall wall between investment and commercial banking, and a stimulus that was too small to do much good but big enough to give Republicans a campaign issue. He’s also upset about tens of thousands of additional troops being sent to Afghanistan, a watered-down cap-and-trade bill that’s going nowhere, and no Employee Free Choice Act. David won’t raise a penny this fall and doubts he’ll even vote. “I busted my chops getting them elected, and they caved,” he fumes. “They’re all lily-livered wimps, and Obama has the backbone of a worm.”
Takethe5th which has taken the Obama administration to task for its gutted financial reforms and failure to provide good administrative governance, nonetheless gives the last words to Paul Krugman – “Mr. Obama may not be the politician of their dreams, but his enemies are definitely the stuff of their nightmares.”.