I figured that Obama would buy himself some brownie points with progressives with his latest “victories”(e.g., DADT repeal) in the lame duck session. Folks like Jon Walker have already written some excellent posts on this topic. Most polls show Obama with about 80% liberal support, so for now, Obama has definitely pulled away from the tipping point with progressives. Given Obama’s propensity for self-immolation with progressives, however, I think his support will tumble, eventually. Until I see quantitative evidence of Obama’s political collapse among Democrats (e.g., approval numbers in the mid thirties), I maintain that Obama addicts still dominate the Democratic crowd.
However, I do have some qualitative signs of future progressive unrest that I am keeping a vigil for. Like most prophets of doom, my list contains seven mystical signs of future progressive political abandonment of Obama, so, without further delay, here are the seven signs of the coming Obamapocalypse:
7. Robert Reich stops using the phrase “good man” to describe Obama in future Huffington Post blogs. This doesn’t mean that he calls Obama a bad man, but Reich stops qualifying his criticism of Obama with praise of Obama’s supposed goodness.
6. Ed Schultz stops saying that “Obama cares about the middle class, but he is wrong about policy X.” Like Reich, Ed doesn’t have to say negative things like, “Obama doesn’t give a shit about the middle class!”, but if he stops trying to stroke Obama’s ego in the hopes of getting Obama to do the “right thing,” Obama is in trouble.
5. Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation gives up trying to pressure Obama into being something that he is not – a progressive. If she announces that “I am done with Obama! ” you know Obama is in deep shit.
4. When asked by Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow to explain the latest sellout or bonehead move by Obama, political analysts and journalists Howard Fineman, Richard Wolfe, Ezra Klein, and Gene Robinson freeze up or respond with the simple declarative statement of “I can’t.” Furthermore, there is a shift in tone and words in describing Obama’s latest moves. Instead of words like “naive” or “optimistic” to describe Obama’s political strategy or White House team, we hear words such as “weak” and “incompetent.” In Washington speak, “weak” means “chickenshit,” while “incompetent” is translated into “fucking morons.” If the narrative about Obama changes to include such Washington speak indictments, Obama is doomed.
3. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus actually start to criticize Obama without throwing out the following disclaimers:
- It is all the Republicans fault that Obama is making this latest deal, so let’s direct all our outrage against them!
- Even though Obama was FORCED into a bad deal by Republicans, I will not do anything to bring this President down!
- Obama may be wrong on his latest stance, but I am working hard to help him because I want this President to succeed!
This does not mean that the members of the CBC start to cuss Obama out on TV, but if they drop the disclaimers, we have us a reading of nine or higher on the political Richter scale.
2. Progressive groups and bloggers stop sending me pledges to sign urging Obama to do the right thing. Instead, they send me fundraising emails to setup a fund for future primary challengers to Obama in 2012. This is a Mount Vesuvius eruption of political consequences for Obama.
1. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid calls Obama a wuss. This is a combination of falling hail bursting into flame, three days of darkness, followed by the Angel of Death taking all the first born K Street lobbyists.