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Part-Time, Partisan President to America: ‘Buck Up!’

Mr. Hope and Change has tarnished his halo, alienating nearly everyone while abdicating his core responsibilities. (Update: New talking point? Biden's getting in on the "Buck Up" rhetoric himself, Ed Driscoll notes.)

by
Bryan Preston

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September 28, 2010 - 11:05 am
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President Obama is quick to tell others how to think. The latest: In the face of polls showing Democrats vulnerable everywhere, the president is telling his liberal base to “buck up,”  adding that their lack of enthusiasm for him and his record is “inexcusable.”

Admonishing his own party, President Barack Obama says it would be “inexcusable” and “irresponsible” for unenthusiastic Democratic voters to sit out the midterm elections, warning that the consequences could be a squandered agenda for years.

“People need to shake off this lethargy. People need to buck up,” Obama told Rolling Stone in an interview to be published Friday. The president told Democrats that making change happen is hard and “if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren’t serious in the first place.”

Heh. I’m sure this will go down well with lefty bloggers who think they’re bringing the administration down.

With each passing day, I’m beginning to realize that the crux of the problem for Obama is a handful of prominent progressive bloggers, among them Glenn Greenwald, John Aravosis, Digby, Marcy Wheeler and Jane Hamsher*.

Virtually all the liberal bloggers who have taken a critical stance toward the administration have one thing in common: they place principle above party. Their complaints are exactly the same complaints they lodged against the Bush administration. Contrary to the straw man posed by Obama supporters, they aren’t complaining about pie in the sky wishes but about tangible acts and omissions, from Gitmo to Afghanistan to the environment to gay rights to secrecy and executive power.

The essence of their critique is that the White House lacks a moral compass. The instances where Obama displays a flash of moral authority – the mosque speech comes to mind – these bloggers cheer him with the same fervor as his most ardent fans.

That was written by Peter Daou, one of the “progressive” set’s social media and message gurus. Daou correctly recognizes the situation: Obama is losing everyone, left, right, and center. But he incorrectly diagnoses the cause. Obama is losing everyone because he isn’t serious himself. Having spent his career as a part-time professor, a community agitator, and a part-time legislator, Obama is now acting as a part-time president.

I’m not just referring to all the golf outings. Or the lavish White House parties with big musical performances. Or the rumored fixation on sports at the expense of policy.

How out of touch is this president? This out of touch.

Obama wants disenchanted supporters to see that Republican wins in November would undermine the ability of Democrats to get the unfinished business done, from climate change legislation to allowing gays to serve openly in the military.

As November nears, with millions out of work, Obama wants wins for Democrats so they can pass controversial cap and trade legislation that will raise everyone’s taxes and threaten everyone’s jobs, and to pay off a Democratic constituency. That pattern  — pushing policies that hurt the majority, while having his administration and his party work exclusively on behalf of Democratic constituencies — has repeated itself over the past 20-odd months of Obama’s presidency.

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