Obama Supporters Face Doubts

Posted on April 13, 2011 by

What if you agree with the fierce criticism by progressives of Barack Obama but are still compelled to support him? 

That’s the dilemma many of us face. 

We may think that the president’s apparent approach to the budget battles – a succession of compromises to hard-line republicans – is a de facto surrender to conservative ideology

But we want to believe that he’s doing all he can to protect the poor and the environment. 

We may concede that he’s a mediocre (at best) negotiator. 

But we want to trust in his political instincts and skills. 

And we may even suspect that he lacks principles and core values. 

But we want to believe that his intelligence and integrity will – eventually – guide him through. 

Obama’s progressive critics speak with a great deal of certainty about this president’s lack of courage and judgment. 

Supporters are more tentative in our assessment. 

We’re inclined to brush aside our doubts and declare our loyalty. 

Terrified of the alternative.

Comments (4)


  1. jane summer says:

    too many people are jabbing at him without consideration of what horrific obstacles he faces….The Tea Party for instance. Personally I find he as held his own and I still see him fighting for the integrity of the true Democratic Party lines. It’s like his Presidency has brought out the very worst in Dems and Repubs…could it be the race factor. I hate to think so but in my heart….

  2. Greg says:

    I am afraid you guys are player poker or checkers. Mr Obama is playing chess. Ethics is not even an issue. I’m afraid race is. I am not saying everybody is actively racist. I am saying race is an issue that the country has never discussed or worked through. As a result, we all have unexplored issues that manifest in the strangest most difficult ways. And an African American President will bring all that up for all of us.

  3. Dan Bahr says:

    Being “terrified of the alternative” is an understatement. While I am furious at the lack of negotiating skills, I believe we must support Obama because one or more Supreme Court Justices will probably retire within the next 4 years. I don’t want the wacko right wing to select the next judges.

  4. John Connolly says:

    In line with Jane and Greg’s comments above, race is certainly a key factor in the political chaos we are experiencing.

    In signifiant measure the fact that we have an African- American President has given The Right a kind of “Get Out of Jail Free Card” so they can play on white America’s racial fear and they don’t even have to use euphemisms or codewords at all … one picture a day of President Obama will do.

    And of course the disgusting “Birther” cesspool is entirely enabled by racist notions; as is the gossamer-veil of fiscal righteousness barely covering thousands of Tea Party racists.

    Since Lou wrote his piece that began this discussion, President Obama has made his Budget speech and I found it refreshing and a modest but real return to the inspirational roots of his Election Campaign and Presidency. It was couched in modest and relatively quiet terms, but the progressive ideology was clear as was the President’s determination to resist and turn back the Rightist surge. And it was fun to watch the color drain from Paul Ryan’s face each time President Obama said: “Not while I’m President.”

    The President and the Dems made many mistakes in both the too-long and confusing Healthcare debate and legislative process, and in how they wasted the 2010 election cycle. They and we have paid for it with a mendacious House of Representatives driven by a vile Rightist current that thinks they’re playing the lead in The “Revenge of Ayn Rand” … a stupid, feckless, and boring philosophy coming to a government near you.

    In the meantime, because elections really DO matter, Progressives and decent Dems have got to figure how to govern as effectively as possible with an irresponsible Yahoo House and their MEGAphone Media on their Right flank. The Progressives have to manage Damage Control and reorganize our forces into a strong defensive formation in order to successfully counterattack.

    The President and — God Help Me — Harry Reid actually get this, and as frustrated and furious as I’ve been with their Mr. Milquetoast-Ms Manners rhetoric over the last months — and by the compromises they’ve (probably) HAD to make — I think, given the relationship of forces, they’ve gotten it pretty much right.

    President Obama is setting up well for re-election — an absolute necessity for Progressive policies. As much as I’ve railed against the Two-Card-Monte of the Democrats/Republican Party shell-game, we need to suck it up and go all out to re-elect the President, hold the Senate, and take the House of Representatives in 2012.

    If we don’t, we won’t just be crying in our milk til 2016, we’ll be weeping in our blood.

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