As so many seem to want to see Obama fail.  The stridency of the anti-Obama line would certainly please the Right. In fact in the annals of Republican dirty tricks there is a long storied history of conspiring with left of center candidates and supporters to weaken viable Democratic candidates for the ultimate benefit of the right of center Republicans. I don’t know how many of you are aware of this, but in 2004 Al Sharpton, who of course was in the Democratic party primary race for president that year, ultimately would conspire with Roger Stone, a self-described “Republican hitman” (Stone was also the leader of the “Brooks Brothers” protests in Florida 2000 to disrupt the recount in Bush-Gore) to harm Howard Dean-the original author of Obama’s successful “50 state strategy” he used in 2008- to harm Dean by loudly denouncing him as not “being a friend” to African American interests.  The talking points Sharpton leveled against Dean he had gotten through collaboration on opposition research with Stone. Sharpton was miffed after Jessie Jackson, Jr. supported Dean rather than himself.

     Today we have Republican hitmen like Andrew Breibart who literally stalk liberal lions like Weiner trying to get any dirt on them no matter how trivial and then successfully destroy them. Breibart is currently 3 for 3-he destroyed Acorn, Sharon Sherrod, and now Weiner, who was a favorite for Demcocratic mayoral candidacy for NY-now he’s out of politics. Yet with all the opposition, many on FDL seem to muster much more virulence against Obama than against these viscious Right-wing opponents.

    It’s easy to only focus on the negatives about Obama-there are many things that liberals have been disappointed with. I too have been disappointed on some things-in particular, I do think he has “drunk the koolaid” on the budget fight, buying into the ideology which placed “fiscal discipline” above stimulus for job and economic growth.

     I stil know he’s 200% better than the alternative. People saying either vote socialist or don’t vote at all are in reality perpetuating Republican gains just like Sharpton did in 2004. It’s easy to be pure when you’re not in elected office and not responsible for anything.  So Obama is killed because he went to the LGBT and didn’t come out explicitly for gay marriage. That he is the first president ever to visit it is ignored as well as that he has been the most pro-gay president in history-Clinton would never have gone to it-is ignored. Everybody attacks his Afghanistan withdrawal plan on the Left, even Ed Sullivan, someone I like and admire, called it a mere “redployment.”  No on will face the fact that in reality Obama plans to have the number of troops down to 25,000 by 2013, but he hasn’t emphasized this at the advice of his military advisors who feel that to have leverage against the enemy it’s best not to let them know you plan on leaving soon.  Based on a Gallup poll just released today, 72% of Americans agree with his policy on withdrawing from Afghanistan. There is some debate on how many to be withdrawn and at what pace, but even here, 43 percent think Obama got this number “just right” only 29 think his number is too low-evidently that entire group is on FDL…-18% actually believe it’s too high.

        Obama gets a lot of flack for being too beholden to the polls. Yet this as it should be in a democracy. The Republicans often seem not to care about the polls but this is not a virture-it’s authoritarian. In truth even they look at the polls but their math is different, they have to consider first not just the polls but what percentage of the polls are “likely voters” and then “likely GOP voters.”

          When you are in elected office you have to also consider those voters who don’t agree with you. You are they’re public servant as well. Fact is all these people talking such a big game calling this president names, not one of you could do any better if you were in the hot seat. Look at Syrian president bashar assad: he was an antigovernement activist in the 80s against an authoritarian governement. Now he as the country’s leader is having his own authoritarian crackdown.  For those of you thinking “voting socialist” is some magic formula: the fact is- ignoring the fact that supporting a U.S. socialist party in 2012 is a vote for, probably, Mitt Romney-consider the fact that right now in Greece, it is a Socialist government bulling through that abysmal austerity plan. Governing is a lot harder than it looks.

Mike Sax

Mike Sax