Monday, June 14, 2010

After Obama? Progressives Getting Fed Up With 'The One'

Via Allahpundit, some interesting developments in the long-building Obama backlash on the progressive left. Actually, Allah's taking about British MP Daniel Hannan's buyer's remorse, but my interest is in Joan Walsh's piece at Salon, "Protecting the Obama Brand":

Two stories about President Obama this weekend pushed my growing unease with his recent moves into full-blown anxiety. They come on the heels of Tim Dickinson's devastating Rolling Stone piece laying out concrete problems with Obama's response to the BP oil spill – from delays in cleaning up the Minerals Management Service, distrusting scientists who correctly reported the spill was much bigger than BP said, and waiting more than a week to declare the crisis "an Oil Spill of National Significance," which corralled new services. Maybe the most damning section of Dickinson's piece comes when he quotes the president proudly announcing he'd reversed his stand against offshore oil drilling. "It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don't cause spills," the president said. "They are technologically very advanced." Dickenson notes: "Eighteen days later, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the Deepwater Horizon rig went off like a bomb."

Of the weekend's worrisome Obama stories, the first was Politico's Roger Simon's interview with Obama, published in full today, in which his self-defense about how he's handled the BP oil disaster sounded whiny and juvenile, and raised big questions about whether he's capable of fighting the battles he needs to enter and win to move the country forward. The other was Matt Bai's "Democrat in Chief?" in the New York Times Magazine, which showed that Obama and his team seem more focused on protecting the "brand" that they believe galvanized millions of new voters, young voters and independents in 2008, to potentially realign American politics, than with helping Democrats hold the House and Senate.

Not sure why Walsh doesn't link to NYT's Sunday Magazine, so here goes, "Democrat in Chief?"

But be sure to finish Walsh's piece. She can't help laying some of the blame on the tea parties:
There are two pressing reasons that I find Obama's current stasis so worrisome. One is that we're at a dangerous time, given the world economy, and on the right, Obama's election has worsened a 20-year pattern of Republican obstruction and destruction (and it's got an undercurrent of hate and demonization that can't be denied.) At the same time, Obama has an incredible moment to articulate what Democratic leadership stands for: Improving the lives of ordinary Americans, protecting the country from the unbridled, deregulated dangerous corporate excess, and moving boldly on problems, like climate change, that require boldness and leadership.
And "boldness" on climate change? Well, it takes boldness to pass off that much B.S. on the public, especially since the AGW consensus has been completely destroyed.

(Note that unhappiness with Obama's been growing for some time, and if this progressive dissent keeps building look for Jane Hamsher and her henchmen to back a 2012 primary challenge a la Eugene McCarty '68.)

And by the way, Melanie Phillips has a fabulous discussion of the AGW fraud and more at her new book, The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power. I'm really enjoying it. Most important book I've read this year.