It is, dare I say, an audacious claim, especially coming from a candidate who asked us all to have the "audacity of hope" -- and it's more than a little insulting. After all, much of the complaints about the president have been about campaign promises that he didn't just fail to fulfill -- but that he refused to even try to fulfill.
The assumption, in other words, is that ignorance and fealty will permit a president to serve as an accomplice to the very grand larceny he was explicitly elected to office to oppose. Should the assumption prove true -- should Obama now be cheered on for doing to Social Security what no Republican president has ever been able to do -- the date on the calendar may say 2011, but it will really be 1984.
Reduction in Medicare and Medicaid- a key portion of Obama's wish list- is more than speculation and all the President's men expect to "be cheered on for doing" to those programs what Republican Presidents would have liked, but were unable, to do. Failure by his fellow Democrats to applaud as lustfully as will the mainstream media this attack on the poor and the middle class will bring upon the former considerable opprobrium, Sirota observing
But, then, merely citing this record brings accusations of treason, at least from Democratic staffers, pundits and activists in Washington. In an age of politics that has melded politicians with celebrity and activism with starfucking, to be a rank-and-file progressive and honestly examine a candidate's record during a reelection campaign is to risk being portrayed as a dangerous, seditious, ideologically zealous revolutionary.
In attributing Democrats' blindness to Obama's "power/fame/celebrity/charisma," Sirota covers it all. Or almost all. Recalling primary challenges to Democratic Presidents in 1968 and 1980, Digby speaks the nearly unspeakable:I don't see that happening this time because there just isn't anyone in the Democratic party who will run against the first African American president. And you can't blame them. That designation has created a terrible backlash from the right and thus it offers protection by the party. It's understandable.