Warner Todd Huston
Lefty bloggers eating each other, White House not amused
By Warner Todd Huston
October 6, 2010

Politico has a delicious story detailing how lefty bloggers seem to be on the outs with the Obama administration over their constant stream of complaints unleashed about the president's lack of supplication to the most extreme left-wing policies.

Politico found Peter Daou, another "progressive" blogger, who thinks he knows why Deputy White House Press Sec. Bill Burton didn't name any left-wing bloggers along with his absolving of some of MSNBC's hectoring on-air talkers.

Daou recently wrote a post hyperbolically titled, "How a Handful of Liberal Bloggers Are Bringing Down the Obama Presidency" exploring the idea. In it the blogger slams his own, claims that other lefty bloggers are tearing down the president among the progressives, and says it is damaging the administration.

    "With each passing day, I'm beginning to realize that the crux of the problem for Obama is a handful of prominent progressive bloggers, among them Glenn Greenwald, John Aravosis, Digby, Marcy Wheeler and Jane Hamsher."

I find it highly doubtful that these few bloggers have enough reach to destroy the Obama administration, but Daou isn't completely wrong in his criticism of the left.

Daou notes that these bloggers, some of whom used to be at the top of the list that White House officials were worried about courting, have gotten so pointed in their criticism that the administration is beginning to tune them out.

So what are these lefty bloggers complaining about?

    Most of the bloggers on Daou's list focus on civil liberties, a topic that they admit falls outside mainstream political discourse. Most recently, they have been united in criticism of the Obama administration's attempts to target for assassination a U.S.-born Muslim cleric alleged to be leading a brand of Al Qaeda in Yemen. Previously, they have been angered by moves like Obama's decision to preserve President George W. Bush's military commission for Guantanamo detainees, rather than try them in civilian court or in courts-martial.

Famed left-wing blogger Glenn Greenwad thinks that the administration is setting the far left up to be the fall guy on which to blame the loss of the coming midterm elections. With the president and vice president both recently telling the left to stop whining, who can blame Greenwald for thinking as he does?

I feel their pain. But I am still giggling at it all.

I have to say, though, that whether my righty friends know it or not, there is indeed a lot of truth to this report. I monitor the lefty blogs myself and they really have been raging for months. While conservatives have been aghast at how far to the extreme left the Obama administration has gone, the real leftists out there feel he hasn't gone far left enough.

I recently participated in a radio program with a lefty and he was incensed at the failures of the Obama administration. Not closing Gitmo, the recent decision to OK an overseas assassination of an American citizen who is a terror suspect and other civil liberty failings, not to mention the left's feeling that Obama hasn't gone far enough to take down the financial sector, the stalling of both cap and trade and card check, and his inability to get a single payer healthcare system all have tried the patience of the extreme left.

So, even as we think this president is the most socialist president ever to sit in the Oval Office the left is still mad because he isn't left enough. This hectoring being ladled out by the left-wing blogosphere has been virulent enough to turn the administration off, apparently.

So, what is the upshot of this report? The upshot is that the left is not only being dismissed by this administration, it is being ignored and perhaps even set up as a fall guy. This is not to say that the administration is pursuing centrist or moderate policies because it is not. But it does mean that a lefty blogosphere that once had the ear of the president of the United States of America is now on the outside looking in.

Like I said, I feel their pain.

I want to stress again that this deaf ear turned to the lefty bloggers does not mean that the Obama administration is drifting to the center. What this does reveal, though, is that the political climate amenable to far left policies has passed. For nearly a year now the people have been telling their senators and representatives that they don't want Obamacare, they don't want the government to take control of the Internet, they don't want any more Government Motors, any more bailouts, or unions to get big payoffs. Further the people don't want global warming laws and the continued destruction of the business sector. The left's window to push through just any old thing is gone.

The truth is that the Obama administration isn't failing the far left because he does not agree with them. He is failing them because he is simply politically unable to assuage them. His political capital is spent. Obama is just as far left as the most whacked out lefty blogger out there but the political reality is that his extremism has been curbed to some degree by the outrage of the people.

Now we need to send that message home in November!

© Warner Todd Huston


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Warner Todd Huston

Warner Todd Huston's thoughtful commentary, sometimes irreverent often historically based, is featured on many websites... (more)

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