Berkeley, CA: "Is this open season on leftists for having opinions, especially when correct?" fires off a new progressive group: "We're this season's real piñata, smeared by Tea Party red-baiting, ridiculed by the president for thinking world peace should start or the Pentagon end, and lately chided as Republican shills by fellow liberals online. That makes us the magnet this year for cheap shots, "When in doubt, concoct, then bash progressives.'"
Calling herself a "mama polar bear," because "it's bigger than a grizzly" Angelica Sharpee heads the newly-formed Progressive Alliance to Restore America By Holding Obama's Feet to the Fire. Her press statement disputes the White House party line that progressives are somehow responsible for the enthusiasm gap, the presidential gap, the Democratic Party gap, and the mid-term election bloodbath gap that hasn't even occurred.
"In short, this year, we're IT. Never have so few lacking political muscle been smacked by so many different wusses," rang out Sharpee, "We don't object to being whacked for having opinions but for never getting credit when right as well as being innocent of impeachable crimes. Did we force the fringe right to distort everyone left of Mitt Romney as commies? Or Kenyan anti-colonialists? Or evangelists for an illegitimate foreign president?
Did the left cause Obama to lurch right-center and stay there? Or fire up never-ending wars we bitterly opposed, or commit negligence that worsened our most perfidious environmental tragedy? The left should get awards, not brick-a-bats, for identifying bad policies, a mass of lying, scary demagogues like Palin, Angle, or O'Donnell, and calling out a faux-liberal president who forgot why he got elected."
Name Your Piñata
"Of course, it's a relief to have us to kick around," Sharpee quipped, smiling: "for then panicky Democrats deflect blame from themselves or their hero. Demonize the left, which stoops neither to Second Amendment solutions or belligerent street protests. Who wants to discuss egregious White House PR, or reactionary Democrats giving away the game yet endorsed by the Obama DNC? Will this president some day excoriate gross Tea Party hypocrisy: though mouthing noble aims to change and reform, they campaign with all the viciousness of the worst, smear-laden, racist, extremist GOP operatives?"
"What amazing misdirection," she went on, "to accuse articulate dissenters, as if we command some lame-stream media juggernaut! Got joblessness -- blame tax-and-spend liberals serving the left. Oil spills -- bad regulation from pushy progressives. Social Security shortfalls -- leftwing giveaways. Obamacare -- pure leftwing socialism. Next up, like Anita Hill, some deluded elite will blame us for creating Bill Clinton's "disbelief" because Democrats have failed to articulate a "coherent message," the becoming "human piñatas" for the right."
"Our Alliance disputes that any progressive is deciding key Congressional races. Or spearheading a vote boycott, even determining critical mid-term debate topics. A leftist-driven campaign would confront two wars and extensions by Obama of Bush human rights violations rendition (overseas torture), failure to release untried prisoners, defying transparency, even a Democratic assassination program against unindicted American citizens? Not happening."
Leftists Rule the Roost?
"So," she added, "despite a torrent of reactionary robber baron funding, appalling White House public relations, never-ending wars, and a jobless non-recovery, leftwing critics alone jeopardize this president. The left is so powerful we can't boast one verifiable, progressive breakthrough (except maybe consumer protection), the health bill never escaped modifying "insurance coverage," thus no public option. Yeah, packed with our dozen progressives in Congress, we practically rule the Washington roost. We refuse to be cut off at the knees or take abuse sitting down."
As she was standing at the time, the attendant press could not misunderestimate her message. The Alliance's statement follows a series of direct criticisms by the president, V.P., press secretary and ex-chief of staff. Progressives were "f---king retarded" for challenging Obamacare, called "insane" for comparing Obama with W., dismissed for not "bucking up," and blamed in advance for everything that ails Democratic politics.
"We thought it time to demonstrate all distortions didn't come from the Angles and O'Donnells, only the worst," barked Sharpee. "What leftwing voice ever set the Obama success standard as world peace? How about just ending one war in Iraq, or predatory drones killing civilians, or not violating Pakistani borders? "Ending the Pentagon' is pure propaganda, though bright economists could end the recession with the trillion dollars spent on "defense." Instead, why not fire Press Secretary Gibbs or Bush Defense Secretary Gates? Cut by 10% what Bush General Patraeus spends this year on two unwinnable quagmires. What motivates the left to "buck up" behind a White House that, with nary missing a beat, displaced the GOP Party of War?"
Criticize Obama, Only Be Nice
According to the Alliance, nonsense attacks extend beyond rightwing derangement or the passive-aggressive White House. Fellow liberals offer up their own polite bullying, per the otherwise estimable Ralph Stone, "when liberals and progressives constantly criticize Obama, they fall into the Republican trap. What they do is join the Republican chorus of criticism, and everyone is pointing the finger at Obama and Democrats albeit for different reasons." Likewise from this liberal site, "We have to make sure that how we approach our criticism of President Obama does not play into the hands of those who wish that President Obama would fail, or who hope that the Congress will be returned to the hands of the Bush and right wing loyalists."
Sharpee debated any notion that intensely anti-rightwing progressives do the GOP's bidding. "Criticism of Obama is fine as long it's nicey nice, sympathetic, and without any unintended ripples. That becomes arm-chair censorship for no pertinent, hard-hitting criticism is ever so pure or simple. That makes truth subservient to expedience: never put down the besieged, hard-working president if it could possibly hurt his reputation. We're just not buying this logic any more than we do the admittedly far more dangerous rhetoric from the right."
P. S. This is not a real press report, as there is no Angelica Sharpee, nor Progressive Alliance, to my knowledge. We need both, as a myriad on the left likely feel my character's outrage and the sense of being a human piñata this season. Sometimes we need to imagine characters who ought to exist.