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The Audacity of Blame: the Politics of Put-down

By       Message Robert S. Becker     Permalink
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Well, exxccuusse us, Mr. President, for assessing the real-world results of your major decisions (or non-decisions). Is the left responsible for the jobless recovery, too? Not only do you distort our scrutiny into "inexcusable" liberal "lethargy," you suggest liberals and their ilk alone jeopardize Democratic majorities.

Did we miss the contest for how best a politician can fail to win friends and influence people? Whose great idea was it to condemn friends with language fit only for the enemy camp of Angle, Palin, O'Donnell, Miller, Paul, and Gingrich?

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You talk like prominent critics are rushing around, urging an election boycott. Who? More to the point, which D.C. power brokers quake when disgruntled progressives speak? The vaunted left may not even re-elect the best Democratic senator, Russ Feingold. As with regressive politics, even civilian-killing predator drones, you target the wrong enemy at the wrong time in the wrong way.

Should we fake our enthusiasm when you undercut your own signature propaganda, "change comes not from the top down but from the bottom up"? Right, from the bottom of Manhattan called Wall Street? Or the bottom of the Gulf, now layering decades of oil sludge and dispersant? Or the bottom of Gitmo, or the bottom-line bigotry of Don't Ask, Don't Tell?

The Efficacy of Guilt-tripping?

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Is your cranky Rolling Stone interview designed to scold us, release frustration or ignominiously blame others for the looming GOP deluge?

It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election . . . The idea that we've got a lack of enthusiasm in the Democratic base, that people are sitting on their hands complaining, is just irresponsible . . . If we want the kind of country that respects civil rights and civil liberties, we'd better fight in this election . . . People need to shake off this lethargy, people need to buck up . . . if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren't serious in the first place.

If these absurdities were true, or this language justified, we would be "f*cking retarded." Actually, what popped up for me was an old Sinatra ditty, "Call me irresponsible - call me unreliable, throw in undependable too. Do my foolish alibis bore you, well I'm not too clever . . . Call me irresponsible - yes I'm unreliable." We're awash in "foolish alibis," but from a shifty White House that sprays fault like a garden hose, everywhere but the source.

Beyond rude scapegoating, your White House remains blind why the left is estranged, even irate. In a nutshell, Mr. President: you mouth, but don't fight for principles, you compromise way too early, your taste in establishment advisers stinks, and your post-bill passage "follow-through" (punt and run) is abysmal, ceding the field to the frenzied fringe.

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What's inexcusable, and throw in undependable, is the Grand Canyon gap between your splashy promises for systemic reform and a torrent of cosmetic, corporate-friendly glosses. What if liberal realism nabs who you are: a bright, garden-variety politician good at speeches and with unusual flesh tones.

The Politics of Put-down

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For a decade, Robert S. Becker's rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, messaging and frameworks, now featured author at OpEdNews, Nation of Change and RSN. He appears regularly at Dissident Voice, with credits (more...)

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