The Liberal Blogger Reaction To The Shellacking They Just Suffered

by John Hawkins | November 4, 2010 5:17 am

The most fascinating thing about the liberal blogger analysis of the election? Very few of them seem to be concluding that the beating that they just suffered has anything to do with all the unpopular policies that were pushed over the last two years. In other words, the idea that forcing through widely disliked liberal policies over the loud protests of a center-right nation could have led to their defeat — that doesn’t seem to have dawned on most of them.

So, what was their reaction? For the most part, either impotently stomping their adorable little feet because the mean old Republicans won, crazy talk (We compromised too much with the Republicans), or talking about how important it is for Obama to continue to pursue far-left-wing policies. Here are some of the more eye catching responses. Enjoy!

Tuesday’s election, and months of Tea Party and other well-funded rebellions, brought back to power the F-You Boys, the F-You Men, and — if exit polls confirm a narrowing of the gender gap — F-You Women as well, exemplified by Sarah Palin’s “mama grizzlies.” Economic frustration is on the rise, and the results tracked it — in the Midwest, in the border South, and particularly in the Rocky Mountain West, states like Arizona and Nevada that once believed they were “recession proof” are now enduring unemployment rates well over 10 percent. But there were also F-You Billionaires, like the Koch Brothers, whose principal economic frustration is that their inherited fortunes might be modestly taxed; and the F-You Wall Streeters, who two years ago supported Barack Obama, and whose industry was saved by government bailout, but who now seem to have convinced themselves that they were the passive victims of a hostile takeover. — The American Prospect[1]

So the bloodbath is over. I remember waking up the day after Bush won reelection in 2004 and had a similar feeling, only we didn’t hold the White House. It’s been discussed on this blog and others what we thought the mistakes were since 2008, so I won’t go into it all of it again. A good result was that the Blue Dogs lost almost fifty percent of their caucus while the CPC held onto almost ninety five percent. The Third Way idiots are going to beat their chests, but their way leads only to more disaster for Democrats, so ignore Harold Ford, please. — John Amato, Crooks And Liars[2]

Half of the Blue Dog incumbents were defeated, and by themselves accounted for close to half of the Democratic losses. Some of us have been arguing for quite some time that the Rahm-engineered dependence on Blue Dog power is one of the many factors that has made the Democratic Party so weak, blurry, indistinguishable from the GOP, and therefore so politically inept, and would thus be stronger and better without them. — Glenn Greenwald[3]

Soir: Après le merde, le déluge

The Frenchified title is intended for the usual reasons, namely, to rub teabagger wingnut noses in their swinish lack of sophistication. I’d say I was just making a joke, but I’m afraid our right-blog friends have cracked that code, so why pretend?

Though apart from the obvious allusion to the fact that all Republican voters are dreadful unlettered hillbillies who poo in their trucker caps and only have sex with chickens because the goats move too fast and are probably gay Muslims anyway… — Firedoglake[4]

Of course there’s also the Flailing Rage Factor, which I tend to favor as a reason for yesterday’s outcome more than ignorance or lack of Democratic marketing chops. For two years now, Americans have been incited by fakery and horror stories to the point of being pumped up into a ‘roid raging mob chanting shallow platitudes and bumper sticker zingers — incoherently attacking Speaker Pelosi’s face, and bent out of shape by the fact that there’s not a doddering old white guy stumbling through the West Wing spinning grandfatherly yarns about American mornings and saintly cowboys.

Ultimately, what Americans voted for yesterday was divided government, which admittedly isn’t new in American politics. We typically like the idea of two sides, Congress and the White House, locking horns and ultimately compromising on the important matters of the day. — Bob Cesca, The Huffington Post[5]

So, we’re already getting the expected punditry: Obama needs to end his leftist policies, which consist of … well, there weren’t any, but he should stop them anyway.

What actually happened, of course, was that Obama failed to do enough to boost the economy, plus totally failing to tap into populist outrage at Wall Street. And now we’re in the trap I worried about from the beginning: by failing to do enough when he had political capital, he lost that capital, and now we’re stuck.

But he did have help in getting it wrong: at every stage there was a faction of Democrats standing in the way of strong action, demanding that Obama do less, avoid spending money, and so on. In so doing, they shot themselves in the face: half of the Blue Dogs lost their seats.

And what are those who are left demanding? Why, that Obama move to the center. — Paul Krugman[6]

I wonder what brand of champagne they’re drinking tonight at John Birch Society headquarters?

They really are the comeback story of the last two years. Not long ago, associations with the Birchers would have been the political kiss of death. Now they’re everywhere in the GOP.

The resurrection of the John Birch Society is one measure of the extremist takeover of the GOP – a resurgence that just happens to coincide with the election of our first African American president. Coincidence? — Little Green Footballs[7]

Barack Obama is a wretched excuse for a president and leader of the Democratic Party. Nevermind this nonsense about a blanket “anti-incumbent” fevah. This was a repudiation of our party’s leaders and their policies. Instead of offering voters anything in the way of changed course–mortgage moratorium? Timothy Geithner’s head?–the White House decided to essentially ride out the clock. The thing about congressional politics is this: most representatives are hack politicians–one way or the other. Not every Democrat that voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, corporatist health care “reform,” etc., was Barney Frank or Obama. That is to say, left-wing agents of finance capital. The vast majority of these folk merely toe the line. Consequently the onus is on this president and he sacrificed a great deal of decent people last night. Many of them would have been willing to go down for a hell of a lot more than Mitt Romney’s health care plan. This man has to go. — Jack Landsman, MyDD[8]

The Right couldn’t have built a constituency that believes Obama is either a foreign-born alien, a secret Muslim advancing al Qaeda’s agenda, or a communist, unless countless conservatives held such intense prejudice toward blacks that they embrace patent absurdity as a pathetic rationalizing buttress for their enormous bias.

It’s psychologically easier for many to accept off-the-wall assertions than to openly blurt out, “I don’t want a (N-word) running MY country!”

Relatedly, Republican “Just say No!” strategy is designed to destroy Obama. But wouldn’t it also cause failure so severe that majority Americans would be disinclined to vote for any non-white office seeker again?

The decibel level of bigoted ranting at Tea Party rallies, or disrupted public forums, exactly measures how far we’ve yet to go to realize Dr. King’s dream.

…Reactionary talk radio and Fox Noise have so brainwashed at least one-fifth of our population that they’ll quickly respond with pride and honor to any future call for stormtrooper recruitment.

It’s that prospect that we have harrowing cause to fear the most.

Benito Mussolini once remarked that full fascism is achieved when it’s impossible to slip a cigarette paper between corporations and the state. Who can convincingly argue that we’re not perilously close to that status today?

Is there anything we can do about all this? — Dennis Rahkonen, The Smirking Chimp[9]

Let’s not shoot the messenger. Yes, the tea party victors are a mixed bag espousing often contradictory and at times weird positions, the source of their funding is questionable and their proposed solutions are vague and at times downright nutty. But they represent the most significant political response to the economic pain that has traumatized swaths of the nation at a time when so-called progressives have been reduced to abject impotence by their deference to a Democratic president.

Barack Obama deserved the rebuke he received at the polls for a failed economic policy that consisted of throwing trillions at Wall Street but getting nothing in return. His amen chorus in the media is quick to blame everyone but the president for his sharp reversal of fortunes. But it is not the fault of tea party Republicans that they responded to the rage out there over lost jobs and homes while the president remained indifferent to the many who are suffering.

…Some Democratic leaders will urge Obama to follow President Bill Clinton’s lead after his party’s electoral reversal in the 1994 election and move even further to the right to strengthen his prospects for re-election. It was that opportunistic shift by Clinton that led to his signing off on the radical deregulation of the financial industry that caused the economic meltdown. If Obama follows such advice it will spell further disaster for the nation. — Robert Scheer, Truthdig[10]

  1. The American Prospect:
  2. Crooks And Liars:
  3. Glenn Greenwald:
  4. Firedoglake:
  5. The Huffington Post:
  6. Paul Krugman:
  7. Little Green Footballs:
  8. MyDD:
  9. The Smirking Chimp:
  10. Truthdig:

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