How the Far Left Mirrors the Far Right

The left, including this writer, has made a career out of denouncing right-wing extremism, mainly the Tea Party and those Republicans more interested in destroying a president – and in the process, the country – than they are in working to solve the very serious problems facing our country.

Liberals justifiably mock the right’s ignorance of basic civics, the country’s history and the Constitution; after all, part of being a responsible citizen is in knowing these things. Signs with misspelled words advocating “English Only” are met with derision; posters with the swastika are met with outrage. The right’s lies, distortions and hypocrisy are greeted with a mixture of ridicule and outrage and held under the microscope by non-partisan fact-checking organizations – along with those from the left.

Harsh criticism is leveled at the racism implicit in signs at Tea Party rallies and on billboards, on edited photographs, in emails and snail mail, and on social networks. Nowhere is this more exemplified than in their tasteless personal attacks on the current President and First Family; even the children are subjected to racist attacks.

These character defects should and do attract disapproval from most decent Americans, regardless of political persuasion.

But do I detect an echo? Can it be said that the far-left is sounding like the extremists on the right and adopting some of those very same character flaws we so vigorously reject and condemn?
The Bloggerhood: Free Speech and Hypocrisy

Very early on in my blogging career I read about how Pam, a conservative over at The Oracular Opinion, stepped in to help her friend Shaw at Progressive Eruptions who had to have surgery and needed help to keep her blog running. Liberal bloggers applauded her acts of kindness; right wingers all but tarred, feathered and ran Pam out of Blogger Town on a rail. Her crime? Aiding and abetting the enemy.

A liberal who used the name Blackwaterdog was hounded off Daily Kos by a loud, noisy chorus of ugly rhetoric. She started her own blog appropriately named The Only Adult in the Room. But the “purists” weren’t satisfied; they wanted to annihilate her. This dehumanizing effort was led by none other than Salon’s Glenn Greenwald, a good buddy of Jane Hamsher’s at FireDogLake. Her crime? Posting positive picture diaries of the President and First Family’s activities.

Not everyone may be drawn to the content on The Only Adult but does this give her critics the right to compare her to Nazi propagandist, Leni Riefenstahl? Sound familiar?

The blatant hypocrisy and the total disregard for a person’s right to free expression because their speech is not agreeable with another’s is deplorable and unacceptable. But sadly, I see many comment zones turning into war zones with the far-left resorting to personal insults when disagreeing with more pragmatic liberals who in most cases share the same ideals but not the approach.
Sentimental History

I would have been surprised had the main street media not started attacking President Obama the moment he opened his eyes on the morning after the inauguration. But I was dumbfounded at the attacks from the so-called professional progressive blogs. They began mildly enough but very quickly their rhetoric turned into a cacophony of ugly vitriol not unlike that heard from the far-right. Even worse, professional and non-professional far-left bloggers resort to the same kinds of tasteless personally degrading labels that they criticize the right for using.

“Obama should be like LBJ was” or “Obama needs to do what FDR did” is not too far removed from “I want my country back.” The glaring but simple reality is that we can’t go back in time; our country is facing a different set of problems with a different cast of characters. More obviously, Obama is not like LBJ, just as LBJ wasn’t like JFK, and JFK wasn’t like HST, and HST wasn’t like FDR, and so on.

We get our kicks out of mocking the extreme right for its ignorance of history but the far-left can be just as ignorant of and blind to documented historical facts.

FACT: When legislation for Social Security was introduced, Franklin D. Roosevelt dropped the national health care provision that was originally included. Why did he – gasp! – compromise/sell-out/cave? Because at that time and place in our history, he wisely understood that the Republicans would say NO to health care reform and in the process kill Social Security as well.

I wonder if anyone on the far-left during those gloomy dark days of the Great Depression accused FDR of being corrupt, a puppet, inept or a snake oil salesman.

FACT: The Social Security Act, signed by FDR in 1935, only covered workers in commerce and industry. In 1937 the Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) was passed; it required workers to pay taxes to support the Social Security system. In 1939 Social Security was expanded to include dependents and survivors. Not until nearly 25 years later in 1950 was it expanded to cover dependents and survivors. In 1956 Disability Insurance was created and has been expanded over the years.

FACT: LBJ never would have succeeded in getting civil rights legislation or the Voting Rights Act passed had it not been for Republican support. The Dixiecrats, led by Strom Thurmond, did everything in and out of the book to block it. Obama is not only burdened with the yellow Blue Dogs, he is faced with an unprecedented concrete wall of well-organized obstruction from the opposition – and now he has the far-left participating in the drive to bring his presidency – and thus the country – to its knees.

The lessons here should be obvious. Not every president can get everything he may have promised during a campaign; a foolish attempt to win no doubt but no more foolish than voters who take such promises at face value. Politics has never been a “take all or nothing” kind of game. Passing legislation is in fact the “art of compromise.” The “all or nothing” school of thought is not only unrealistic, the end result is nothing.
Bloggers Get Down and Dirty

The extremes on both sides of the political spectrum have a penchant for chanting infantile slogans: “I have a right to free speech” from the right translates into “I have a right to disagree with the president” or “I have a right to criticize the president” from the left. Yes and yes, but that is not the issue.

The issue is not in the message but in the way it is delivered, the language.

Vicious epithets directed at the President of our United States are limited only by their crude imaginations. One side is just as repugnant, tasteless and vile as the other. Epithets from the right include: Spoiled Brat, Obama Bin Lyin, Half-breed Muslim, Barack Hussein Obama, No Clue Balls Obama, Robbing Hood, Nazi, Terrorist, Barack the Magic Negro.

What’s the difference between that kind of toilet tank talk and this used by far-left bloggers? Barack Bush, Nel, HomophObama, Pootie Tang, the Black Mr. Rogers, House Negro.

I can’t help but wonder if there is a connection between the use of such invectives and the fact that Obama is the first black president.

Headlines such as “Barack Obama the Anatomical Wonder. We’re Looking for Organ and Skeletal Donors for Barack Obama” (from one of my favorite blogs no less) and crude – as in content and production videos such as this one. Recently, a headline on a particularly scurrilous blog screamed, “If you want to suck his dick, go ahead.” A loyal follower told a reader who had the audacity to disagree with the content, “F–k you and go back to Europe you worthless piece of s–t.”
Other Mirror Images

It’s all about “me”, not “we”.

The president is ignoring our side.

I only listen to Glenn Beck or Keith Olbermann.

What party of NO? What obstructionism?

Our country is on the verge of collapse. It’s the eve of destruction.

I want it ALL, damnit.

I’m not racist.

. . .

I know we liberals like to say that we don’t march lock-step with our leaders as do the GOPers, but where does it say we have to destroy them with the same sort of dehumanizing invective and emasculating and emotional strafing that the far right uses on Obama? I have seen over my lifetime a radicalization of our politics and the extremes in both parties by true believers will keep us in a constant state of combat instead of making some sort of arrangement to get done the very important work that this country needs to get done.

I wish I had said this but I didn’t. It was included in an email from Shaw at Progressive Eruptions. I owe her a debt of gratitude for her insight and willingness to guide me and keep me on track.

There are several reasons I don’t visit right-wing sights: the epithets, the hysterics, the distortion of facts, the sniping, and the doomsday mentality. Maybe I’m just uncomfortable with extremes because I find myself visiting fewer and fewer far-left sites these days. I truly feel both extremes have a humanitarian problem and that if they don’t become more realistic and less pugnacious – more willing to give and take – it will not be because of Obama that this country collapses.

_______

Since this article was written, more and more liberals and progressives are criticizing the “far-left,” or the “new progressives” (guess that doesn’t include old ones like me), or the “professional left,” or whatever one chooses to call them. Here are two that I highly recommend.

Lefty’s ‘Bath Water’ Party’s Wrong on Obama: 9 Facts on FDR, Truman, LBJ Show Why

The Professional Left’s CEO Delusion

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Posted by on August 14, 2011. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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85 Responses to How the Far Left Mirrors the Far Right

  1. Joe Hagstrom Reply

    August 14, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I’m digging what you’re saying even though I’ve been one of the people who have criticized President Obama for his style of leadership. It might have been me that said I wanted him to be more like LBJ. But anyone who’s read my stuff here and before I joined MMA knows I’m anything but a far lefty.

    A problem he has though, and the left as a group is that to be a good leader, you need good followers. We can’t all rule the world.

    I got run off Daily Kos myself about two years ago.

    I could go on and on about what’s wrong with the democratic party and our elected officials, I did a post on this last night at Democracy Central (Not linked as i don’t want to be accused of shameless promotion of a site scheduled to be terminated next week).

    In the end, I like Obama and will support him fully. I still will critcize his actions if I think that’s warrented. And that’s where we differ from the right. They wouldn’t criticise Bush. Blind loyalty and obedience are the most valuble trait of the republican party.

  2. Michael John Scott Reply

    August 14, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant.

    I have pointed out from time to time that I suspect much of the Hard Left hate is thinly disguised racism as opposed to legitimate criticism. I have become rather adept at spotting the racists and am convinced that they are the ones who most often use the vile and violent rhetoric, while hiding behind the free speech clause of the constitution.

    Thanks Leslie for saying what I’ve been trying to say for months and saying it so eloquently.

  3. Leslie Parsley Reply

    August 14, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I don’t understand why people become so defensive when they criticize the president. We all have that right. But what I’m talking about here goes way beyond mere criticism. The lack of historical knowledge, the vile name calling, the tunnel vision, the lack of tolerance for opinions different from theirs, the refusal to look at facts, the vulgarity and crudity – these are all traits found on the right which we profess to deplore. I find both to be equally repellent.

  4. Holte Ender Reply

    August 14, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Lovely stuff Leslie, I read it when you first published it and it has lost none of it’s power, in fact it gets more relevant by the day.

    I have been as guilty as anyone could be of attacking the right in an unsympathetic and aggressive manner, mainly in retaliation for their unreasonable stance on everything Obama does, tries to do, or says. But to see the hard-left attacking the President using the same tactics was an eye-opener for me, and forced me to rein in my own rhetoric to a more reasonable level.

    • Sue Reply

      August 14, 2011 at 5:32 pm

      That’s what I’ve done Holte, “reigning in my own rhetoric”. It’s one thing to criticize the president but to rant and rave in hysterics like a 2 yr old who has his binky taken away is a little over the top, and this is what we are seeing from the far left extremists. They want Obama to be a far left progressive who makes all their dreams come true and fu*k the rest of the country, well that’s not reality. Get a grip lefties!!

  5. Collin Hinds Reply

    August 14, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I echo what Holte said. When the bashing, ranting and gnashing came on my radar I was fairly shocked. And, like Holte, it caused me to reevaluate my attitude and the language I use.

  6. osori Reply

    August 14, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    I remember the old Leslie.She used to oppose war and believed in social justice.That was before she cast aside principle for a cult of personality.

    • Holte Ender Reply

      August 14, 2011 at 1:11 pm

      That’s a very judgmental statement Oso. If there is a new Leslie, which I doubt, I am fairly sure she is not pro-war or anti-social justice and her principles haven’t been cast aside to favor any celebrity you’d care to name.

    • Bradley Scott Reply

      August 14, 2011 at 2:58 pm

      Intelligent people learn, and thereby grow. While their opinions may not change fudamentally, their scope of opinion must expand, and thereby, grow. Just because one expounds upon a broader range of topics as they mature does not meant they have given up their core beliefs.

    • Collin Hinds Reply

      August 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm

      Where have I seen this rhetorical device before–attacking the person because you don’t like the substance of the message? Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter do that all the time. If they abstained from ad hominem attacks they wouldn’t have much to say. Your comment nicely illustrates the point of Leslie’s post.

      • Stacy Reply

        July 11, 2012 at 1:47 pm

        Where have I seen this rhetorical device before–attacking the person because you don’t like the substance of the message? Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Larry O’Donnell do that all the time. If they abstained from ad hominem attacks they wouldn’t have much to say. Your comment nicely illustrates the point of Leslie’s post. I agree with you.

    • Leslie Parsley Reply

      August 14, 2011 at 4:47 pm

      You just proved my point, Oso, but I refuse to wallow in the gutter with you – but you might consider getting some counseling for anger management in the near future.

    • Dorothy Anderson Reply

      August 14, 2011 at 6:25 pm

      First, bravo Leslie. Oso, Leslie clearly stated that criticism of the president is appropriate. I agree. But there is a significant difference between informed criticism and the vile name calling that characterizes today’s political dialogue.

      I respectfully ask you to reread her “mirror image” section. How can we work together to find some solutions to the horrible problems Americans face? We have so much in common, Oso. I genuinely hope you come back.

      Nothing is black or white. Even shades of gray have more shades of gray.

      I won’t deny that I wish LBJ were here to kick some ultra-con ass. I don’t know if you remember how he was vilified by the media: we forget that JFK expanded our occupation in Viet Nam and Cambodia when he was president. LBJ shouldered most of the blame. His was the generation of McCarthyism and Cold War paranoia.

      I am vehemently anti-war, yet realist enough to know that once a tree sinks its roots deep enough in the soil, they aren’t that easy to dislodge. Blame for the war in the Middle East stretches in so many directions that the ability to cite one individual is moot.

      Any nation that tries to engage war on several fronts, as has been the case with America for at least the past 40 years, is doomed to crumble. I can’t imagine we disagree about the several fronts on which the U.S. has military occupation. Yet, does a soldier’s participation in a war obviate his commitment to charity?

      My loathing for Nixon notwithstanding, he helped shepherd the Civil Rights Act of 1957 through Congress. The bill was weakened in the Senate. Nixon advised Eisenhower to sign the Act. He expanded civil rights during his presidency.

      And do I believe that Nixon was a crook? Of course. Would I vote for him? Perhaps, if he ran against any of the current “candidates.” Nixon’s peccadilloes and foibles are child’s play compared to the horrors of today’s GOP; in fact, of Faux News Corp. and the Bush boys.

      Al Gore champions environmental change. That’s good. He has an enormous 20-room mansion in Tennessee for which he spends $2,400 a month and uses 20 times the amount of energy that the average American uses in a year in his 4,000 sq. ft. home.

      In contrast, entire Bush ranch relies on geothermal heat, which cools the dwelling in the summer and warms it in the winter. A 25,000 gallon cistern gathers rainwater above which there is built a terrace cooled by the water. The Bushes use geothermal heating and consume approximately 25% of the electricity used by traditional heating and A/C. They are installing solar energy panels to save energy.

      Granted, the ranch is self-sustaining based on solely on fiscally pragmatic purposes. It doesn’t escape my notice that he blocked several energy-saving environmental bills. I don’t need to go into the Bush-Saudi connection. Of that, we both know enough.

      Would I vote for either Bush as president. Hell, no. He did everything he could to subvert the development of green energy while partnering with the Saudi bin-Ladens so his Texas Oil buddies would benefit.

      Why didn’t our Democratic Congress investigate the alleged fraud of Arbusto? Why didn’t the Congress indict, or at least investigate and publish, alleged war profiteering on the part of the Bush Administration in 2008? Why didn’t most Americans adopt solar panels and other energy-saving opportunities before the bottom fell out of the financial market? Who do I blame?

      I am not completely happy with President Obama either. Thankfully, I have no idea the true gravity of the daily challenges he faces.

      Each of us is to blame for the calamities of America. I subscribe to Alexis de Tocqueville’s maxim: In a Democracy, the people get the government they deserve. Americans elected a Republican and pee party Congress, not Obama. Americans, right and left, are paying for our mistakes.

      Who, then, should we elect for president in 2012? Governor Jerry Brown, I wish. He’s investing most of California’s limited budget into renewable energy to create jobs and not rely on foreign oil. I have little doubt he included Texas when he made that statement.

      I see no benefit in attacking each other. We all want the same changes. I don’t have to be a Christian to get along with Bradley, but I greatly admire his commitment to act in good conscience according to his faith.

      We can rage against each other all we want. It’s an exercise in futility. I want to know what can we do.

      • Sue Reply

        August 14, 2011 at 9:29 pm

        Bravo Dorothy!

      • Leslie Parsley Reply

        August 14, 2011 at 10:04 pm

        Thank you Dorothy for your input and insight. However, I do have a few small things, I’d like to point out.

        I was very active in the 60s. As I remarked on another blog just a few minutes ago, I cheered when LBJ announced that he would not run for reelection. I hated him just that much because of the Vietnam War – forgetting entirely all the good that he did. The point is, though, look at what we got instead. It was a lesson I learned early and have never forgotten. The world is not a perfect place and I can’t have it all my way.

        “Good governance in a democratic society is about the art of the deal, not fiats and dictum. You want leaders who stand up for principles but not in the way of progress.”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/13/opinion/blow-genuflecting-to-the-tea-party.html?_r=2

        Or to quote Clint Eastwood: “Extremism is so easy. You’ve got your position, and that’s it. It doesn’t take much thought. And when you go far enough to the right you meet the same idiots coming around from the left.”

        The part about Gore’s home was somewhat of an urban myth. Yes, you can read about it on Snopes. More importantly, the Gore’s totally revamped the house.

        “The former vice president has installed solar panels, a rainwater-collection system and geothermal heating. He also replaced all incandescent lights with compact fluorescent or light-emitting diode bulbs.

        “Short of tearing it down and starting anew, I don’t know how it could have been rated any higher,” said Kim Shinn of the U.S. Green Building Council, which gave the house its second-highest rating for sustainable design.”

        Finally, as I also remarked elsewhere tonight (wow, what a blowhard I am), I think the Republicans are loving every minute of this rift between the Democrats and all the infighting because it is playing right into their hands.

        • Dorothy Anderson Reply

          August 15, 2011 at 12:06 am

          Leslie, thank you so much. I love your post. Civil exchange is the keystone to a healthy society. Fanatics in any group are always a danger. That’s the one absolutism I believe.

          Sounds like we’re pretty much from the same era when we believed we could change the world. We were indeed fortunate to live in that era. I did not get to participate in the 60s protests as much as I would have liked. I was age challenged. You went out and did something to effect change. That’s laudable.

          I was against the war but participated in Civil Rights marches as a young child. We all erred in our opinion of Johnson. He, like Obama, was handed a mess. Given his generation, I’m not sure he could have looked at the Viet Nam war other than a threat to Democracy.

          I knew two people who served in combat Viet Nam. They came back very different people. One of them was quite outgoing; when I ran into him after the war, he would just stand around and stare and the ground. It was chilling. It’s happening all over again in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I have no clue what can be done to withdraw troops.

          Do you remember that infamous line by Kruschev during the U.N. General Assembly as he banged his shoe on the table and yelled, We will bury you? He was wrong. We’re imploding from within.

          (I need to add a bit of levity here. Kruschev wearing shoes that were too tight and too small. Viktor Sukhodrev, who sat with Khrushchev during the event reported his boss pounded on his delegate-desk so hard his watch stopped, which only infuriated him further and prompted the switch to the shoe. Yes, I got that from Wiki.)

          Turns out the enemy were not Communists, but Corporate America outsourcing so many of our manufacturing and technology jobs for cheap labor overseas, that we are in decline. In 2009, corporations increased their wealth to something like $547 billion; American workers’ wages increased to approximately $1.7 billion.

          Greed and rabid fanaticism will bury us.

          The Eastwood statement pretty much sums up how I feel. There is no difference between extremists on the right or left.

          I, too, went on Snopes and cannot thank you enough for giving me info on Gore revamping his home to become less of an energy hog. There was a time when the Bush family had a far more self-sustaining home, so at that time, it was not a myth.

          Now, I have excellent arsenal against conservatives. That Gore changed his home to be energy-efficient is admirable. Perhaps he learned a lot about global climate change from researching An Inconvenient Truth. (Current TV is airing the documentary on Monday, August 15th…)

          Gore practiced what he preached. I had no idea about the U.S. Green Building Council rating. Now, I wonder where the Bush compound would rank.

          I agree with you that the GOP are rubbing their hands in glee. The more paranoid part of me wonders whether there are Republican operatives inciting progressives to turn against President Obama. I am not completely happy with the policies of his administration, but, as I wrote, I have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes. People seem to forget or don’t know Joe Biden’s canniness. We should not underestimate them.

          The political maneuvering should be interesting in the coming election. But, take heart, the GOP is split, too, between the pee party and the more moderate right. As Abraham Lincoln said, A house divided against itself cannot stand.

          America is in a new Civil War.

  7. jenny40 Reply

    August 14, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I am opposed to war in all forms but understand that sometimes what appears as evil can establish that which is good. I also believe in social justice and criticizing wrong while trying to right it, however, I am respectful in my observations, not hateful, as some of the “hard left Obama Haters” have shown themselves to be. I see no reason to spew venom when simply pointing out alternatives and encouraging change through polite and civil discourse will do quite nicely.

  8. BigHarryH Reply

    August 14, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I never read the old Leslie, but if this is the new Leslie, she is my type of Leslie. I remember the old Oso.

    • Peter Lake Reply

      August 14, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      I remember the Old Oso and either he was always a hateful bigot, or he just hid it rather well. In my experience those who hate war and scream for social justice the loudest are sometimes the ultimate haters, spitting vitriol at their most convenient target, and unforgiving in their condemnation, in this case the president of the United States.

      You’re not fooling me Oso. You’re a bigot of the new age; embracing liberalism and goodness on one hand and wielding a glittering dagger of hate and prejudice on the other. Unfortunately the casual observer rarely sees the dagger but the careful and discriminating watcher will invariably uncover it for what it really is.

      You should be ashamed Mr. Oso.

    • Sue Reply

      August 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm

      I remember the old OSO too…old Oso where are you??? You never visit my blog. Something is happening to our group, it is splintering and I don’t like it! We all consider ourselves liberals, right? So what’s wrong with supporting our president? Seems if we do that is cult of personality? That is a damn shame…

      • Elusive truth Reply

        August 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm

        It’s just like Oso to hit and run. He rarely has the courage to hang around and engage in lively discussion especially when he is mentioned in a light unfavorable to himself. I’ll always wonder, forever and a day, whatever happened to the guy I first started reading so many, many years ago. I never once thought he was mean….but then again you never know you neighbor until the cops are parked out front.

        • Dorothy Anderson Reply

          August 14, 2011 at 6:28 pm

          If we don’t want Oso to attack us, we should not attack him.

          • Elusive truth Reply

            August 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm

            If you are referring to me you should be more careful in your reading. He is not being attacked on the contrary he is being scrutinized. There is a difference.

            • Dorothy Anderson Reply

              August 14, 2011 at 9:02 pm

              Elusive Truth, I have an advanced degree in English. I don’t need to be instructed on the difference between “attack” and “scrutiny.” He rarely has the courage to hang around sounds like an attack to me.

              • Dorothy Anderson Reply

                August 15, 2011 at 11:24 am

                Ruthless Truth, I realize I was rather rude to you. I apologize.

  9. Joe Hagstrom Reply

    August 14, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Oso is pissed off. That shows he pays attention. While I don’t share his opinion of President Obama, I see where he’s coming from. The man is not a bigot and I consider him a friend. As I do Leslie.

    Let’s not start calling those on our side what we know the other side either is or panders to.

    • Peter Lake Reply

      August 14, 2011 at 2:27 pm

      I suspect friend Joe you may have misread, or misunderstood my intent when penning my latest comment and it could be my lack of communication that led to such misunderstanding. Allow me please to reframe my argument:

      As I recall, the former Madmike writer Oso often wrote glowing and compassionate treatises on the plight of America’s poor and racially disparate. In almost all cases he spoke of American Indians. I find it difficult to reconcile the spirit or intent of the man who writes so eloquently about the horrific conditions suffered by the American Indian and yet speaks with such hatred about Barack Obama. On one hand he eschews the vitriol and violence visited upon his people and yet parrots a similar vitriol colored with an undercurrent of violence when speaking of our president, a black man. I find that to be a dishonest contradiction, if not outright hypocrisy.

      Thanks for taking the time to respond to my submission friend Joe. You are a peaceful soul whose literary observations I have long enjoyed.

  10. yobaba Reply

    August 14, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    I agree with Leslie on several levels. IMO, a lot of voters were swept up in the moment in 2008; it was a unique election, you have to admit. Here was “our guy” – amazingly intelligent and amazingly eloquent [especially when compared to the person who would be vacating the office of POTUS]; he was young and hip with no visible “issues” and very little, if any, “baggage” [especially when compared to his opponent(s)]; here was a guy you felt you could be friends with, one who reflected “We The People” in a way that no other presidential candidate had before, at least it seemed so to those of us who voted DEM in 2008. This man was the ‘change’ we had been looking for, and we embraced him and his message with wholehearted ingenuousness. We were so desperate to believe that we DID believe, and we believed with such enthusiasm that – just maybe – Mr. Obama also started to believe … he believed the mandate that we had literally thrown at him would provide him the means to make the changes necessary so that this country could be great again.

    That said, a lot of the people who voted for Barack Obama – I shall venture to say perhaps the majority of them – had and have very little idea of how the American government works in real life. That, and the fact that, not just the far right, but most of the Republican party, had been spoon fed toxins during the presidential campaign made the situation ripe for disappointment and disillusionment.

    Off subject a bit: Leslie mentioned in her article that the Republicans seem to be ‘good followers’ or at least better followers than Democrats. IMHO this has more to do with religious training than anything else. As a group Republicans will proudly admit to being Christian, and the basis of their religion is abject submission and servitude to an “almighty”. Thus inculcated from birth, it’s not hard to imagine how this characteristic can be and is exploited by less-than-scrupulous leaders. This is not an insult – I came from such a family myself and I’ve been through the brainwashing. It is what it is and nothing more than that. It becomes a hideous thing only when used for hideous ends.

    As far as Leslie being “dumbfounded at the attacks from the so-called professional progressive blogs”, to me this shows a certain amount of sweet naivete on Leslie’s part. These professional bloggers – and not a few professional pundits, for that matter – figured out long ago that controversy and a willingness to be a potty-mouth will get you noticed. It’s less about the message and a whole lot more about the messenger – just look at Sarah Palin’s M.O. She is still getting attention even though she’s basically a non-player at this point.

    I think Leslie really – finally? – nails it when she draws a correlation between the invectives and the fact that the POTUS is, for all intents and purposes, Black. A majority of the Americans who are of European descent – the same ones who’s ancestors basically stole this continent from the First Inhabitants, the same ones who’s ancestors “owned” other human beings – are incapable of owning up to the fact that they are, to some degree, racist. Doesn’t matter whether they vote ‘R’ or ‘D’ or ‘I’. The fact that a lot of Republicans – and not a few Democrats – insist that the Founders were Christians [which they most assuredly were not] and that they established America as a so-called ‘Christian nation’, protected and guided by their White God, does not bode well for any changes in the near future. Sadly it just won’t happen.

    Personally I still think Barack Obama offers the best hope for America. I can’t think of anyone else I would seriously consider for president. I don’t know what I am going to do in 2016.

    • Bradley Scott Reply

      August 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm

      I’m a Christian, a Democrat, and a progressive liberal. I don’t feel that my brain has been washed, nor has my ability to use that brain been diminished by my submission to the Lordship of Christ. After all, He demands but few things of the faithful, most of which persons of good concience would be willing to do anyway. That His example and instruction has been co-opted and corrupted by those puporting to act and speak on His behalf is the fault of the stewards, not the Lord, or the faith. Those who follow the false teachings have themselves to blame as much as any other for not following the Lord’s will and seeking out relationship with and wisdom from Him, turning instead to religious/political leaders who pander to their fears, predjudices, baser desires, or just offer a tab ‘A’, slot ‘B’, one, two, three cheat sheet of life rules rather than persue answers and seek the path of righteousness for themselves.

      • Leslie Parsley Reply

        August 14, 2011 at 4:42 pm

        Hyperreligiosity” is in fact a mental illness – whether it’s Christian, Muslim, Hindu or whatever.

        • Bradley Scott Reply

          August 14, 2011 at 10:34 pm

          So is hypochondria, or hyperactivity. The difference, I believe, is the willingness of many of the ‘victims’ of ‘hyperreligiosity’ to be active participants in their supposed illness. When confronted with the gross disparity between what one believes and what can be proven to be true, or between what religious persons practice as opposed to what the tenets of their faith command, digging in one’s heels, closing their eyes, rythmically shaking their head from side to side, and plugging their ears while humming makes them willfully ignorant, not mentally ill.

          • Leslie Parsley Reply

            August 15, 2011 at 10:14 am

            There’s quite a bit of research on this. 39% of bipolars are hyperreligious, for example. Not all, but most hyprerreligious sorts present with certain characteristics that put them in the realm of a mental illness.

            • Dorothy Anderson Reply

              August 15, 2011 at 11:22 am

              Certainly, there’s mental illness attached to hyper-religious and fanatics in general, Leslie. I’m no psychiatrist, but my vote is for schizophrenia.

              * Strongly held beliefs that are not based in reality (delusions) (God told me to…)
              * Hearing or seeing things that are not there
              * Problems paying attention
              * Thoughts “jump” between unrelated topics
              * Bizarre behavior

              Paranoid schizophrenics are

              * Anxious
              * Angry or argumentative
              * False believes that others are trying to harm you or your loved ones.

              Disordered schizophrenics have

              * Problems with thinking and expressing ideas clearly
              * Childlike behavior
              * Showing little emotion

            • Dorothy Anderson Reply

              August 16, 2011 at 12:05 am

              Should I include Tim and Tom in the above category?

              • Leslie Parsley Reply

                August 16, 2011 at 9:52 am

                ROFLOMAO. I couldn’t really figure out what you were talking about and was a bit puzzled – until I scrolled down. My, my, my – no wonder I couldn’t sleep last night due to unexplained anxiety! Ha, ha, ha. People telling lies about me, calling me names, and talking about me behind my back? Imagine that! Kind of proves my point, “don’t” it?

    • Leslie Parsley Reply

      August 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm

      Trust me, I’m no longer naive. ; ) Don’t know about “sweet.”

  11. Collin Hinds Reply

    August 14, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    I think where a lot of liberals felt sideswiped is when it became apparent to them that Obama is not as liberal as they are. The fact of the matter is that Obama is a centrist and always has been. That a centrist would appear so liberal to so many is testament to how far to the right the right has moved.

  12. Michael John Scott Reply

    August 14, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Yobaba writes:

    “Personally I still think Barack Obama offers the best hope for America. I can’t think of anyone else I would seriously consider for president. I don’t know what I am going to do in 2016.”

    Ditto!

    • Joe Hagstrom Reply

      August 14, 2011 at 2:53 pm

      Without the spectre of reelection hanging over his head I also look for Obama to accomplish great things in his second term.

      • Bradley Scott Reply

        August 14, 2011 at 3:28 pm

        As do I, provided we see him into that second term. I feel the battle for re-election will be at least as difficult as the first, and very likely moreso. The thing to do now, I think, is to get the people who voted for Obama in ’08 re-energized and committed to the re-election.

        • Sue Reply

          August 14, 2011 at 9:42 pm

          I thought the election of Obama went smoothly, especially after McCain chose Palin as his running mate. I don’t know, call me naive, but I knew all along he would beat the old man and beat him good!

          • Bradley Scott Reply

            August 18, 2011 at 12:31 am

            There was 75% voter turn out, many of them first time voters. I registered several hundred myself. We definately need to make sure all those first-timers vote again.
            I was quite sure Al Gore would win, too. And in fact, he did. But he didn’t. I supported John Kerry too, and at least believed he should have won.

      • Sue Reply

        August 14, 2011 at 9:39 pm

        I think so too Joe. And as for 2016, I’m nervous. I can’t imagine going back to Republican rule after 8 yrs of Barack Obama, but it very well could happen. I hope we’re all still here fighting for the future of our country…

        • Joe Hagstrom Reply

          August 14, 2011 at 10:40 pm

          When I met Obama in Clat Adams park in my hometown I could tell he was pragmatic enough to give the other side at least some of what it wanted so he could get what he wanted.

          We can raise all the hell we want but that’s still how you have to do things. Unless you’re Bush and control your party and have a handful of frightened DINOs to let you do whatever you want.

          As Harry Truman said “It takes politicians to run a government.”

          I’ll gladly give President Obama another term. I’m confident he’ll be able to be more in control. if I’m wrong, it still beats any of the republican tea party suckasses out there now.

  13. TAO Reply

    August 14, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Now that everyone has patted themselves on the back lets look at 2008 a little differently; yes, we elected a black man president, but we also had a financial meltdown of a scale never seen in this country.

    The effects of that meltdown are still with us today, and will continue for most likely another 10 to 15 years; we are not anywhere near a bottom yet. The reality is a true, hardcore left WILL develop in this country and it has nothing to do with the color of Obama’s skin; but rather with the centralist positions he is taking and the inability of Washington to deal with the problems that are affecting more and more Americans.

    Leslie is an astute scholar of history and I am sure she also is very well aware of the gains that the socialists were making in this country in the late 20’s and early 30’s which really gave FDR a “threat” that he could use to get support for his more radical programs.

    The election of Obama has done wonders for placating the left and keeping Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton off the streets but the reality is we have less American adults employed today than we did in 1983 foreclosures continue to trap American families and while we will not cut benefits for current social security and medicare recipients we will be cutting them for those who are currently struggling to find a job and or losing their home.

    Now, they can continue to join the little militias that are forming all over the place, or support the Tea Party….or someone can create a leftist movement….to bad ACORN was thrown under a bus so quick.

    The reality is without a group on the left to capture the anger of the alienated masses they will continue to voice their anger at Washington through the Tea Party and all these other right wing groups.

    Which again, Leslie is very knowledgeable about….

    If you want America to continue to be a center right country then keep attacking folks like Oso, keep beating up on them….and the only alternative they will have is the right wing groups….

    • Holte Ender Reply

      August 14, 2011 at 10:31 pm

      Tao – If Oso hadn’t thrown a hand grenade and then left the room you wouldn’t have to defend him. Him saying Leslie had abandoned her principles so she could worship at the altar of celebrity was an attack which has become typical and nothing short of annoying.

      • Joe Hagstrom Reply

        August 14, 2011 at 10:43 pm

        He did help generate alot of interest in Leslie’s great post.

        • Holte Ender Reply

          August 14, 2011 at 11:39 pm

          By golly you are right Joe – Thank you Oso, I apologize for calling you judgmental.

      • TAO Reply

        August 15, 2011 at 6:38 am

        Holt, its not just about Oso….

        • TAO Reply

          August 15, 2011 at 6:57 am

          I think Warren Buffet said it best in his NYT piece this weekend:

          “Americans are rapidly losing faith in the ability of Congress to deal with our country’s fiscal problems. Only action that is immediate, real and very substantial will prevent that doubt from morphing into hopelessness,” Buffett said.”

          Our real issue has nothing to do with Obama or the color of his skin, but rather everything to do with Washington and its ability to maintain a sense of relevancy in the lives of the average American.

          http://news.yahoo.com/stop-coddling-super-rich-buffett-084140678.html

    • Dorothy Anderson Reply

      August 15, 2011 at 11:33 am

      Am I reading your comment correctly, TAO? Did FDR use socialist programs to threaten capitalists so he could gain support for more radical (socialist?) programs?’

      If Obama is a socialist, there may be a lot of other political leaders in U.S. history who were, too, according to academics who study American history and politics.

      The foremost candidate probably would be Franklin D. Roosevelt, several said.

      Maybe Lyndon Johnson. John Kennedy? Thomas Jefferson? Bob Dole?

      The accusation of socialism, communism or generally destroying the American way of life tends to pop up whenever political leaders advocate ground-breaking legislation or government initiatives, said Richard Conley of the University of Florida.

      Brief but interesting article:
      http://beta2.tbo.com/news/breaking-news/2009/aug/02/na-if-obama-is-a-socialist-what-was-fdr-ar-90966/

      • TAO Reply

        August 15, 2011 at 10:12 pm

        No, Dorothy, I did not say that FDR was a socialist…but we had cities that had socialist mayors, states that had socialist house members and the socialists were becoming very organized and marching in the streets….

        FDR could say, “hey, you either do it my way or you are going to do it THEIR way….” Not much different than what the Right has done with a few thousand Tea Party deadbeats marching for a free lunch.

        Sadly, the left cannot mount such a show of anger any longer…..we got 30 people to protest at Mitch McConnell’s office and we could not even get local media coverage…but you get 10 Tea Party out in the downtown square and CNN will be there covering it…

        Without an organized left pushing the political system then all you are going to get is centralism….

  14. Leslie Parsley Reply

    August 14, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    By the way, speaking of race, this is an excellent article I just read and highly recommend it.

    http://weeseeyou.com/2011/08/12/progressive-angst-and-president-obama-its-not-him-its-you/

    And here’s another excellent article about Obama written in 2006 by Ken Silverstein for Harper’s. Long but very prescient. He is what he is and what he has always been.

    http://harpers.org/archive/2006/11/0081275

  15. Leslie Parsley Reply

    August 14, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Actually, the article about race started with Andrew Sullivan.

    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/08/seeing-obama-through-the-civil-rights-prism.html

  16. Nance Reply

    August 15, 2011 at 10:41 am

    My sympathies may lie with progressive causes, but my policy is to back Obama 100%, because his top agenda is to restore functional government in this polarized hell. We’ve got a shot at fixing some of our problems if we can relocate the ground where responsible conservatism and pragmatic liberalism meet to work out solutions. If we don’t locate and stand firmly on that ground, the dysfunction apparent in the debt ceiling debacle is the future of America. That’s no future.

    Good job, Leslie Parsley!

    • Elusive truth Reply

      August 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm

      I agree with you 100% Nance. I support the president even though he has, in my opinion, let us down in some ways. The reality is the alternative. The crazy screamers on the Left who are demanding another candidate don’t realize that “a house divided against itself cannot stand…” or words to that effect, from, I think Mr. Lincoln?

      • Dorothy Anderson Reply

        August 15, 2011 at 5:27 pm

        … and a reminder to all the crazy screamers out there: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (George Santayana, Life of Reason.)

  17. Winterboy Reply

    August 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Disclaimer: I volunteered for Obama in ’08, and will likely vote for him again.

    I agree with the overall sentiment of your interesting and well-written piece, but conflating the rhetoric of the ‘far left’ with that of the ‘far right’ is rather like comparing cold liver oil to Drano–both liquids, both unpalatable, but hardly the same toxicity or prevalence. A few items to note:

    1) Rightwing anger at Obama generally focuses on invented issues and false threats, and masks racism/other social fears, while anger from the Left focuses on Obama’s/the Dems’ actual policy positions and actions, and expresses a sense of betrayal of stated promises or expectations.

    2) Anger from the Left increases exponentially when it’s attacked for simply criticizing the pres or the party. Obama himself challenged us to hold his feet to the fire, and then began sniping at Lefties when they did just that.

    In addition, even the most civil Leftist critics are tarred by the president’s supporters with the ‘far left/professional left/firebagger/election-wrecker, etc’ brush; Paul Krugman and Cornel West are two that come immediately to mind. Lately, Obama’s supporters are raiding/creating “liberal” pages inside social networks, and are ratcheting up the anti-Left rhetoric to TeaParty levels. I’m not surprised that less mature critics are responding in kind (I’ve done it myself).

    3) The Right has successfully destroyed the meaning of terms like liberal, progressive, the Left. Many who most viciously attack Obama from ‘the Left’ are no more liberal than Max Baucus (a point you touched on yourself, if I remember right). Same thing with Obama supporters, many of whom call themselves liberal BECAUSE they support the pres–even as they rubberstamp the most conservative of policies/actions, and repeatedly bash the Left.

    4) Doesn’t appear to be your intention, but your essay itself is already being used by ‘liberal’ groups on FB to hound Obama critics to STFU!

    Thanks for reading, and keep up the good work.

    • Leslie Parsley Reply

      August 15, 2011 at 5:41 pm

      Winterboy: Thanks for your excellent comment.

      “1) Rightwing anger at Obama generally focuses on invented issues and false threats, and masks racism/other social fears, while anger from the Left focuses on Obama’s/the Dems’ actual policy positions and actions, and expresses a sense of betrayal of stated promises or expectations.”

      Fenerally speaking, I think you’re right on this, but I think a lot of the criticism from both sides come from a rather unrealistic approach to politics, or political naivety, if you will. For example, and I realize I’m being a bit simplistic, no president has ever been able to keep all of his campaign promises. Politics is an art form and to get anything done at all there has to be compromise. I also think many, many people have an unrealistic idea about what the role of the president is and I think a lot of people had misconceptions about Obama from the beginning. I see a lot of tunnel vision and selective hearing. For example, how many times does he have to say “I will be” or “I am” the president of all the people? Are people tone deaf? How much plainer can it get?

      And then there are the PUMAS who are still pissed that Hillary didn’t win. Kind of reminds me of the thinking among my fellow Southerners who are still angry that the Union beat them in the War Between the States. Or the racists who are still mad because there’s a black man in the White House in the first place. Would she have been any more successful? It’s hard to tell but I doubt it because she’s a woman and we’ve seen what the Republicans think of women, especially when they’re smart.

      And in general, I don’t thing the far-left really know their history very well.

      #4) No kidding? I didn’t know that. Good.

      By the way, one of my very favorite bloggers – an exceptionally smart attorney in VA – just posted this brilliant piece today about ole Abe and the activist Douglas in answer to folks who always like to compare Obama to Lincoln – and every other president in history.

      http://theexaminedlife-sheria.blogspot.com/2011/08/pragmatism-presidency-and-activism.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2Fsheria+%28The+Examined+Life%29

      • Dorothy Anderson Reply

        August 16, 2011 at 10:19 am

        I’m not a PUMA, but I could easily be a cougar…

      • Winterboy Reply

        August 18, 2011 at 11:13 pm

        I’ll check out your friend’s essay (looks like it comes with a soundtrack, too).

        I think you’re right about political naivete. I confess to being stuck in idealism for longer than most. I don’t believe, though, that most lefties who object to Obama do so because he failed to follow through on all of his promises. The liberals I know are well aware of how difficult it is to effect beneficial social or economic change, and most of us knew going in that Obama was pretty conservative.

        What really threw many of us was the magnitude of disconnect between campaigning and governing Obamas, followed by the confrontational stance he adopted with those who honored his challenge to hold his feet to the fire. That was a tough pill to swallow.

  18. osori Reply

    August 15, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Well this certainly generated a spirited discussion, I’d like to thank Dorothy, Joe, Tao and Winterboy for having my back.

    I’ve got no quarrel with those taking the ‘lesser of two evils’ position.I disagree and can back my distaste at the position with hard facts, but I respect their ability to acknowledge the administration follows policy which supports asset markets over jobs, etc, etc, but feel there is no viable alternative.They may be right.

    My quarrel’s with the Obots, who cannot honestly debate because that would involve support of what is effectively Republican policy – so they choose to either list nominal accomplishments which contain a semblance of fact (Ended the Iraq war, reformed finance,reformed healthcare) or charge anyone not supporting the president with racism – marvelous for assuaging White guilt in a froth of righteous indignation.

    My personal use of obscenity referenced by the author of this post was in response to an Obots obscenities directed at a friend – which is neither here nor there but I generally respond in kind.

    • Holte Ender Reply

      August 15, 2011 at 11:07 pm

      I’ve got no quarrel with those taking the ‘lesser of two evils’ position.I disagree and can back my distaste at the position with hard facts . . .

      Since when do you have sole possession of the facts, or the truth? There is only interpretation of available information and we all have our own take on said information. Why the intolerance at people from the same side of the fence, you and Tim seem to spend more time poking and jabbing democrats and they’re not even the enemy. But again, that’s safer I suppose and meanwhile the “real” enemy is about to bend you over, probably for 8 years.

  19. TOM Reply

    August 15, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    “The blatant hypocrisy and the total disregard for a person’s right to free expression because their speech is not agreeable with another’s is deplorable and unacceptable.”

    But that’s EXACTLY what you did to me, hypocrite

  20. Tim Reply

    August 15, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    I started this whole thing on my site. I’m the scurrilous one who now hates Obama. I say so. To those who attack what I say over these many months, I wrote about them as those who want to blow Obama. I used an actual post to point out, the writer wrote as if he was in love with Obama. Now, I didn’t post what I wrote here or any other site I write for. As a matter of fact I didn’t even promote it except to some FB friends. So some had to make a point to stop over and see what Tim has written. Oh should I say Timmy as some here think that bothers me. It doesn’t. Some here, I hate as much as I do Obama. Hate is a strong word but warranted here. For the record, I’ll write what I want, what I feel and what I think necessary. I suggest if you don’t like it, don’t read it. I would appreciate being taken off the contributors list although it sure gave you a lot of hits. Your welcome. Oso being a good friend tried to defend me and him. I suggested he never stops by here again. I’ll follow that advice myself. So say what you will, I’ll never know about it. This site no longer exist.
    Peace!

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      August 15, 2011 at 7:46 pm

      Tim I have stayed out of this discussion, until now. The fact is I took you off the contributors list and deleted the only post you wrote for us after you stopped contributing to RT and asked to join our team.

      I did this after I was told what you wrote about Leslie Parsley and the comments you made concerning this site. I found your foul rhetoric disgusting and beneath the dignity of my reading list. Debating an issue is one thing but attempting to debase a person for simply expressing an opinion goes beyond the pale.

      As for you being responsible for bringing visitors to our site? Well, Tim, we had well over 1 Million views and close to 500K actual visitors in the last 30 days alone. Sorry man, but I doubt your one little post had anything to do with that. As a matter of fact I just looked it up and you had a total of 6 views. Now that could be big news for a baby blog like yours, but it is not significant for a site like ours.

      In closing I am disappointed. I am disappointed in knowing that someone whom I had befriended was capable of such vile hate and filthy rhetoric. I was disappointed when I read some of the few names of people who actually “liked” what you wrote. I am disappointed that politics has brought down what was once a close knit circle of friends who agreed to disagree without malice.

      • Dorothy Anderson Reply

        August 16, 2011 at 12:09 am

        Mike, you, too, are exercising free speech. If we don’t want to watch a TV show, such as Faux News, we change the channel. I don’t see any difference.

        I wrote enough below. I, too, found the foul comments made against her as reprehensible.

        Politics has indeed destroyed a what I always felt was our little family. Why, I do not know.

    • Holte Ender Reply

      August 15, 2011 at 11:32 pm

      Tim – I was going to tell you to fuck off and never come back, but I changed my mind, you can fuck off and come back anytime you like.

    • Dorothy Anderson Reply

      August 16, 2011 at 12:03 am

      Tim, you did not start this dialog. This situation has been dividing progressives and may well blow up in our faces if we don’t start working together. I have no argument against Oso.

      I credit Leslie for this discussion, who made a cogent argument against fanaticism of all stripes. All these comments lead to one conclusion: either we stand together as progressive or we are going to see conservatism and capitalism dominate America. Our nation will slip into a Plutocracy before we can blink.

      While I’m on the subject, Tim, you have paralleled exactly what we believe. Just as right-wing nut jobs blame the bad economy on Obama, so the left-wing nut jobs claim what happened in Wisconsin the other night, is a victory. Hatred is a direct result of fear: no wonder your site is entitled “Scared Stiff.”

      I don’t consider Wisconsin a win: I consider it a small step forward.

      Tom, your lack of judgment is sad. I don’t know why you think we engage in genuflection to Obama. Hell, more than a few here are atheists. So, why would they bend their kneel to anyone. That’s hyperbolic. I am not alone in my disappointment, but I also know that none of us get the whole story of what goes on behind the media. Deal with it.

      You call us the idiots I warned of during the Presidential election the liberal nut jobs are just as sick as the conservative nut jobs. That is the point of this entire post and discussion. What you don’t seem to understand is you are one of those wingnuts about whom you write.

      Further, calling Leslie a bitch is beyond the pale. Is that the best you can do? Call her a terrorist because she’s turning her back on hatred? Perhaps you don’t know B.I.T.C.H. is an acronym for Being In Total Control of Herself. In that case, you are complimenting her, as she well deserves.

      You can write what you want, of course. That’s your First Amendment right. However, demonstrating hatred plays into the hands of the far right. Now, I can exercise my right to free speech: hatred usually surfaces from fear. Tim, you’re the one who’s named your site is “Scared Stiff.” I rest my case.

      Leslie, too, chose to exercise free speech. I don’t mean to speak for her, but I am guessing she deleted your comments and your blog from her blog roll because she isn’t interested in the venom you spew.

      By the way, you do either of you know that the term “embiggen” is a word coined from The Simpsons? It’s not a real word. Did you mean “embolden”?

      I’ve heard many progressives are joining the pee party due to their negative feelings about Obama. How is that going to help? There are those progressives who are siding with Ron Paul unaware that the entire structure of social good will crumble if he were in control.

      I agree with Joe and TAO. For the record that it’s better to work together than for people to divide progressive causes into battling factions while the far right walks in and controls the entire government.

      You both seem so concerned about what others say to you that I can’t imagine you won’t come back and continue your raillery.

      As TAO wrote, We fight amongst ourselves, and take every disagreement as a personal affront, we might as well give up now. Joe is right when he reiterates that fact.

      Satire, according to Jonathan Swift, is “a mirror wherein every man will commonly discern every face but his own”. Neither of you are capable of even satire, just hurling invectives. Anger strengthens the muscles, but weakens the sinews of the brain. Amen.

      I am sad for you both.

      • TOM Reply

        August 16, 2011 at 12:35 am

        Clueless Dorthy,

        You haven’t a clue how it started, what you are talking about, or the attacks of hate mail against me started by Leslie.
        Typical goose-step, talking point, statements backed up by no information at all.
        I went on her blog and stated my disappointments about Obama. No vulgarity, simple facts. Her act was one of irrationality. I have been commenting on her blog for a very long time.
        Leslie is the only one who can explain, but she will not. It is simple hypocrisy, and having read her blathering here, I though it directly related, and opposed to what she wrote here. Think she is not capable of such action?
        So before shooting your mouth off, you should read the back and forth between us, Oh, you can’t because Leslie practices censorship of reasonable conversation.
        The bitch part she earned by sending her minions to attack my blog.
        I dare Leslie to produce anything I wrote on her blog that was out of line.
        Except of course, my opinion which she disagreed with.

        • TOM Reply

          August 16, 2011 at 1:07 am

          The name of my site is NOT scared stiff, so I see how confused you are about the facts.
          Do you always talk about things you know nothing about?
          Leslie and Sue believe WI was a win for Democrats. Sue wrote it and Leslie agreed. My opinion, they are delusional left-wing nuts.
          When I spoke facts, they deleted and censored.
          My simple disagreement with Leslie caused her to delete my comments and my blog from her links. Fine, but then she writes here what I quoted in my first comment.
          It is hypocrisy plain and simple. And that should be judged and known to others as she writes her garbage here. She does not practice what she preaches.
          Disagreement is not hate. Attacking my blog showed hate, but I’m sure you would disagree. I’m sure you consider that a rational act.

          • Dorothy Anderson Reply

            August 16, 2011 at 10:06 am

            See? I knew you would be back. And I will shoot my mouth off anytime I damn well please. Who’s trying to censor whom? You did not read what I wrote: disagreement is not hate. invectives are. Clueless are those who construct run-on sentences, have bad grammar, and are unable to write articulately.

            I am not deluded about the hatred you both (?) spew.

            (~yawn~) I am changing the channel. Enough of you (two?)

  21. Barry West Reply

    August 15, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Many years ago I had a dear friend of 20 years who supported George W. Bush. Naturally we all teased our friend, Jim, about his choice, but he didn’t take it well. On the contrary. He stopped speaking to all of us because of a fool like George Bush and a political system that has long been broken. So Mr. Scott I applaud you for this fine Oasis in an otherwise sterile land and congratulate you for your diplomacy, tact and good grace.

  22. Joe Hagstrom Reply

    August 15, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    TAO said this in part of his response to Dorothy:

    “Without an organized left pushing the political system then all you are going to get is centralism….”

    Exactly and I’ve been harping on this for years. Bad enough our Nation is divided be right and left, and like it or not the right is winning. It took damn near a depression and two unending and unwinnable occupations to get the presidency away from them. Now the left is just as divided. I hate being in the middle of the fray cause I like leslie, Oso, Mike, Tim, TAO, Sue and everyone. It sucks that we’re now this divided when we all share the same goals for our Nation. It sucks we can’t change things faster. But we sure as hell can’t change anything if we lose elections because we can’t focus on the long term goals of progressives instead of trying to be the big dog on the blogger block. The fight wasn’t won when Obama was elected. It was a big victory but the war on exploiters of ignorance and bigotry, corporate interests over the interests of the nation as a whole, has a long way to go. The right is orgaqnized and on message. Our message is truth. Their’s is bullshit. We work together we win. We fight amongst ourselves, and take every disagreement as a personal affront, we might as well give up now.

  23. John Myste Reply

    August 16, 2011 at 1:48 am

    This post especially resonated with me because in between persistently attacking conservatives stance on the Budget, I have been writing articles that take an a distinctly conciliatory posture.

    I think conservatives manage to find themselves on the wrong side of just about every fence, but that does not make them stupid, evil or hateful.

    I know some conservatives who can go toe to toe with anyone in a debate and do very well. The trick is to not get caught up citing places where others give you their opinions and call them facts. Only site original sources. Don’t say what the S & P said. Instead quote from the S & P PDF. Admit that philosophical stances are just that, and are not facts. Admit your axioms and don’t run from them. Some conservatives do this much of the time and they are very tough to debate.

    I am a far left liberal, but that doesn’t make me right, more virtuous, less hateful than someone else just because he happens to believe in conservatism. Many conservatives and liberals want the same thing, to do what’s fair. They simply disagree on what that is, or axiomatic reasons.

    I may not always be correctly thinking in my liberal faith. It’s hard to believe. Sometimes I don’t even believe it myself.

    • Dorothy Anderson Reply

      August 16, 2011 at 10:41 am

      Yes, John. And, sometimes, conservatives can be on the right side of the issue: http://www.rep.org/

      Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage. I wish more people practiced this philosophy.

  24. Leslie Parsley Reply

    August 16, 2011 at 11:12 am

    I see the far-left is more than adequately proving the points I made in this article with their paranoia, myth making, name calling and vitriol. Thank you. It’s more than generous of you, so I appreciate it.

    Tim says he started this whole thing. Don’t give yourself so much credit. This article was first published in December 2010 on my blog and The Swash Zone. I only added your vulgar headline, one of many, about “sucking dick” as a small update. I didn’t reference it, as I didn’t reference other vitriolic sources, because I didn’t want to embarrass people if they ever came to their senses. Obviously, I was remiss as you don’t seem to have that capability.

    “Some here, I hate as much as Obama.” Sounds like the soldier marching along with 200 others who thinks they are all out of step but him. I believe this comment says more about you than all but a few people here. As I suggested to Oso early on here, I think both of you would benefit with some anger management counseling; you seem to feed off of each other with your rage – not a very healthy state of mind under any circumstances and can eat up a person on the inside.

    Oh Tom, you are a boat load of mythology and paranoia. The ONLY time I have emailed you was about two years ago when I responded to your own email warning me to beware of d-marks. I believe you accused him of hacking into your account, sending and organizing hate emails to you, and leaving nasty messages on your blog. Is this a pattern with you? I can assure you I have much more important things to do than engage in this kind of silliness.

    “The bitch part she earned by sending her minions to attack my blog.” Just more paranoid delusion.

    I have heard from several folks about your personal attacks “behind my back,” that is, on your blog. How mature. This is the only thing I’ve said on my blog about you: “I just knocked Tom off my roll and he is not welcome here. It is okay to criticize the President of the United States but it is not okay to tell him ‘to get off his fat ass.'” I should have elaborated and pointed out that you said this on your own blog, so I was remiss on that score.

    Yes indeedy, in the name of free speech you have every right to say whatever you want on your blog. Just as I have every right not to endorse it with a link on my roll. And just as I have a right to run my house any way I see fit.

    • TOM Reply

      August 16, 2011 at 12:47 pm

      Well, maybe you should end calling me a liar and let my comments from your post speak for themselves, but no, you love people not knowing and just lying about it. Then your buddies attack my blog and mail box. Yes, you are responsible for that.

      Clueless Dorthy,

      I know you are the kind to shoot your mouth off, without knowing the facts. You just proved it.
      Why don’t you convince Leslie to let you see the comments I left on her blog, and then judge. She obviously wants to hide my comments, because they in no way justified her irrational response.
      Waco lefties are getting bad, just like wacko righties.

      • Leslie Parsley Reply

        August 16, 2011 at 1:43 pm

        Tom – you just need to STFU and quit showing your ass. It is you, sir, who is lying by saying that I ever called you a liar. Never – until now and it is more than justified. You need to reserve your vitriol for your own backyard – but I guess that since you’re not getting enough attention there with your low readership numbers, you feel the need to spread your muck on other peoples’ blogs. How classy.

        • Dorothy Anderson Reply

          August 16, 2011 at 5:48 pm

          Waco [sic] lefties are getting bad, just like wacko[sic] righties.

          The irony.

  25. Markus Reply

    August 20, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Hallo, schöner Beitrag. Ich kann nicht verstehen, wie so viele Leute die Atomkraft ablehnen (was sich nicht zuletzt in den Wahlergebnissen zeigte) und dann aber nicht bereit sind, im eigenen Haus auf naturstrom umzusteigen. Es gibt doch mittlerweile genug Anbieter und bezahlbare Tarife.

  26. Jolly Roger Reply

    August 23, 2011 at 5:18 am

    What I see, here, is a whole lot of framing. An attempt to put people into a box that can then be taped up, and put on a shelf.

    Brother Oso has tried, in his gentler manner, to steer the conversation back to WHY it is so many of us have had it with the present President. Tim has approached the issue from a totally different tack, but the responses largely add up to the same thing-as in, if you are furious at all of the cave-ins, you are some kind of wild-eyed fanatic with a copy of either the Southern battle flag or Mao’s Little Red Book in your pocket.

    If George W. Bush had done many of the things this President has done, every commenter here (save perhaps one) would be howling. And one of the things that I heard the most howling about from 2001-2009 was the blind unwillingness of Bush supporters to even entertain the notion that the critics might be correct.

    The simple fact of the matter is, most of us who have gone over to the dark side are exactly who we were in 2008. You can go back and read what a lot of us wrote then, and you’ll discover that it more or less matches what we write NOW. Sadly, this cannot be said for either the President, or for the writer of this piece. And as a biracial person, I find the accusations of “veiled racism” to be beneath even acknowledging, so I have absolutely nothing to say about that.

    Those are the facts, like them or hate them. Now flame, flame away, because I won’t be back to read it.

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