Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Enemy of My Enemy

Glenn Greenwald has retweeted some attacks on the TV news host Chris Hayes for daring to question the motives of the Obama White House. My favorite so far is this one:

The teedster has received some criticism, but the thing that struck me was that skepticism, let alone criticism, of Obama has never been acceptable to his devotees. As soon as he was elected, as soon as he took office, critics were told that it was too soon to criticize or complain, we should just wait and see what he does. Never mind that he was doing things already: selecting a cabinet full of party hacks and Blue Dogs, including people who were responsible for the economic crisis. As I wrote at the time, Obama's corporate supporters weren't sitting back and waiting, they were making sure that his conduct was acceptable to them and their interests.

The Republicans didn't do well in the off-year elections of 2010 because of Democratic traitors, they did well because the economy was still in bad shape, and because Obama couldn't or wouldn't respond to Republican attacks effectively. He preferred a "bipartisan" stance, ostensibly intended to conciliate his enemies in Congress and elsewhere, which led to his conceding far too much to them. The more he talked and acted like a Republican, the less good he looked to the public. On top of that, he chose to attack left and liberal critics, and to make half-assed excuses even to ardent supporters, even during the 2010 campaign; when they needed inspiration, he withheld it. And now his fans are busy flooding the Internet with cute pictures of the Obama family -- aren't they cute? -- which is all they have to fall back on, it seems. When my Tabloid Friend on Facebook posted two of these in quick succession yesterday morning, I asked whether I shouldn't just vote for a kitty cat, if cuteness was the criterion for an American President. Write in LOLcats in 2012!

Assuming that Obama is re-elected this fall, we can expect more of the same, even though he'll be a lame duck. After all, there will still be the 2014 elections to come, and "loyalty" doesn't stop being an issue even when there are no elections to come. (Just as patriotism means loyalty to the United States no matter what country you happen to be a citizen of, loyalty means loyalty to President Obama even if you're not a Democrat, as I am not.) We'll have to keep the Democratic brand strong for 2016! We're in an endless election cycle, and dissent is never tolerated by true believers.