Do you ever get the feeling that Tea Party Republicans see the phrase “Ignorance Is Bliss” as a Mission Statement?


I think that Melissa and Morgan are both spot on and it needs to be said!

Does President Obama Have A White Liberal Problem?
Speaking of reality, Morgan Freeman laid down the chips on the Tea Party.

Melissa Harris Perry asks, is there a liberal racial double-standard for presidents?
September 24, 2011

In her latest essay for The Nation, Melissa Harris Perry writes about what she calls the two very different standards that white liberals seem to hold presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton to.

A clip:
If old-fashioned electoral racism is the absolute unwillingness to vote for a black candidate, then liberal electoral racism is the willingness to abandon a black candidate when he is just as competent as his white predecessors.
The relevant comparison here is with the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton. Today many progressives complain that Obama’s healthcare reform was inadequate because it did not include a public option; but Clinton failed to pass any kind of meaningful healthcare reform whatsoever. Others argue that Obama has been slow to push for equal rights for gay Americans; but it was Clinton who established the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy Obama helped repeal. Still others are angry about appalling unemployment rates for black Americans; but while overall unemployment was lower under Clinton, black unemployment was double that of whites during his term, as it is now. And, of course, Clinton supported and signed welfare “reform,” cutting off America’s neediest despite the nation’s economic growth.
Today, America’s continuing entanglements in Iraq and Afghanistan provoke anger, but while Clinton reduced defense spending, covert military operations were standard practice during his administration. In terms of criminal justice, Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act, which decreased judicial disparities in punishment; by contrast, federal incarceration grew exponentially under Clinton. Many argue that Obama is an ineffective leader, but the legislative record for his first two years outpaces Clinton’s first two years. Both men came into power with a Democratically controlled Congress, but both saw a sharp decline in their ability to pass their own legislative agendas once GOP majorities took over one or both chambers.
These comparisons are neither an attack on the Clinton administration nor an apology for the Obama administration. They are comparisons of two centrist Democratic presidents who faced hostile Republican majorities in the second half of their first terms, forcing a number of political compromises. One president is white. The other is black.
In 1996 President Clinton was re-elected with a coalition more robust and a general election result more favorable than his first win. His vote share among women increased from 46 to 53 percent, among blacks from 83 to 84 percent, among independents from 38 to 42 percent, and among whites from 39 to 43 percent.
President Obama has experienced a swift and steep decline in support among white Americans—from 61 percent in 2009 to 33 percent now. I believe much of that decline can be attributed to their disappointment that choosing a black man for president did not prove to be salvific for them or the nation. His record is, at the very least, comparable to that of President Clinton, who was enthusiastically re-elected. The 2012 election is a test of whether Obama will be held to standards never before imposed on an incumbent. If he is, it may be possible to read that result as the triumph of a more subtle form of racism.
Read the whole thing here.

It’s an important question to consider. White liberals (or more pointedly, liberal libertarians) have been excoriating President Obama almost since the beginning of his term, often ignoring Congress’ role in killing such policy preferences as closing Gitmo or trying KSM in the U.S. On this blog, we get the familiar “well Obama should have anticipated a recalcitrant Senate and a hostile GOP and adjusted his strategy accordingly” argument, as if anyone — including them (hello, BMull…) anticipated that Republicans would essentially wage all-out legislative war on Obama’s presidency.

(Keep in mind when you read this statement from the Reid Report that libertarians are NOT Democrats.  They are the Party Of The Kock Brothers.  Original Tea Party.  Many seem to confuse who and what libertarians stand for.  Now on to the Progressives, also known as the professional left.  These are the people who are really ticking me off! -Mem)

Despite an actually pretty robust record of legislative successes, the Glenn Greenwalds, Jane Hamshers, Adam Greens and David Sirotas of the world, not to mention the Dan Chois (what is he chaining himself to these days, by the way…?) and what Obama’s original press team derided as the “professional left” — columnists like Frank Rich, Maureen Dowd, Paul Krugman, etc, are rarely much below apoplectic rage and disappointment and just plain dissatisfaction when it comes to this president. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repealed?

Not good enough. Choi is still pissed off, and wants Obama to apologize for every past president’s every failure to sufficiently big up gay troops. Healthcare reform? Not good enough. No public option. Iraq war drawdown? Not fast enough. Equal pay law signed? What’s that? Never heard of it and who is Lily Ledbetter, some damned Obama-lover Obamabot??? Unemployment benefits extended? Bush tax cuts extended too, so who cares. Let the unemployed march on Wall Street … Naked!! START treaty? Well why didn’t he destroy ALL American nukes? Huh? Not good enough! Killed Osama bin Laden? REDRUM!!!!

You get the idea.

President Obama has faced about as hostile a left wing as I’ve seen, and I’ve been a political junkie my whole life. And I can tell you from conversations with black Democrats there are more than a few who believe that Obama is being held to an impossibly high standard — jump higher, run faster, black man,  just to be considered just as good, by the liberal “elite.” Don’t shoot the messenger, people. That’s the sentiment I hear, over and over and over again.

Meanwhile, Sirota responded to Perry’s piece in rather typical fashion, taking a personal Twitter swipe at her by linking to a writeup (by /black/ Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart) of polls showing dampened African-American poll numbers for the president and wondering if Perry will now call those black people racist too. (Sirota once likened Obama supporters to the KKK, but he has also called conservative opposition to the president akin to a “racist lynch mob.” He’s a little bit all over the place… hat tip to @rkref for the flashback re the KKK stuff…)

Then there’s the mini-”purge” of pro-Obama posters at DKos, which Kos explained to me was a relatively small lockout, resulting from people getting ugly with one another, including some black (ostensibly) posters flinging around charges of racism against anti-Obama posters.

And if you’re on the Twitters, you’ve witnessed the sometimes ugly battles between black Obama supporters (and white ones) and pretty much anybody from or ThinkProgress.

Shorter version: there is serious tension between black Obama Democrats and a very vocal group of mainly white (plus Smiley and West), anti-Obama liberals.

It’s a breech worth exploring, because I suspect it goes deeper, and probably reaches back further, than this president (think Proposition 8 in California) to some serious ideological and racial differences that have yet to surface in a big way before now. Black people and liberals don’t always dovetail, issue-wise, and those tensions tend to get muted by electoral politics, because both groups tend to vote for Democrats.

These issues don’t get explored much, but they should. -The Reid Report

For those who missed this speech-Mem
“The future rewards those who press on. With patient and firm determination we will press on. I don’t know about you CBC, but the future rewards those who press on. With patient and firm determination, I’m going to press on for jobs. I’m going to press on for equality. I’m going to press on for the sake of our children. I’m going to press on for the sake of all those families who are struggling right now. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on. I expect all of you to march with me, and press on. Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes, shake it off, stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying, we are going to press on, we’ve got work to do.” 
President Obama in speech to the Congressional Black Caucus 9/24/11

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