Sunday, August 15, 2010

Maureen Dowd Punches Hippies

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd supports White House press secretary Robert Gibbs broadside against the "professional left." But, she thinks he should be removed from that position because:
He’s often unresponsive and sometimes hostile to the press. His adversarial barking has only heightened tensions with a press that was once lampooned for fawning over his boss.
Wow. Modo finds it perfectly reasonable for Gibbs to say the professional left should be drug tested, but lack of press comity is sufficient to bounce him from behind the podium. He need not respect the wishes of the activists that supported and worked to put his boss in office, but the MoDo's of the world prance around in their Manolo Blahnik's while doing Cartman impersonations.

Modo compares and contrasts the way the two parties deal with their fringe elements and sympathizes with the "asymmetry at the heart of American politics," noting how Republicans pander to their supporters yet Democrats do not.
Fox built up a Republican president; MSNBC is trying to make its reputation by tearing down a Democratic one.
One network advocates blind fealty while the other seeks good policy for the benefit of Americans. One network is symbiotic to the authoritarian cultist tribalism of the ruling caste and low-information fan base and the other calls out political leaders who fail to deliver on campaign promises.

Modo sprinkles in plenty of words like "crazies" and "ideologues" and "radicals" throughout her column drawing false equivalencies on the right and left, leaving a nice comfy reasonable centerness equidistance from the fringes. This is where the Modo's of the world feel good legislation and punditry occur.

But that place is not where the middle exists.

The fringes of the right are populated with names like Newt and Rush and David Fucking Brooks and Palin and Bachman. Folks whose rolodexes are full of reporters phone numbers and booking agents who also have their numbers as well.

I can't think of one left-wing fringe politician who resigned in disgrace and has not held elected office in over a decade and gets booked on teevee shows as often as serial himbo Newt Gingrich.
Whenever someone like MoDo pens a column like this, the impression is made that the left is rigid and demanding and are unwilling to compromise to reach the sensible center. She puts it like this:
Obama and Gibbs are upset that the lefties won’t recognize the necessity of compromise. The left is snapping back: What necessity? You won 365 electoral votes. You have both houses of Congress. And bipartisanship is an illusion.
Well, liberals are not bullies or feel the need to be dictatorial. But to the larger point of compromise--this suggests a trade--a give and get. The left is absolutely correct in being annoyed that we worked our asses of to get these majorities only to see policies weakened radically for no discernible benefit whatsoever. Then MoDo slips in this one:
Some liberals, like the president, felt he could live without the public option, whereas lefties thought the public option was essential.
The public option is a sore spot without a doubt. For some reason, the MoDo's of the world are convinced it is strictly a fringe lefty Quixotic charge. Even though it was wildly popular with everyone--and the left thought it would be a good thing to enact policy that polled in the high 60s and low 70s--the fringe left "won't recognize the necessity of compromise."

The DFH furiously whipped the House and Senate--pledges were signed and oaths were taken to support the public option. Hey, in a fair fight, liberals don't mind a black eye. Punching hippies is a national sport enjoyed by pols and pundits alike. But this wasn't a fair fight. We were told for months and months by political reporters that the votes weren't there for the public option in the Senate.

So, where was the upperdown vote on the public option? The administration sacrificed it in a backroom deal with AHIP, the lobbying group for the health insurance industry before the first vote was cast. The same thing was done for big Pharma and drug reimportation from Canada or Medicare negotiating for bulk prescription buys.

Maybe to the MoDo's of the world, this falls under the category of compromise. So what did the Obama administration get for slaughtering the public option in a backroom altar to corporate special interest lobbyists? Campaign contributions directed to Democrats with pledges and oaths not to support Republicans.

The disillusionment of the left does not come from reasonable compromise but from a candidate who campaigned against powerful special interests cutting secret backroom deals getting elected and cutting secret backroom deals with powerful special interests.