Obama’s faltering base
This is strictly anecdotal, but judging from the mood at Firedoglake, Obama should be extremely worried about his left flank. Last night I hosted a book salon for Bill Press at Firedoglake. Press is the author of THE OBAMA HATE MACHINE and of course he is a familiar liberal TV personality. Of the 321 comments, I would say maybe five of them were friendly. In fact, I’d venture to say that the two of us might have gotten a better reception at Michelle Malkin’s website or The Blaze. In a nutshell, the consensus was that Obama is a corporatist warmonger and tyrant who is much worse than Romney in almost every respect, and that Bill Press and even me are his bought-and-paid-for apologists.
The demonization–or rather, the personalization–of the criticism was no less intense in this venue than it would have been on Breitbart. Obama is bad, bad, bad. He is not “ineffectual”–he is duplicitous and wicked. I’m not sure who the third party candidate is that these people are going to vote for, but he or she has a lock on their votes.
Like I said, this is just anecdotal. People who comment on websites, whether from the left or right, are pretty much by definition fired up. Some of them imagine that they are conducting a negotiation–that by threatening to withhold their vote (or actually doing it) they are exercising influence, either to move the administration to the left or to insure that a wiser candidate in the future will pay greater deference to the progressive agenda.
But as someone who is disappointed with Obama (who isn’t?) but horrified by the GOP, I found the experience to be very scary and unsettling.
PS I knew that Jane Hamsher, FDL’s publisher and founder, was no fan of Obama, of course, and I knew that there was a lot of Obama-animus on the site. I hadn’t realized that it was as widespread as it seemed to be last night, but now that I’ve spent a few hours reading other book salons and comments on other blogs, I know better. There’s even a coinage to describe the phenomenon, that made it into the Urban Dictionary:
A term of derision used (usually on blogs) by supporters of U.S. President Barack Obama in arguments with people who criticize Obama and other Democrats from the political left. The term is a conflation of “Teabagger” the term of derision used to describe right wing Tea Party activists and Firedoglake, a left-leaning political blogging community founded by Jane Hamsher.
Those firebaggers would rather kill the entire health care reform package than compromise on the public option. They’re worse than Republicans!
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