Theda Skocpol let’s them have it.
My most recent entry ended up with the extension cut off. Here is more of what I have to say, provoked by the senseless hysteria among liberal commentators, led by MSNBC and HuffPost.
Many liberal pundits are making absolute fools of themselves bashing Obama over the Gulf spill. They are just emoting and have no solutions anyone could try. There is no easy out on this, and the patience to build and support adequate government oversight of industries is the key here, as in many other areas.
It is not just right-wing government bashers and wealthy corrupters who have destroyed the nation’s capacity for governmental decision-making. It is also
short-sighted liberalism that tries to turn everything into a personal crisis, and assumes that presidents are omnipotent commanders. Since the 1970s, liberalism has emphasized rights, identity politics, and action through courts or presidential orders. It has neglected the patient business of building government and creating enduring majorities through Congress.
Cable television has of course made this problem even worse. Everyone is in a rush to analyze everything, and if something doesn’t go the way the activists want, many of them need to find an instant villain. If Obama decides that he has to give on a point so that the larger legislation can pass, then he’s immediately dubbed a sell-out or a weak fool by people who are supposed to be his allies (or at least share the same goals).
There’s nothing wrong with disagreeing, and the left should make their voices heard. Primaries against Democrats who consistently oppose the left make sense as well.
But silly “kill the bill” calls during the health care debate showed just how hysterical many liberals can get when they don’t get their way.
We’re starting to see them same thing on energy. The notion that Obama can somehow bully Midwestern Senators from coal country to accept carbon caps is ridiculous. Of course liberals should press the case, but attacking Obama with emotional outbursts solves nothing.
Energy should be focused on those on the right who screamed “drill, baby, drill” and who did the bidding of big oil for years. For years we’ve had the opportunity to invest in a clean energy future that could help our economy and also slow down the billions we are sending overseas to people who want to destroy us. Politicians on the right did everything to stop it at every turn. Attack them.
Meanwhile, we won’t get a perfect energy bill, but if liberals can keep their head while arguing their case we can make a substantial down-payment on a clean energy economy.