Jonathan Chait: When Did Liberals Become So Unreasonable?

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    Nov 25, 2011 9:52 PM GMT
    http://nymag.com/news/politics/liberals-jonathan-chait-2011-11/

    If every Democratic president disappoints, maybe there’s something wrong with our expectations. Tough love from a fellow traveler. [...]

    “We are all incredibly frustrated,” Justin Ruben, MoveOn’s executive director, told the Washington Post in September. “I’m disappointed in Obama,” complained Steve Jobs, according to Walter Isaacson’s new biography. The assessments appear equally morose among the most left-wing and the most moderate of Obama’s supporters, among opinion leaders and rank-and-file voters. In early 2004, Democrats, by a 25-point margin, described themselves as “more enthusiastic than usual about voting.” At the beginning of 2008, the margin had shot up to over 60 percentage points. Now as many Democrats say they’re less enthusiastic about voting as say they’re more enthusiastic.

    The cultural enthusiasm sparked by Obama’s candidacy drained away almost immediately after his election. All the passion now lies with the critics, and it is hard to find a liberal willing to muster any stronger support than halfhearted murmuring about the tough situation Obama inherited, or vague hope that maybe in a second term he can really start doing things. (“I’m like everybody, I want more action,” an apologetic Chris Rock said earlier this month. “I believe wholeheartedly if he’s back in, he’s going to do some gangsta shit.”) Obama has already given up on any hope of running a positive reelection campaign and is girding up for a grim slog of lesser-of-two-evils-ism.

    Why are liberals so desperately unhappy with the Obama presidency?
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    Nov 25, 2011 9:54 PM GMT
    I don't think you bothered to read this article since its something a lot of progressives agree with, and it's twin about David Frum is FAR more damning of the Republicans than Chait is of the Democrats.
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    Nov 25, 2011 10:01 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidI don't think you bothered to read this article since its something a lot of progressives agree with, and it's twin about David Frum is FAR more damning of the Republicans than Chait is of the Democrats.


    If that's what you want to believe. I mean ultimately the voters will decide and so far, it would seem that things do not look good for the Democrats - and instead the tea party movement continues to have longevity.
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    Nov 25, 2011 10:02 PM GMT
    Unreasonable as in idealistic, not bat-shit crazy.
    OPAnd yet Obama will never match among Democrats Reagan’s place in the psyche of his own party, as reflected in the endless propaganda campaign to give him full credit for the end of stagflation and communism, the dogmatic insistence that everything the great hero said offers the One True Path for all time, and the project to name every possible piece of American property after him. Republican Reagan-worship is a product of a pro-authority mind-set that liberals, who inflate past heroes only to criticize their contemporaries, cannot match. If recent history is any guide, they are simply not capable of having that kind of relationship with a president. They are going to question their leader, not deify him, and search for signs of betrayal in any act of compromise he or she may commit. This exhausting psychological torment is no way to live. Then again, the current state of the Republican Party suggests it may be healthier than the alternative.
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    Nov 25, 2011 10:05 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 saidI don't think you bothered to read this article since its something a lot of progressives agree with, and it's twin about David Frum is FAR more damning of the Republicans than Chait is of the Democrats.


    If that's what you want to believe. I mean ultimately the voters will decide and so far, it would seem that things do not look good for the Democrats - and instead the tea party movement continues to have longevity.


    Which Tea Party movement?

    The one that is half as popular as OWS?

    Or, the one that can't get 10 people to show up for a rally?
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    Nov 25, 2011 10:09 PM GMT
    Many of the moderates are rightfully disgusted, and the far left is upset that he hasn't been able to ram more socialism down our throats. The far left will still vote for him, though the turn-out may be less than before because of their disillusionment. Of course, the Obama team will try and keep their spirits up by attacking all the boogymen responsible for keeping Obama's economic brilliance from working its charms.
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    Nov 25, 2011 11:00 PM GMT
    socalfitness saidMany of the moderates are rightfully disgusted, and the far left is upset that he hasn't been able to ram more socialism down our throats. The far left will still vote for him, though the turn-out may be less than before because of their disillusionment. Of course, the Obama team will try and keep their spirits up by attacking all the boogymen responsible for keeping Obama's economic brilliance from working its charms.


    My bet like yours is on a much lower turnout while the tea partiers and the right will be more organized in getting out the vote. He won't have boost in the student/youth vote this next time - in fact, it's these very voters who are most disillusioned which again reiterates the idea that Obama may have been the best thing for libertarianism (and as a corollary, the worst thing for liberalism) in a generation.