Obama Aims Barbs at Liberals, But Catches Moderates in the Crossfire
Democrats, just congenitally, tend to get — to see the glass as half empty. (Laughter.) If we get an historic health care bill passed — oh, well, the public option wasn’t there. […] And gosh, we haven’t yet brought about world peace and — (laughter.) I thought that was going to happen quicker. (Laughter.)
This is of course, terrible politics. Ridiculing your base when you’re at you’re most vulnerable — right before the midterms in your first term — is just criminally stupid.
But even leaving that aside, Obama’s chosen poor issues to flog liberals with. He’s unfortunately highlighted areas where the administration has lost the center.
The health care bill is unpopular. And it’s not unpopular because of the “professional left.” It’s unpopular because people really hate insurance companies and they’re now being forced to buy their shitty product, which they can’t afford. The public option, which was a workaround that problem, had broad, popular support — not just among glass-half-empty liberals. Doesn’t take a genius to figure out what happened.
As for mocking the idea of “world peace” — again, this is an area where the White House has lost the middle. The President’s choice to double-down in Afghanistan is deeply unpopular. Unless you think 57% of the country are pacifist peaceniks, it’s absurd to blame “Democrats” for the fact that your central national security initiative is failing with the public.
Americans simply don’t like health care reform and they don’t like the war. By using these two to chastise liberals, the President is also wagging his finger at the majority of the country.
It baffles me when people like Kevin Drum don’t get this.