Abandoning Obama?

I just checked Andrew Sullivan’s Sitemeter. Oh sure, I know he’s still a big name blogger, but I’m curious to see his traffic stats given his latest meltdown over Scott Brown’s election. What kind of demand is there for these really freaked screeds against the voters in MA? (Sully peaked in the early afternoon at just over 14 thousand visitors for the 1:00 o’clock hour, and he’s thus gettin’ well over 150,000 visitors for the day.) He’s got a post up at the moment, “Now Fight!” (a Google link is here), and the least I can say is the guy’s never boring:

The seismic events of the last few days ends, in some respects, the phony war of the first year of Obama’s presidency. As is the case in truly fracturing democracies, the opposition simply does not and cannot accept the fact that it is out of power. The incoherence of the opposition to Obama – that he is both Jimmy Carter and Adolf Hitler, as Stephen Colbert pointed out last night – reveals the irrationality of the hate. It began immediately on the FNC/RNC right. And the ferocity of the campaign against Obama, the sheer dickishness of the GOP and its acolytes, the total oppositionism to everything he has done and indeed anything he might do… suggests that any hope for some kind of cooperation from this rump is impossible.

But the truth is that these forces have also been so passionate, so extreme, and so energized that in a country reeling from a recession, the narrative – a false, paranoid, nutty narrative – has taken root in the minds of some independents. Obama, under-estimating the extremism of his opponents, has focused on actually addressing the problems we face. And the rest of us, crucially, have sat back and watched and complained and carped when we didn’t get everything we want. We can keep on carping if we want to. But it seems to me that continuing that – as HuffPo et al. appear to be doing – is objectively siding with the forces of profound reaction right now.

Don’t get me wrong. Criticism is still vital. I’m not going to give up on advocating marriage equality or a carbon tax, rather than cap and trade, or for an independent investigation of Bush era war crimes. I think pushing Obama to a more populist position on banks is well and good. But given the alternative, I am going to step up my support of this president in the face of what he is confronting, even when he is not exactly doing everything I want. In my view, you should too.

There’s more at the post, but I didn’t link it (check Google if you want more of Sullivan’s wallowing). Still, I’m intrigued at this notion that independent voters have been brainwashed with all this “false, paranoid, nutty” talk — but apparently not so much during the 2008 election, when conservatives foretold precisely how bad this administration would be. (Couldn’t be economic issues and the ObamaCare boondoggle, right Andrew?)

Anyway, not everyone’s so quick to double-down on their support for the president. Barack Obama was a phenemonon in 2008, but it’s amazing the kind of Icarus effect he’s having. Nowadays, if you don’t toe the line of your most partisan cadres at the base, you could end up losing them all together in a mass pathology of anger and rejection. We saw this already with Jane Hamsher (who was willing to enter into some truly bizarre alliances to defeat healthcare without the public option), but when Paul Krugman starts to question allegiances, then something’s really up. See, “He Wasn’t The One We’ve Been Waiting For“:

… I have to say, I’m pretty close to giving up on Mr. Obama, who seems determined to confirm every doubt I and others ever had about whether he was ready to fight for what his supporters believed in.

If you read Krugman in 2009, especially his “letter” to the new president last January, then you can appreciate how significant the left’s disenchantment has become.

More here, from Greg Sargent, “SEIU Chief: If Dems Pass Scaled-Down Health Bill, Labor Will Have Trouble Staying ‘Focused On National Politics’” (via Memeorandum). And, from Hot Air, “SEIU Warns Obama: If ObamaCare Doesn’t Pass, We Might Not Be There for the Midterms.”

Cross-posted from American Power.

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