Peter Daou makes some pretty interesting points his long and somewhat shrill look into “how a handful of liberal bloggers are bringing down the Obama presidency.” This is happening, Daou says, because key liberal bloggers are refusing to bend their principles to support the political agenda of the administration. Daou writes:
The constant refrain that liberals don’t appreciate the administration’s accomplishments betrays deep frustration. It was a given the right would try to destroy Obama’s presidency. It was a given Republicans would be obstructionists. It was a given the media would run with sensationalist stories. It was a given there would be a natural dip from the euphoric highs of the inauguration. Obama’s team was prepared to ride out the trough(s). But they were not prepared for a determined segment of the left to ignore party and focus on principle, to ignore happy talk and demand accountability.
As president, Obama has done much good and has achieved a number of impressive legislative victories. He is a smart, thoughtful and disciplined man. He has a wonderful family. His staff (many of whom I’ve worked with in past campaigns) are good and decent people trying to improve their country and working tirelessly under extreme stress. But that doesn’t mean progressives should set aside the things they’ve fought for their entire adult life. It doesn’t mean they should stay silent if they think the White House is undermining the progressive cause.
Daou goes on to look at the specifics of the Anwar al-Aulaqi case, where the President has ordered that this American citizen be killed overseas. Not surprisingly, there is intense rage online that the administration would go beyond what even Bush and Cheney had sought to authorize under the auspices of fighting terrorism.
There’s obviously tension between the administration and the online progressive movement. I don’t think this tension’s existence is surprising to many people, though the degree to which it is manifesting itself is surprising to me. Read the whole of Daou’s piece - he is really identifying important threads that will either continue to be problematic for both the progressive movement and the administration, or be resolve and allow both sides to contribute to effective governance.