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Slate’s Will Saletan Epitomizes Beltway Attitude: Liberals “Should Be Happy with What They Got”

by wallyg

If you listened to Slate’s Gabfest on Friday, you were treated to this finger-wagging from Will Saletan (7/16 podcast, start audio around 14:35):

I’m happy with everything he’s [President Obama] done. […] For them [progressives] to be complaining just shows how little they know about politics.

Now I seriously doubt Will Saletan knows more about politics than Paul Krugman or Dean Baker or Robert Scheer.

But leaving aside his silly “you’d have to be a naive idiot not to agree with Obama” thesis, what’s particularly annoying about this segment is John Dickerson frames the issue as whether Obama “has done enough.” That’s not the issue. Nor are liberals upset with Obama because getting things done in politics sometimes requires compromises — even though Obama was given huge historical margins in the House and Senate.

The fact is, as Commander-in-Chief, Obama doesn’t have to compromise on foreign policy and civil liberties. He could’ve ordered the troops home in Afghanistan and Iraq. He could’ve rolled back the most odious Bush-era executive power policies. And the public option wasn’t traded away as some sort of grand bargain to win the votes of recalcitrant Blue Dogs or Republicans — it was a blatant backroom sell-out to hospitals–exactly the kind of sleazy shenanigans Obama decried during the campaign.

But I’m sure Saletan is actually giving voice to the Village/Rahm worldview, which goes something like this: STFU, liberals. You got your damn health care bill. What more do you want?

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