Reaction To Attacks on Obama From Right and Left

There is response to attacks on Barack Obama from both the right and left. Eugene Robinson responded to attacks against Obama after he received the Nobel Peace Prize:

The problem for the addlebrained Obama-rejectionists is that the president, as far as they are concerned, couldn’t possibly do anything right, and thus is unworthy of any conceivable recognition. If Obama ended world hunger, they’d accuse him of promoting obesity. If he solved global warming, they’d complain it was getting chilly. If he got Mahmoud Abbas and Binyamin Netanyahu to join him around the campfire in a chorus of “Kumbaya,” the rejectionists would claim that his singing was out of tune.

Let the rejectionists fulminate and sputter until they wear their vocal cords out. Politically, they’re only bashing themselves. As Republican leaders — except RNC Chairman Michael Steele — are beginning to realize, “I’m With the Taliban Against America” is not likely to be a winning slogan.

The far right already resembles the Taliban, even if to a far less degree, with their support for religious fundamentalism and rejection of the modern world. This just gives them one more topic to agree on. With the right wing echo chamber causing the right wing to increasingly reject reality and adopt extremism, there really might not be any significance between them after a few more years of a Democratic president.

Meanwhile BooMan is venting against those on the left who have been attacking Obama in response to the overreaction to an anonymous comment yesterday:

You call him a warmonger, but he gets the Nobel Peace Prize. He ends torture and allows his Attorney General to investigate it, and you call him a torturer. He tries to enact health care reform with a robust public option and you accuse him of seeking every opportunity to sell-out to the insurance industry. He bails out the cratering financial services industry and prevents a second Great Depression, and you accuse him of selling his soul to corporate CEO’s. I’m not saying that all of these criticisms lack validity. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t advocate for the things they care about passionately. I just want to know where you get the fucking idea that an anonymous White House staffer who gets asked about all this criticism would feel obligated to show you deference and respect.

What’s he supposed to say? That all the criticism is right on the mark?

The truth of the matter is, right or wrong, the progressive blogosphere has been a more severe and on point critic of the Obama administration than any teabagger. And, in many ways, that is to the community’s credit. We don’t embrace the cheerleader’s role and that gives us more credibility. When the president screws up, we’re willing to call him on it. But, Jesus Christ, do you expect the administration to lie down and say, ‘Thank you, sir, may I have another’?

If you berate them for not closing Guantanamo fast enough, not ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell fast enough, not evacuating Iraq fast enough, not passing a health care bill fast enough, and so on…do you not expect one their number to at some point push back and point out that making these kind of changes takes time and is a bit difficult?

There are legitimate policy areas where people on the left might criticize Obama, but some are losing all perspective. We must consider the mess which Obama inherited, and the amount of opposition to many liberal goals from the right. To some degree this is a matter of expectations. I never expected the United States to turn into a Utopia under Obama–After Bush I primarily wanted to see a president who did not do so many awful things. It is also a question of time. Not everything can be achieved in less than one year.I am often just happy that, whenever Obama is on television, we have a president who can speak coherently about the issues.

While I have not agreed with all of Obama’s decisions, he does deserve credit for his record so far this year. So far we have had reversals of Bush policies on matters such as the ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, raids on sellers of medicinal marijuana, and the global gag rule. His economic policies may have kept us out of a depression. The Nobel Peace Prize does demonstrate how he has changed attitudes about the United States elsewhere in the world. We are near passage of comprehensive health care reform and responding to global warming is now on the table. Neither the health care legislation or proposals to deal with climate change might be perfect, but they represent a considerable change from a president who opposed any meaningful health care reform, tried to destroy Medicare with the original proposals for his Medicare D plan, and who denied the scientific evidence for global warming. It is one thing to push Obama for more progress. It is totally insane, as some on the left are doing, to claim we are living in the third Bush term.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a comment