The reality for liberals is that President Obama is not a liberal president. Most people in the media and most politicians see him as a moderate. Of course the exception is Fox News Channel which peddles the incessant “Obama is a socialist” meme.
A significant amount of liberals/progressives may not vote for Obama in November 2012, making it highly possible for Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Sarah Palin or any other Tea Party wacko to become President of the United States.
What’s a frustrated liberal to do? Democrats on the ideological left are grousing that President Barack Obama is just not that into them, and they’re soul searching at a big weekend meeting about the strained political relationship as he seeks re-election.
Might they stay home when he asks them to vote for him again?
“We were promised he would be our fierce advocate. And I don’t think he has been fierce and I don’t think he likes to advocate very much,” said John Aravosis, an editor with AMERICAblog who has written about gay rights issues.
But Obama’s advisers hope that between now and November 2012 the president can persuade this critical part of his base to turn out in droves again, and the wooing by aides was well under way Friday.
“I promise he is as frustrated as you are,” White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer told about 2,400 bloggers and activists attending the annual Netroots Nation conference. He assured them they were “a very important part of the coalition that got him here.”
Not that it feels that way for many liberals who consider Obama’s record a mixed bag at best when it comes to championing their causes.
They see him as being too willing to compromise with Republicans on such issues as dropping the proposed public option for the health insurance overhaul and extending George W. Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest. They’re pleased he signed a law to repeal the ban on openly gay service members, but many feel that happened only after incessant pressure on the White House.
Others complain that Obama has embraced big business, unimpressed by Wall Street regulation changes and annoyed that Obama appointed General Electric chief executive Jeff Immelt to lead a presidential advisory council on competitiveness even as the company avoided paying federal taxes in 2010.
One panel at the conference reflected the rift: “What to Do When Your President Is Just Not That Into You.” Moderator Joan McCarter jokingly called it “The ‘president isn’t our boyfriend anymore’ panel.”
- Obama boosters receive luke-warm embrace at liberal Netroots conference (via CNN Political Ticker) (reclaimamericafromthelunaticfringe.wordpress.com)
- Tough crowd – Pfeiffer is peppered at Netroots (politico.com)
- Frustrated Liberals (politicore.wordpress.com)
- Watching Dan Pfeiffer interact with liberal activists was a lot like watching a troubled couple try to work through the problems in their relationship (blogs.abcnews.com)
- Netroots Panel Demands Action From President Obama On Foreclosures (politicore.wordpress.com)
- Dan Pfeiffer appearance at Netroots Nation develops into a big story (dailykos.com)
- Frustration on display at Netroots (politico.com)
- Liberal Bloggers: Obama ‘Not Our Boyfriend Anymore’ (npr.org)
- Netroots Panel Demands Action From Obama On Foreclosures (huffingtonpost.com)
- Netroots Nation 2011 Starts by Making News (themoderatevoice.com)