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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Circular firing squad

There was always a grain of truth to Tom Finneran's blast against "the loony left."

No, we don't make up lies about Republican in power and spew racial and ethnic hatred across radio and cable TV. We don't set out for Day One to destroy the agenda of GOP elected officials. We adhere to the old-fashioned notion of a loyal opposition.

Our preference is for circular firing squads, taking aim and weakening our own in the face of the swill coming from the other side.

This is the essence of the latest kerfuffle emerging from Washington where presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs got himself into hot water with the White House press corps-- again -- by speaking the truth.

And much as when he said Democrats are in danger of losing the House, then men and women of the politicotariat couldn't handle the truth when he took a few swipes at the "professional left."

Yeah, we mean y0u Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow and your print colleagues who are paid to generate controversy and disagreement. That you are more civil and humane than your counterparts on the right is a good things, but you are no different that Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck in how you make your living.

And while there is some truth in the words of fellow pro-leftie Robert Kuttner that the critiques are out of "tough love," the motive doesn't change the fact it amounts to piling on when the other side is looking to rip Obama from limb to limb.

As my friend Dan Kennedy tweeted the other day, did anyone really think Obama was the second coming of Dennis Kucinich?

The health care reform law may not be perfect but it is LAW, something we have worked for over decades.

The economy is still in critical condition, in part because of the depth of the problems inherited and in part because of the half measures required by the outright hostility exhibited by congressional Republicans who put Obama's failure ahead of the public good -- aided and abetted by weak-kneed Democrats.

Ditto for financial regulation reform and the auto industry bailout.

After after putting to two solid women on the Supreme Court, the professional left is annoyed there won't be climate change legislation this year. Maybe because we still need to deal with the Bush tax cuts and Republicans who once declared "deficits don't matter."

Yes the Afghanistan surge is looking more and more like a recipe for disaster, but on the whole very impressive accomplishments for 20 months in the face of irrational opposition from the right.

So a word to my friends on the professional left: back off. There's a time for tough love and this isn't it, not when the other side is looking to carve you up and have you for lunch.

Let's undo that circular firing squad.

I'm heading off for some much-needed R&R. Play nice while I'm away and please come back again.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous wellbasically said...

There is real disagreement though, don't you think? Many Democrats concluded after 1994 that Clinton lost Congress because he didn't pass the health care law.

Now Obama is about to lose Congress again, except that he passed the healthcare law (he has also committed to raising taxes). Now whether you want these things to happen or not, it's undeniable that the elections will be a test of various theories about what the country wants.

The left wants it both ways however, in that Obama has obviously gone left of the country, though not radically. The left sees the oncoming disaster as well as anybody, but wants to make a claim that Obama should have gone more radically to the left. It's really not so different from 1994.

However when you set out to protect yourself all the time, as the left is doing, your claims can never really be tested, and you never really learn.

August 13, 2010 9:27 AM  

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