Obama’s Netroots Problem
Chris Matthews has angered the Angry Left by saying they, not the Republicans, are going to be the main obstacles to a successful early start to the Obama administration.
But those kinds of issues that brought really bad news to a lot of, we had the Clinton administration with all the brain power they had and they had a lot of brain power, they were stymied. Right, David? All of the sudden they got the gays in the military hit them right between the eyes. They didn’t want to bring it up and it came up as the first issue.
If we try to put up the trade walls, are we going to have a fight on labor issues like this card check thing, about being able to organize individual decision making rather than a big voting election kind of thing. Those kind of issues can really, as you say, could divide the Democrats, right?
Who’s going to break it to the blogosphere? They don’t like anything that looks like a give to the right. Where are they doing to be on this thing? Are they going to give him a break if he doesn’t go hard left and doesn’t do what they want?
Nicole Belle is not amused.
Let’s face it, you and I and the rest of the liberal blogosphere have been right more often than not and certainly exponentially over the Villagers that populate The Chris Matthews Show. But they’re not ready to give up their coveted place at the table, and certainly not to upstart bloggers who don’t have the decency to take them at their word any longer.
So to those oh-so-wise Beltway bobbleheads, we will be the “angry left” that Obama must marginalize in order to have a successful presidency. It won’t be the Republicans with their bag of obstructionist tricks, ones of which WaPo’s Ceci Connolly doesn’t even have memory, that give Obama a hard time, it will be us, the “angry left.” We are the ones to not give Obama a “honeymoon period” and we will be the ones fighting him as he attempts to execute his agenda.
Matthews and Connolly, though, are saying something much more banal. The Republicans have very little leverage right now. Obama won a decisive victory and Democrats picked up seats in the House and the Senate. The GOP will have a very hard time, indeed, mounting a filibuster and they’re not going to be stupid enough (well, probably) to try unless the Democrats push something that can be painted as radical.
That leaves the left wing of Obama’s own party. They’ve been out in the cold for the eight years of the Bush administration and, one could argue, much of the Clinton administration since, post-1994 election, he was triangulating against the hard left and hard right in order to bolster his own agenda.
Obama appears exceedingly unlikely to repeat Clinton’s early mistakes. While Clinton came with vastly more governing experience, he never had a fraction of Obama’s discipline. (Or, for that matter, the discipline of a hungry dog let loose in a butcher shop.) Obama’s going to cherry pick policy ideas that he thinks will work and be popular, to the consternation of Republicans and the left wing of his own party alike. To the extent he has a problem, then, it’ll be disaffected progressives who are greatly disappointed.