Firedoglake: Hey, Barack Obama Might Just Be A Worse President Than Bush

One blogger at the lefty Firedoglake utters the unthinkable:

No, I’m not ready to crown Barack Obama the Worst President Ever just yet, but consider this:

Yes, George W. Bush wrecked our economy, destroyed New Orleans, turned a budget surplus into massive deficits, ignored warnings of a major terrorist attack and used that mistake to lead us into two disastrous military quagmires…

But he also pushed relentlessly for conservative policies and delivered for his base with war, deregulation, tax cuts, environmental rollbacks, and an army of right-wing ideologues embedded in the federal government and judiciary.  He failed to privatize Social Security, but not for lack of trying.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, inherited a mess rather than creating one.  But not only has he failed to create jobs or restart the economy, he has paid only lip service to progressive policies and betrayed his base at almost every turn.

We’ve seen this before, of course. Back in September 2010, another liberal blogger accused the White House of “hippie punching” in its criticisms of those in the “Netroots” who were expressing disappointment similar to what the FDL blogger expresses here. As I noted during the “hippie punching” incident:

Expecting ideological perfection in a business that has been compared in the past to sausage making is, quite honestly absurd. And expecting the President of the United States to stroke the egos of a few bloggers just strikes me as vanity.

You see the same thing on the right, of course. The ability of ideologues to let the perfect be the enemy of the good is quite universal.

Nonetheless, it is amusing to see this happening on the left now.

H/T Balloon Juice

 

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Blogosphere, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Jay says:

    It’s irrelevant in my view. When push comes to shove, they’ll knock people over to get to the polls to vote for him next November.

    Funny how the piece states Bush “destroyed New Orleans.” Amazing powers that man had.

  2. Aidan says:

    “He failed to privatize Social Security, but not for lack of trying” is amazing. Where the hell do they find these people?

  3. Tano says:

    I don’t know why you find it amusing. Its not like it is a sincere feeling or anything. It is simply a way for the base to exert pressure on the leader to bend more in their direction.

    When advocates put out some line of argument, it is best never to imagine that the ideas reflect anything other than political calculation. Obama’s base sees that he wants to make a compromise with the opposition, and they want him to give up as little as possible. There is really nothing more to it than that.

  4. Tano says:

    “He failed to privatize Social Security, but not for lack of trying” is amazing. Where the hell do they find these people?

    What do you mean here? It is an accurate statement…

  5. Chad S says:

    FireDoglake has been beating this drum since 2008. They neglect to mention that they’re basically funded(indirectly) by Hamshear’s consulting firm which does more work with the GOP.

  6. michael reynolds says:

    Both Left and Right are consistent in their strange beliefs that Mr. Obama must be something other than what he quite clearly is, and clearly has been from the start a genuine moderate.

    Take off the ideological blinders and see that he is a moderate without a radical bone in his body. He’s cool, he’s analytical, he’s calm, he doesn’t care about getting credit or pandering to his “base,” he’s ruthlessly focused, he looks for consensus. He’s just a smart, decent, kind of boring guy trying to do the best job he knows how.

  7. anjin-san says:

    It’s been clear from day one that Obama is a centerist who leans slightly, but only slightly, left. The radical socialist Obama is something that exists only in the imagination of the right. As for “the base”, I for one am generally pleased that Obama has charted a moderate course and not pandered to the fringe left.

  8. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    When you peruse a left-wing blog you can’t help but realize that if we don’t substantially raise the minimum voting age soon we’ll truly be FUBAR. Failing that the only hope is that Generation Y literally goes catatonic and self-disenfranchises. There’s never been a demographic so utterly vacant. I grieve for their parents. I grieve for the country.

  9. While Obama has been bad on the economy, I was expecting that so I can’t say I’m really disappointed there*. Where I have been profoundly disappointed was that I had hoped his election would at least mean rolling back some of the numerous civil rights abuses of the Bush administration and possibly some sort of legal accountablity for those responsible. Obama’s betrayal here is what enrages me. He’s pretty much doubled down on all of Bush’s policies and not only ignored the crimes that occured but has put considerable effort into harrassing anyone trying to make the public aware of what was going on.

    * – Not that I expect the Republicans to have done any better. For all their lip service to free market capitalism, they’re really mostly Mercantilists.

  10. Failing that the only hope is that Generation Y literally goes catatonic and self-disenfranchises. There’s never been a demographic so utterly vacant. I grieve for their parents. I grieve for the country.

    The one thing that never ceases to amaze me is how sure the boomers are of their generation’s greatness given their pretty much total lack of achievment.

  11. Aidan says:

    @Tano: Please point to one attempt by the Obama administration to switch Social Security to a system of private accounts. Preferably one that occurred in real life and not the collective imagination of the left wing blogosphere.

  12. Aidan says:

    @Tano: Additionally, could you point to a single current or former administration official (including the President himself) who has publicly supported Social Security privatization?

    Obviously the remaining debt ceiling negotiations could go any number of ways as there is still at least one major political party demonstrably willing to avoid global economic catastrophe, but Obama’s Big Social Security Sellout has been the dog that hasn’t barked for, let’s see, his entire presidency.

  13. lunaticllama says:

    @Tsar Nicholas II: Generation Y has only ever experienced a boom and bust economy that now has destroyed huge amounts of professional opportunities that once were available to young people. Perhaps they are vacant, because they see a complete failure by older generations to create any hope for the future. Both economic and political elites signal to young people that they will not create jobs for them and that they will ensure that the old set of financial advantages people had in life (pensions, social security, medicare, etc.) will be destroyed to further enrich incumbent business elites. How do expect people to react when they are constantly told they cannot expect robust employment opportunities, and that the middle class social programs their tax dollars support will not be available to them?

  14. James Joyner says:

    I saw this early this morning via Memeorandum and decided to just let it pass. This Eli guy seems to be a real kook–both in his assessment of the Obama administration and in what he imagines Republicans to be. John Cole calls these people “Firebaggers,” seeing them as the lefty version of the more virulent Tea Party types. That’s about right.

  15. Tano says:

    @Aidan:

    @Tano: Please point to one attempt by the Obama administration to switch Social Security to a system of private accounts.

    Go reread the original post. The reference to privatizing Social Security was in a passage about George Bush, not Obama.

  16. Parah Salin says:

    @Chad S:
    That’s not true, but it’s a meme hyped and spread by Obama’s cultists. The owner, Jane Hamsher runs ads on any site, which in turn helps fund FDL so that it can stay neutral and not owe it’s allegiance to anyone. The independence has earned it’s contributors and members the nickname “Firebaggers” which originated on DailyKos; its worn as a badge of honor.

    These squabbles on the left are nothing new, and while FDL maintains itself in triangulated opposition to the establishment, it provokes the ire of balloon-juice’s Cole and American Black Lady who seek out perceived enemies of Team Democrat, or Team Obama and lately seems to provide a large portion of its entire raison d’être.

    In fact, only 4 posts earlier we find this: Why Can’t we win any messaging battles, a STFU and Get-in-line diatribe about a twitter response by Chris Hayes to a tweet by David Axelrod. Apparently the Democrats need to adopt the tactics of Republicans in order to win.

    On this post there is 1 reference to FDL, 1 to “firebaggers”, 12 to Jane Hamsher, 2 foul references to David Mizner (anti-war indy), 7 to the hated Glenn Greenwald; some other popular sources of vexation.

    (google search: FDL OR firebagger OR hamsher OR Firedoglake site:balloon-juice.com)
    This brings back About 4,150 results, and Greenwald itself will return almost 20,000. Take a look at the URL to this post: (http://www.balloon-juice.com/tag/this-post-didnt-once-mention-glenn-greenwald-or-czars-you-halfwits/ ) or google “Jane Hamshers of the left” for a good laugh.

    There is an authoritarian feature of commonality found between former republicans and these sycophants. if you follow Glenn Greenwald, Jane Hamsher, or Joan Walsh on twitter, you’ll see that the names are always the same. Not much different than European Football Hooligans, really.

  17. Nightrider says:

    Wasn’t Bush’s proposal to let people invest 2% of their FICA contribution? 98% public hardly seems “privatized.” Alternatively, one could look at the tax breaks for 401(k)s as having “privatized” a lot of social security policy. The government is “spending” tax dollars to encourage people to save money for retirement. The world seems to be still standing despite this outrage.

  18. Franklin says:

    @Stormy Dragon: You’re on the same wavelength as me. It was those issues that mostly swayed me to vote for him. Oh, I thought he might scale back some of the war efforts as well. Call me naive.

  19. Tano says:

    Wasn’t Bush’s proposal to let people invest 2% of their FICA contribution?

    No, it was 2% of their wages. Thats about a third of their FICA contribution. And a foot in the door to further privatization.

    one could look at the tax breaks for 401(k)s as having “privatized” a lot of social security policy.

    What are you talking about? The issue is not “privatizing” pensions or retirement savings. Of course there is, and always has been private saving. The issue is privatizing the Social Security system.

    The government is “spending” tax dollars to encourage people to save money for retirement.

    So what? Nobody has any objection to that. The objection is to the degradation of the guaranteed safety net that is the Social Security System and replacing it with money placed in the (inherently risky) private marketplace – and the siphoning off of tens or hundreds of billions of dollars by the financial industry for management fees.

  20. Aidan says:

    @Tano: Oh wow, my mistake. Yikes. I swear I can read.