It is often said in politics that if both sides are angry with you, then you must be doing something right. If you’re being assailed from the Right and the Left, then you can probably take pride in having avoided the demands of the extremes and arriving at the pragmatic center.
That’s the narrative many Democratic spinmeisters no doubt would like us to believe about President Obama and his congressional allies. But it doesn’t apply. Yes liberal activists are noisy, and the Tea Partiers are upset. But so are many other Americans across the political spectrum. Liberal outrage only underscores how radical the Left’s agenda is, and how grand its expectations of Obama were.
First it needs to be said that there is plenty for Americans of all political stripes to be angry about. Obama’s solemn campaign promises of unprecedented transparency and accountability seem laughable now. His administration’s role in fixing primary contests may have been a crime.
Many who believed Obama’s stirring campaign rhetoric about standing up to rogue regimes have come to realize they were lied to. His complete disregard for human rights violations in places like China, Iran and Sudan is enough to make even the most wide-eyed young Obama supporter disillusioned.
For those who believed that a man who hadn’t run anything in his life except a Senate office would be able to run the country, Obama’s ham-handed response to the Gulf oil spill has been a wake-up call. A talent for reading a teleprompter hardly suggests competence to be leader of the free world.
Recently we’ve heard a lot about liberals who are frustrated about the pace of hope and change. A Politico story this week suggested, “the left has a message for Barack Obama: Shape up or we’re shipping out.” Or as Maureen Dowd put it, for the Left, “Yes we can!” has turned into “Will we ever?”
Obama isn’t the only liberal feeling the heat. Nancy Pelosi was heckled by liberal activists at the Campaign for America’s Future conference this week. Disability rights advocates shouted her down, and Palestinian activists unfurled a banner that read “Stop funding Israel Terror.”
I normally take pleasure watching liberals attack their own. But this time I’m thinking: How much more socialism is necessary to appease the Left? Barack Obama has in 17 months done more to push America toward socialism than any president since LBJ. But it still hasn’t been good enough for some liberals.
Obamacare is the biggest government takeover of industry in decades. But the Left won’t be happy until its endgame arrives—a single-payer healthcare system in which government insurance is the only option.
Obamacare will force taxpayers to pay for abortions and compel pro-life medical professionals to perform them. But the radical abortion lobby still isn’t content—it wants every last pro-life law in the country overturned.
The Congressional Budget Office has projected that Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget will generate almost $10 trillion in budget deficits over the next 10 years, raising the federal debt to 90 percent of the nation’s economic output by 2020. But in their lust for government largess, liberals will ensure that debt approaches 100 percent of economic output.
The Obama administration has turned a cold shoulder toward Israel. But the Left isn’t happy with only scolding our only friend in the Middle East. They want the U.S. to align itself aggressively with Israel’s enemies, something Obama seems willing to do.
The homosexual lobby is complaining that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell isn’t being repealed fast enough. But it won’t be satiated until the Democrats pass hate crimes laws that will make it a crime to speak publicly against homosexuality.
The Left isn’t satisfied to see terrorists granted constitutional rights and tried in U.S. civilian courts. Its ultimate goal is to see our enemies let go and replaced with Bush and Cheney on trial for war crimes.
The Left clearly expected more from “the One,” or as a San Francisco writer put it, “the Lightworker who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet.”
Obama did nothing to temper their expectations. But for voters who believed that Obama’s ascendance, as the candidate himself predicted, “was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal,” the image of a president golfing as a month-long oil spill continued to gush must be deflating.
The good news for the rest of America is that, come Election Day, all the disappointment and anger will likely lead to apathy among liberals and high turn-out for the rest of America.
Voters are slowly realizing that it is not a lack of will that prevents Obama from turning America into a socialist state. He intends for all of the Left’s wish list to be fulfilled. Obama hasn’t failed the Left. He just hasn’t worked fast enough for them.
Obama’s only constraints are the votes of an educated and engaged electorate. Americans are alarmed by the Obama administration’s takeover of vital industries, incontinent spending and abandonment of allies and values abroad. But voters retain the ultimate recourse: the ballot box. I believe Obama will find his agenda too big not to fail.