The gap between the soaring expectations that accompanied Barack Obama's inauguration and his wretched performance is the broadest such chasm in recent historical memory. This guy makes Bill Clinton look like a paragon of integrity and follow-through ~ Ted Rall (b. 8/26/1963) columnist, syndicated editorial cartoonist, and author who claims Liberals aren't going to vote for President Obama in 2012; as quoted in his 5/29/2009 Illinois State Register Journal article, "It's Increasingly Evident that Obama Should Resign".
Obama's Chances for Re-election in 2012 may be ruined. If the President does fail to secure a second term the obvious question will be - whom do we blame? Many have already began to speculate about which group of Democratic voters will torpedo Obama's re-election bid. You may have heard that Rahm Emanuel thinks thinks Liberals are "fu*king retarded"... because they aren't falling into lockstep with the Democratic leadership and actually DARE to criticize the president. So clearly they're the ones we should hold responsible if a Republican returns to the White House in 2013.That's an opinion a blogger who calls himself Infidel753 agrees with. In the comment thread of a post on the blog Greedy Capitalist Pig 101, the Infidel blogger says...
|Infidel753: Look how many disappointed leftists stayed home last year and saddled us with Rand Paul and Scott Walker and the rest of these thugs and nuts in the first place.|
But this isn't the first time the Infidel blogger has complained about dissatisfied Leftists. I'm pretty sure he thinks Liberals fu*ked up the 2010 election and they're currently doing their best to fu*k things up in 2012. Later another blogger using the ID Bamboo linked to an article which he described as "very funny". In his funny commentary author Ted Rall makes the case that the next president might be a Republican because Obama won't be able to "Fool us Twice". In regards to what he terms Obama's "micro-mini-accomplishment lites", Rall says...
|TR: [Will they] be enough to pry liberal asses off the sofa on Election Day? I think not. On the big issues that really matter - war, the economy, civil liberties - Obama is a Rightwing Republican. He's only a Democrat on the little stuff. Liberals won't turn out big for Obama in 2012.|
Infidel is a moderate Democrat who believes the Tea Party won big in 2010 because Leftists stayed home. They did so because they were disgusted over the deal Obama struck with Congressional Republicans to extend the bush tax cuts - although personally he believes the deal was pretty good, the best Obama could do, or a necessary evil. Take your pick; I don't really care. Ted Rall is a political commentator (and cartoonist) propagating the meme that Infidel is buying into. Rall thinks the next president will be a Republican because Liberals won't vote for a president who so significantly let them down (and may as well be a Republican).
Seeing as Ted Rall is so very disappointed in Obama, he certainly can't vote for him in 2012. Luckily there is a possibility of "a strong primary challenge to Obama's left flank". Who might this strong primary challenger be? Citing the Libertarian Reason Magazine as his source, Rall says the challenger may be Russ Feingold. This causes me to question Mr. Rall's grasp of reality. Reason Magazine is a credible source concerning ANYTHING Liberal? How Liberals vote? How Liberals think? What Liberals may do?
Mr. Rall may agree with the Reason Magazine author he quoted, but Mr. Rall (and Reason Magazine) are wrong. Russ Feingold will NOT challenge Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination. Not unless Russ Feingold believes a Republican president is a better alternative (which I am positive he doesn't).
Ted Rall complains that President Obama is continuing many of the bush administration policies Liberals hoped he would quickly do away with. Indefinite detention, military tribunals and many of the other "lawless behaviors" of bush have been continued by Obama; and Ted Rall is unhappy (as are many Liberals). But instead of advocating that Americans work hard to pressure Obama to abandon these policies, Rall instead suggested Barack Obama resign the presidency - on 5/29/2009. On this date Barack Obama had been president exactly 130 days (or less than 4 months). I don't know how an Obama resignation would benefit Liberals (or the country). Was Ted Rall rooting for Joe Biden to win the nomination?
My conclusion is that I think Ted Rall doesn't have a freaking clue how the majority of Liberals (or Leftists) will vote (or not vote) in 2012. But the same holds true for the Infidel blogger; the polling data says they are both wrong. On the 4/4/2011 broadcast of the MSNBC program The Last Word host Lawrence O'Donnell said...
|LO: All the talk has been that the president has a problem with Liberals because he has disappointed Liberals. We have polling that indicates that among Democrats, Liberal Democrats support the president more than any other group. They support him 83 percent. Moderate Democrats are lower than that at 77 percent. This is after his compromising with Republicans that may have had more support among Moderates than among Liberals. I don't see in the polling where the challenge lies for the president with Liberals.|
In response, his guest Melissa Harris-Perry said...
|MHP: Liberals are most happy with him because relative to the alternative, they are the farthest away from the alternative. Yea, I think that's right, the moderates are the problem. It's always that issue for a candidate. He's got to get those swing voters and keep his base mobilized.|
FYI - I searched for the source of the polling Larry said he had, but couldn't find it. There was onscreen graphic showing the "polling results" at the time LO spoke of the support from various Democratic factions, but I don't recall if it said (onscreen) what the source for their data was. The transcript makes no mention of onscreen graphics.
I trust Mr. O'Donnell. He says Liberals are going to vote for Obama in 2012. I'm a Liberal and I plan on voting for President Obama again. The reason isn't that I'm not disappointed in ways similar to how Ted Rall is disappointed (which I am). Rall makes a lot of valid points, but his conclusions are wrong. The Infidel blogger who believes that Tea Party victories in 2010 were due to disappointed Leftists staying home is also wrong. While it is true a lot of people who voted for the president in 2008 didn't show up to vote in the 2010 midterms - those people weren't Leftists. They were the usual non-voting types who have traditionally not participated.
A study highlighted in a 11/24/2010 article posted on the Project Vote website reveals that, "two years ago, African-Americans, lower-income Americans, and young Americans all participated in the 2008 presidential election in decisive numbers, making it the most diverse electorate in history. In 2010, however, these historically underrepresented groups were underrepresented again, as they... largely stayed home".
The Democratic losses in the 2010 midterms can be blamed on politically inactive non-voters who got excited in 2008 and voted for Obama. Once Obama was elected and nothing significantly changed they went BACK to being politically inactive non-voters. The Tea Party victories in 2010 can NOT be attributed to Liberals or Leftists, so the Infidel blogger should stop pointing his finger of blame at them.
If President Obama loses his re-election bid in 2012 we should blame the aforementioned inactive non-voters as well as independent moderate swing voters. These dipshits who voted for President Obama may actually decide returning a Republican to the executive office is a good idea. To these wishy-washy middle-of-the-roaders I say, pick a political philosophy and stick with it.
The blogger Bamboo says an obama loss in 2012 should be blamed on "the elites of the Democratic Party that abandoned [him]". While I agree with Bamboo that neoliberalism is a scourge that has infected the Democratic party and is the primary source of frustration progressives have with the Democratic Party, I'm not so sure Obama isn't a Neoliberal convert. He suggested during the lead up to the election that a renegotiation of NAFTA might be possible, but quickly dropped that notion after winning the election. He also hired a number of ex-Clinton financial advisors, including the neoliberal-ish deregulation-loving Larry Summers.
In my opinion Barack Obama has shown himself to be a third-way Bill Clinton-emulating Corporatist. He may very well not be that much better an alternative to whomever the Republicans run. Obama may be, according to Ted Rall, "a right-wing Republican [who is] only a Democrat on the little stuff", but the Republican nominee will be a Democrat on NO STUFF, of that you can be assured.
Does Ted Rall believe we should throw in the towel and turn our country over to the plutocrats without a fight? Or does he believe our only hope is for a miracle to occur and somehow (impossible as it REALLY is) Russ Feingold gets elected president - or challenges Obama and pushes him to the Left (and after that Obama still wins, despite the fact that primary challenges usually weaken a candidate)?
By the way, the topic of my commentary thus far is, "which group of constituents do we blame if Barack Obama isn't re-elected". My answer was (and still is) NOT Liberals (or Leftists), but politically inactive non-voters and independent moderate swing voters. If the question were, "of everyone who might be responsible for an Obama defeat, who should we blame?", then the answer would be Barack Obama himself, as well as the Neoliberals and Corporatists who have corrupted the Democratic Party - which is a crying shame. I did have hope when I initially voted for BO that he would deliver on his promise of change.
Even so, my opinion is that we should re-elect President Obama - and then CONTINUE pressuring him to move to the Left. It may not work, but I see no alternative. In any case Obama may have no choice BUT to move to the Left if the economy crashes again; a goal the Republicans are actively working to achieve. If that happens, as is posited by Ravi Batra in his book "The New Golden Age", the American people may rise up and DEMAND change.
Mr. Batra's book is subtitled "The Coming Revolution against Political Corruption and Economic Chaos", so protests similar to those in Egypt may not be unthinkable. I hope it doesn't come to that, but it may be inevitable. Certainly we cannot continue down this same path for much longer; that path being the one where the rich get continually richer while everyone else is asked to sacrifice.
(Please note that I edited the quotes I pulled from "The Last Word" for brevity and clarity. They are not verbatim, but they are very close).
9/25/2014 Update: The blog "Greedy Capitalist Pig" was a temporary name change. The blog name is actually "Truth Shall Rule", which is the now-shuttered/closed-to-the-public blog of Joe Kelly (AKA "Truth 101", AKA Joe Hagstrom). If you click the link above all you will see is a notice that says the blog is "open to invited readers only".