Blue Texan at FDL catches Slate's Gingrich Pin Up Boy William Saleton opining that any lefty who doesn't support Obama's every move is a political idiot and a danger to the race of real men.
I'm happy with everything he's [President Obama] done. [...] For them [progressives] to be complaining just shows how little they know about politics.
Now I seriously doubt Will Saletan knows more about politics than Paul Krugman or Dean Baker or Robert Scheer.
But leaving aside his silly "you'd have to be a naive idiot not to agree with Obama" thesis, what's particularly annoying about this segment is John Dickerson frames the issue as whether Obama "has done enough." That's not the issue. Nor are liberals upset with Obama because getting things done in politics sometimes requires compromises - even though Obama was given huge historical margins in the House and Senate.
The fact is, as Commander-in-Chief, Obama doesn't have to compromise on foreign policy and civil liberties. He could've ordered the troops home in Afghanistan and Iraq. He could've rolled back the most odious Bush-era executive power policies. And the public option wasn't traded away as some sort of grand bargain to win the votes of recalcitrant Blue Dogs or Republicans - it was a blatant backroom sell-out to hospitals-exactly the kind of sleazy shenanigans Obama decried during the campaign.
Yeah, pretty much. So, as Digby and David Dayen and Avedon Carol and others including me have wondered so many times, are the geniuses behind the Democrat party strategy going to come up with some new ideas to win back that disaffected base? Well, according to a symposium put together by that bastion of the SCLM, the NYT, the answer is a resounding YES! The only problem is that it's not entirely clear which base it is the Dems want to win.
See, almost every "expert" they asked is on an ideological line from Third Way Blue Dog conservative icon David Frum to ex-Bush Press Sec Ari Fleischer. Along the way we're treated to no doubt scintillating views from the likes of Clinton hanger-on Donna Brazile, the woman largely responsible for the train wreck that was the pre-October Gore campaign (Gore stopped listening to Brazile's "advice" in September, at which point his dismally spiralling numbers made an instantaneous and lusty recovery), and ex-Clinton strategist Mark Penn, a guy who seemingly never saw a GoOPer policy he didn't swallow like Linda Lovelace on her best day. Below we summarize what each of these paragons has to say, and if you've been following the GOP's usual TP's, you're going to hear things you've heard before.
Question: Can Obama Rebound?
David Frum, Reagan Democrat Ruler of the Universe
Obama moved Democrats too far to the left. More Bush!
Stanley Greenburg, Republicrat Third Way Pollster
Reduce the deficit, more offshore oil drilling.
Donna Brazile, Political Loser Extraordinaire
More legislation won't work. Attack the Pubs for being obstructionists preventing all those great progressive policies he might otherwise have passed if it wasn't for them.
Bob Kerrey, ex-Nebraska Senator and Blue Dog Founder
More Reagan! Revive New Federalism, downsize gummint, more corporate give-aways.
Mark Penn, Another Third Way Pollster and Conservative Booster
[T]he voters who elected him but now feel he has moved too far to the left. That means making a real down payment on the deficit, revamping the health care act to address the cost issue, opening up new markets overseas and creating jobs by promoting innovation through spending on basic research.
The center isn't in the center, it's on the right, you dolts!
Elizabeth Edwards, Famous Victim of Cancer & Infidelity
Fight cancer. (She has nothing to say on the subject of infidelity.)
Ed Rollins, Reagan Apostle and Campaign Director
Stop blaming Bush! Be more positive.
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Third Way Think Tank Director and Shameless Corporate Stooge
More spin! More sell! Things are getting better but those stupid voters just won't believe it. Make them believe it.
Gray Davis, Recalled ex-California Gov who believed Enron's promises
Do what I did.
Harold Ford Jr, DLC Chair and Ass-Kissing Wall Street Stooge
Raise the retirment age to 70 and cut Social Security benefits. Lower capital gains taxes, more corporate tax breaks. Go Wall Street!
Bob Shrum, ex-DLC Strategist and Third Way "Maverick"
Stay the course.
Jonathan Alter, Newsweek Columnist and Beltway Bootblack
Pretend he's doing something he's not doing by calling it something else.
Ari Fleischer, BushBaby Manque
Don't do anything.
There are only two panelists, largely unknown to the Outside World, who represent the genuine center.
Bill Hillsman, ex-Wellstone Political Commercial Consultant
For most independents, the bailout of Wall Street was a grave injustice. While the Obama administration has been engrossed in worthy long-term issues - health care, the environment, terrorism - it has let Main Street down. Unemployment is still rampant, there is little money flowing to small businesses, entrepreneurship has been stifled.
Independents believe in a level playing field, and have no faith in big business or big government. And they absolutely have no patience for "too big to fail" arguments while their families and neighbors consistently find themselves overlooked in the president's economic palliatives.
The president's supporters are fond of saying that "elections have consequences." As Mr. Obama and his team try to figure out how to re-engage independent voters in 2012, they will discover just how true that is.
Mark Blumenthal, HuffPo Senior Editor
It's the economy, stupid.
[A]s he begins his campaign for re-election in 2012, his challenge will be less about persuasion than about delivering tangible results on the issues that Americans care about the most.
Above all, that means improving the economy. According to the most recent CBS News survey, 82 percent of Americans believe the economy is in a bad condition, 74 percent believe it is staying the same or getting worse and 75 percent expect the effects of the recession to last an additional two years or more. It is no surprise that nearly three out of four Americans believe the stimulus package has had "no impact" or "made things worse," or that only 40 percent approve of President Obama's handling of the economy.
Blumenthal, because he's right, is of course not being asked by the Democrats to contribute his thoughts or help build strategy for the coming elections. As BT says:
But I'm sure Saletan is actually giving voice to the Village/Rahm worldview, which goes something like this: STFU, liberals. You got your damn health care bill. What more do you want?
How about a Third Party instead of a Third Way? Why do we need the Democrats when we've got Republicans? Cause they'll steal from us slower than the Pubs? Is that what we've come to?
As fas as the Beltway is concerned, it is.
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