The Left Thinks This Is All About Them

“I hear these people saying he’s like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested,” Gibbs said. “I mean, it’s crazy.”
The press secretary dismissed the “professional left” in terms very similar to those used by their opponents on the ideological right, saying, “They will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon. That’s not reality.” [The Hill]

When things like this come from the White House, many on the left think the administration’s comments are about the left. But I think the left is wrong. Progressives are not wrong in most of their attacks on the Obama administration. In many ways, the Obama administration is a disappointment. Progressives are wrong to think that White House attacks on them are about them.
But as Ed Brayton notes, the attack is on a strawman, “That makes me growl. First of all, it’s highly dishonest. No one on the left claims that Obama is like Bush in every way, of course.”
But, of course, the White House knows that “no one on the left claims that Obama is like Bush in every way.” The White House message is not really about the left but about what now passes for the middle. They want to make it clear to the middle of the current political spectrum that this administration is not really left leaning. That would be Dennis Kucinich.
This does tick me off and it is dishonest but I think the message is targeted for those in the middle, you know, the old right, and not to those of us on the left, you know, the old middle.

4 thoughts on “The Left Thinks This Is All About Them”

  1. Left, right… bah, who cares. What happened to issues and solutions? Trying to figure out who’s officially “left” and who’s officially “right” is as pointless as trying to find the exact point where jazz ends and blues begins. It’s just another annoying distraction away from what’s important to the People, just another way to make democracy into a dark comedy.

  2. Glen,
    I agree with you on this. However, I really think that identity politics drives elections more than issues do. I don’t like this but I think it true none-the-less.

  3. Yes but if you yourself know that the system is driven more by identity (irrelevant) than issues (relevant), then in what way does the system matter any more to those grounded in reality?

  4. The system matters for purely pragmatic reasons. For me, the operative work in your last comment is “more” and not “only.” At the end of the day, I have more fear of ideological political solutions than identity politics itself. So the ugly situation involves putting up with many things I don’t like and even think are wrong in the hope that I will not have to put up with more things and worse policies that I think wrong.

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