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Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:41 AM

Dear Liberals: Stop Complaining


by Michael Tomasky Jan 3, 2013 4:45 AM EST

Obama isn’t Captain Liberal. He’s the president. And liberal pundits who are up in arms about the fiscal-cliff deal seem not to recognize the difference. By Michael Tomasky.


Here’s my New Year’s resolution: I’m going to read less liberal grousing about Barack Obama. At the moment, we have a number of critics of the deal Obama just cut with the Republicans to avert the fiscal cliff. They make some fair points, about the deal and about Obama. But if there’s a style of criticism that really bugs me, it’s that which reproves him for failing to be Captain Liberal while refusing to recognize that the guy has to be Mister President. Here’s what I mean.

The standard liberal position in the run-up to the cliff deal, or at least a position taken by a number of prominent liberals, was that Obama should have let the country go over the cliff, because he’d immediately have more leverage after Jan. 1. Taxes would go up, the argument went, most of the country would blame the Republicans, and boomity-boomity-boom, they’d come crawling to Obama ready to sign a deal on his terms.

I will readily confess that the logic is, if not impeccable, only mildly peccable. The Republicans would have been over a barrel. Of course predicting what those people will do and how they’ll respond to any given situation is risky business, but presumably they would not have wanted to be blamed for middle-class tax rates going up, so they’d have done something vaguely rational.

I get it. But here’s what I think proponents of that argument don’t get. Obama isn’t some co-speaker. He’s the effing president. People want the president to lead. They may blame Republicans more than Democrats for obstruction, and that’s a good thing. But they still want the president to Get Things Done, and, however naively, they still think he ought to be able to just assert his will and Get Things Done.

-snip-

continue reading:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/03/dear-liberals-stop-complaining.html

22 replies, 1991 views

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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply Dear Liberals: Stop Complaining (Original post)
DonViejo Jan 2013 OP
AgingAmerican Jan 2013 #1
One of the 99 Jan 2013 #2
IDoMath Jan 2013 #3
AgingAmerican Jan 2013 #4
IDoMath Jan 2013 #7
craigmatic Jan 2013 #22
forestpath Jan 2013 #8
BlueCaliDem Jan 2013 #5
Norrin Radd Jan 2013 #6
Iggo Jan 2013 #9
alcibiades_mystery Jan 2013 #10
union_maid Jan 2013 #12
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #13
octoberlib Jan 2013 #16
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #11
Myrina Jan 2013 #14
frylock Jan 2013 #15
IDoMath Jan 2013 #17
Filibuster Harry Jan 2013 #18
JoePhilly Jan 2013 #19
Herlong Jan 2013 #20
craigmatic Jan 2013 #21

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:44 AM

1. Dear centrists, stop complaining about liberals?

n/t

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:45 AM

2. Great article

Thanks for posting.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:45 AM

3. The day I stop complaining is the day I stop voting.

 

So stop telling us to sit down and shut up. When we stop complaining we can expect the government to completely stop work for us.

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Response to IDoMath (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:47 AM

4. I will never understand why some Democrats now consider liberalism 'far left'

It is barely left of center.

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Response to AgingAmerican (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:57 AM

7. Because these days it IS Far left and has been since 1988

 

In 1988 Dukakis ran screaming from the 'L' word. Around 2004 Terry McAulife told democrats to avoid the 'L' word and, instead use the word 'progressive' thereby watering down the meaning.

The Republican party of 1956 is to the left of the DP of 2008. In our "rush to the center" we allowed the wingnuts of the right to pull us over the line.

When Paul Wellstone votes to approve the PATRIOT Act and no one will back Sen Byrd's call to "slow down" before rushing into Iraq, you know something is haywire. The RealPolitik side of the party is in control. That side has one goal - winning. They will sacrifice whatever they need to in order to win.

The brains maybe leading the party but the heart is being cut out.

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Response to IDoMath (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:11 PM

22. Exactly just like Labour in the UK and they still don't know what they stand for.

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Response to IDoMath (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:04 AM

8. +1

 

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:50 AM

5. I really like this article, especially

where Michael writes, "Obama is not the leader of a movement - he's the leader of a country".

I wished more of the Professional Left understand this very true point.

and rec'd!

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:50 AM

6. The Daily Beast is a rightwing website.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:26 AM

9. No.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:30 AM

10. Dumb article...progressive pressure is important for the legislative process

It is not only the right of the Left to complain mightily, it is our duty.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:34 AM

12. I believe the article said as much

In that it said that liberals should try to get the president to do liberal things as much as possible. It just is asking the far left to understand the difference between being president and being an advocate for one wing of one party.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:36 AM

13. I don't think that was the writer's intent ...

that liberals/progressives not pressure/advocate for a liberal/progressive agenda; but rather, as you have said on these pages, that liberals/progressive must accept the reality that the President's primary role is governing ... and governing, in our system of government, with divided government, sometimes requires not getting everything your partisan base would like.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:39 PM

16. +1

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:31 AM

11. Great Article. n/t

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:59 AM

14. We still have a First Amendment in place, yes?


So, no, I will NOT stop "complaining" -- for the sake of my country and the marginalized folks who've been trampled on by the 1% and the perpetual-corporate-apologists both in government and in the lobbying offices down the street.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:28 PM

15. fuck this shit.

then stop demanding my vote, assholes.

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Response to frylock (Reply #15)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 04:04 PM

17. +1 n/t

 

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 05:00 PM

18. I won't stop complaining either. I will applaud him when he does good -- and he has done alot of

that even while being obstructed by the Rs, but I will criticize when I think he deserves that. I don't know what either party's reaction would be if we were currently without a deal and over the cliff. I know both parties didn't want to go over it but it would have been interesting to see how much bargaining power the President would have with all those tax rates increasing especially the dividends tax on regular rates and the estate tax.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 05:58 PM

19. More shit stirring.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:42 PM

20. Stop paying attention!

 

You are making our job of screwing you over so much harder!

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:07 PM

21. Without liberals the party is just in it for the power. If we don't have principles we aren't worthy

of winning elections. Have we learned nothing from Bill Clinton? He sacrificed principles for power and all the centrist half measures he passed didn't last 2 years after he left office. In fact the 2 most centrist acts he passed DADT was corrupted by the republicans and the repeal of Glass-Stegal caused this recession.

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