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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 05:18 PM
Original message
On Criticizing President Obama
But the hushing of the criticism of honest opponents is a dangerous thing. It leads some of the best of the critics to unfortunate silence and paralysis of effort, and others to burst into speech so passionately and intemperately as to lose listeners. Honest and earnest criticism from those whose interests are most nearly touched,--criticism of writers by readers, --this is the soul of democracy and the safeguard of modern society.

W.E.B. DuBois


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Voice for Peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 05:20 PM
Response to Original message
1. .. ok but let us also encourage. he has taken on a superhuman task.
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Absolutely.
We are here to support, encourage and steer.
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LSparkle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
3. Constructive criticism is a GOOD thing ...
Unfortunately, some have let it become just plain criticism
(of the "I'm going to take my marbles and go to the Green
Party" variety).
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. There is some of that.
But, critical thinking is necessary to participate. No criticism is dangerous. Knee-jerk, perpetual outrage is ineffective and petty.

Honest criticism is critical.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. I agree with you and the wonderful quote in the op
In addition to the ones you mention - it would be great never to hear Obama or any other Democrat described in super negative terms because they couldn't get everything someone wanted done the minute they wanted it.
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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
5. I fail to see how it is constructive...
To give Obama such a hard time at this early stage in the game and to base thoughts of his entire term on what we've seen so far. There hasn't even been enough time for many to "get" what he is doing. That is abundantly clear by reading DU and a lot of other message boards. When things he has actually done have gone awry, then constructive criticism is warranted. It's all based on assumptions at this point, and there is nothing smart or fair about that.
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Point taken on 'wait and see'.
But, some things have been done that warrant criticism. His approval of strikes in Pakistan and the surge in Afghanistan are two. I have no problem with anything he has done as far as domestic issues, and political approaches. He is an intelligent man and a careful politician. He has my full support, but I wanted to reaffirm our need to be honest critics.

I just see many attempts to stifle ANY criticism of Obama or other Democrats.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. But criticizing those two specific things is constructive criticism
especially if an argument is made as to why. I agree with you in wanting to reaffirm our need to be honest critics. The worst thing we could do is close our eyes and accept in a Democrat what we would criticize in a Republican - it would make us hypocrites.

There is a difference between rejecting Obama as a President or as a person and disagreeing with some policies. I seriously doubt there is any politician I agree with 100% of the time.
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HughMoran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #6
16. "Even Ron Paul seems better at this point."
Statements like that don't lead to a cooperative atmosphere for constructive criticism. It's all too common here and if you object to such nonsense, you're "stifling dissent" and a "Nazi".
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. I agree on that point.
Statements such as the one you mention are not constructive, by any means.
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #17
29. And that is what Mr DuBois means
when he says silencing critics leads "others to burst into speech so passionately and intemperately as to lose listeners."
The exteme rhetoric grows from the attempts to hush dissent. I agree with W.E.B. and the primary season on DU proved us both correct. If you don't like hearing the worst of it, best listen to the first of it.
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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #6
21. Yeah, I see them too...
I think there needs to be some discussion on this for sure. On the military actions, I agree, but when I think about it, I really don't have a clue as to what intelligence was used to determine the need for such actions.
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Dawgs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. I don't think that's necessarily true.
The stimulus plan is in a worse position now that when it left the house. I think Obama's willingness to listen to the Republicans has given them some confidence.

He did the right thing this morning by criticizing the Republicans, so maybe he has learned.

It is important for all of us to help guide him through criticism. We're all on the same side.
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dbmk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #10
28. Or maybe he was preparing to do that the entire time?
Given his words during the election, and it being a smart move in general in my opinion, the public appearance of reaching out was very much needed. Either they play along and take responsibility, and therefore relinquish a platform of attack - or get a popular president pronouncing them obstructive.

There is little to suggest that the outcome was not foreseen by the Obama camp. If that team was not able to do the political math, I fail to see who would. (Except for the powerful and split personality brain power of DU ofc.)

If anything he is doing the teaching.
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Seen the light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. First it was "wait until the inauguration to criticize." Now it's wait until...a later stage?
What does that even mean?
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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #13
20. When the seeds of his decisions bear fruit, perhaps
Who can tell while they are mere seeds?

I'm not saying that no one should criticize. I'm just saying there are things that can be, and things that shouldn't be. I'm not privy to the intelligence used for the bombings in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but that really stinks at first blush. The way he is handling the Republicans, I think, requires a little time. I don't think he's being influenced so much as he is trying hard to be bi-partisan. I fully expect him to knock that crap off shortly, when it becomes blatantly clear to all that these political responses to an urgent need are counter-productive, or even dangerous.
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #5
31. criticizing him on a website not even officially affiliated with the democratic party
is hardly giving obama such a hard time
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
7. I appreciate intelligent well-informed constructive criticism - however its a rare comodity
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Uzybone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
8. We take ourselves too seriously
any who thinks someone telling them to stop posting negatively on an internet message board is "stifling dissent" needs to get their head examined. Anyone can post anything they want to. I'm tired of internet martyrs. No one can stop anyone critiques.
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Oak2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. It is, when it makes it impossible to express an opinion on that board nt
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 06:01 PM
Response to Original message
12. How do you feel about hushing the criticism...
of the dopes whining about Obama?
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Well, whiners don't get a pass.
There is a difference, though, between whining and honest criticism.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. Well there you go.
Lemme know when somebody hushes honest criticism.
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Fleshdancer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 06:11 PM
Response to Original message
19. I don't think Obama wants any criticism of him to be silenced
So it doesn't make sense for others to attempt to hush criticisms of him on his behalf. This is one of the many reasons why I'm glad I voted for him. He knows people won't always agree with him and I know I won't always agree with him, but that's ok. After the past 8 years, we should all welcome the conversation.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
22. Hushing criticism is hushing ideas, too.
That's never a good thing.
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jeanpalmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 08:24 PM
Response to Original message
23. If you quit making mistakes
you won't get criticized. Quit nominating tax evaders to important jobs. Quit approving rendition. If you want to pass a stimulus package, quit adorning it like a Christmas tree with irrelevant spending that insults the average American. This isn't rocket science. As soon as he saw a stimulus package with all kinds of ridiculous programs in it, the hackles on his neck should have gone up. But it looks like they didn't.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 08:28 PM
Response to Original message
24. Nobody's trying to hush you, tekisui..but
I will not stand by and let the trolls use this as an excuse..and after 6 and 1/2 years on DU, I do know what a troll is.
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. I am with you.
The trolls will always exploit any good faith that should be reserved for legitimate conversation. Sometimes they are even cunning in their efforts. And, sometimes honest criticism suffers because of their efforts. Awareness of motivations is prudent. :hi:
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Yeah, for instance..I
I know you're not a troll and want Obama to be the best he can be. :P
:hi:
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ColesCountyDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
25. No one's trying to stifle constructive criticism...
There is a difference between petty rants about personal disappointments and legitimate disagreement on policy matters, however.
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #25
30. Too often that difference is framed
in this fashion: my points are legitimate, others are petty. And that reflects back to the wisdom of DuBois. Respectful exchange of ideas leads to forward motion. Characterizing and catagorizing which speech is approved and which is not simply leads to more immoderate and extreme speech from both sides.
W.E.B. DuBois was a great thinker, and this is one hell of a quote the op has shared. Crammed with wisdom.
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ColesCountyDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-05-09 08:29 AM
Response to Reply #30
32. With all due respect to Dubois, if it walks like a duck...
... talks like a duck and looks like a duck, it's very likely a duck. In other words, one need not be a rocket scientists to recognize non-constructive criticism when one sees it.
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