One of the things I’ve been doing here is taking some some slaps at the frustrati – those who call themselves “true progressives” – which is amusing, since their actual “progress” and “action” is to spend most of their time on the Internet telling everyone how disappointed or angry they are at the President. If you read their postings, they’ll give you a list – often quite lengthy- of how the President has “failed,” or “betrayed” them. It turns out, according to them, that he’s not a “real progressive.”
I don’t take slaps at them because they’re criticizing the President and want him to fulfill his campaign promises, implementing the party platform. It’s not because they’re looking at what was done, and debating how something could have done better or planning on implementing something what was missed. If they were doing that, I probably wouldn’t say much. The reason I take my shots at them is because they don’t do that. In fact, they’ve been attacking him since virtually the day he took office, they haven’t stopped, and a good percentage of the time their attacks are based on something they made up.
Seriously, they attack him for not implementing – right away – whatever issue or action they have on their fantasy progressive agenda. I call it the fantasy agenda, because it’s an agenda they made up, not necessarily what the actual agenda is. In a more recent post, one of the commenters posted a list of “what he hasn’t done.” Again, a good example of “I wanted this, and he hasn’t done it.” OK, they’re disappointed, right? Except that it was mostly either a) something he hadn’t said he was going to do, in fact, he said quite the opposite; or b) Seriously obstructed by state governments and Congress; or c) wishful thinking. Back at the beginning of November, I looked at a prime example. As I said back then, “So they were angry at him for not doing something that no one else expected him to do in the first place.”
It’s a common thread in their postings on the Internet, and why I get irritated with them. It’s obvious that they aren’t interested in making progress, or making sure that the President lives up to his actual campaign promises and implements his actual platform. They want it their way, regardless of reality. That’s why they continue to make specious attacks. They’re specious because they’re based on a false premise to begin with, or blithely wave aside real obstacles.
The frustrati are more interested in their “ideal” than in people. They’re remarkably callous about the harm that other people will suffer. During the health care reform debates, one of them actually called the people who would die if the bill failed “martyrs to the cause.” In short, they were perfectly willing to let any number of people die if it meant that they could use that to achieve their goal. The same mentality was obvious during the screaming conniption they had over the tax bill compromise. It was more important to them to “stand on principle” than to help people. If millions of people lost their unemployment and everyone received a tax increase, it was a small price to pay for the principle. They have issues which are not in the party platform or what the candidates promised, but they’ll spend a great deal of time telling you about the failure of the Party to implement it. They’ve placed all the blame on the President because they can’t imagine that there are politicians of an opposing party who might actually be to blame, or that other priorities may take precedence over theirs. Rather than study history, and look at the overall picture, they deem not getting their way as a blanket failure of the President and the Democratic Party.
I’m a pragmatic liberal and a realist. What that means is that I will always go with “what works” over an impractical solution, or take what is achievable for now versus doing without anything in the vague hope that “the perfect” will somehow happen. I recognize that “all or nothing” often means nothing, and that if nothing hurts a lot more people than something, I’ll take the something – every time. I’m someone who has bothered to read the party platform and what the candidates said when they were running. Were any of them my “ideal?” No, and I never expected them to be. If I can agree on most of what they say, and another candidate only agrees with me on a little, then I’ll take the most, recognizing that what we disagree on is not a “deal breaker.” I recognize that I will have disappointments, even serious disagreements on occasion with them. I also realize that not everyone agrees with me, and that in the legislative process that will mean problems and obstructions. I accordingly fix any “blame” where it belongs, not on a handy scapegoat. I’ve had enough experience to know that sometimes priorities clash or change, that budgets can – and will – limit what you can do, and the world has a nasty habit of reshuffling those. I’ve studied enough history to know that the great progressive advances of the past were agonizingly slow in coming, and seriously flawed when they were first passed.
That’s why I support this President. Is he “perfect”? No, and I never expected him to be. I have, however, been exceedingly pleased with what he has accomplished, despite the obstructions. It’s why I plan to continue to take shots at the frustrati. They like to whine a lot every time someone like me does it. They call it “hippie punching.” My response to that? Line up.