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Ron Radosh

How the American Left Will Help Defeat Obama in 2012

August 22nd, 2011 - 8:37 am

Will the Left in America help defeat Barack Obama in the 2012 election? Judging from the increasing anger at the president from the Left, that certainly is a very real possibility. One need do no more than take a look at the current issue of Newsweek — once a serious publication and now just another left/liberal opinion rag. Its so-called “double issue” is actually a very thin 61 pages, which includes ads. Perhaps this is an indication that readers are deserting it in droves, and that its takeover by Tina Brown has not made much of a difference in rescuing the publication from oblivion.

First, the magazine opens with an amazing article by William Broyles, a past editor in chief of Newsweek who is now a screenwriter and who was an avid supporter of Obama in the 2008 election.  The article is titled “Oval Office Appeaser.” Broyles has composed a far-left screed accusing Obama of deserting and disappointing the activist base that did the legwork for him in the last campaign, and of a complete failure to lead the country. Instead, Broyles accuses the president of appeasing the Republicans. He writes that “the right-wing radicals in control of the Republican Party of course are not Nazis” –  a clever way of planting the idea in readers’ minds that in fact, Broyles considers them not far away from being just that. But, he adds, as an appeaser, the closest comparison of what Obama reflects is his similarity to the British prime minister who orchestrated the Munich appeasement policy, Neville Chamberlain. Obama, he writes, is “a decent man who values peace and civility at any cost” who is “no match for his Republican adversaries.”

Clearly, Broyles does not believe in the explanation given by an Obama administration member who told  journalist Ryan Lizza that Obama “leads from behind.” Instead, he says that Obama could have created a bold effort to put the country back to work, and demanded an up or down vote by Congress that could have saved America. He argues that the president   “meekly allowed the 60-vote super-majority needed to shut off a Senate filibuster to become…an automatic veto.” Accusing him of “unilateral disarmament,” he writes that Obama favored disastrous half measures forged in back rooms, favoring a “timid stimulus that was a meager Band-Aid” along with a “timid health-care bill.”  He does not say what he favors, but it most probably is massive federal spending and programs, a greater stimulus a la Krugman, and a federal single-payer system or socialized medicine similar to the British system.

So, Broyles says, Obama “betrayed his allies,” meaning the trade unions, the left intellectuals like Broyles, and the young people who rallied to him with stars in their eyes in 2008. In his eyes, the president is a reactionary — similar to the Republicans Broyles detests. He constantly wants to appease the Tea Party, instead of upping the ante and fighting them head on. After all, why should a president even take into consideration the electorate who won the last congressional election and put a Republican majority in the House? They are just voters, and thus do not count. Didn’t he make a promise to his base, who thought he would create the American social democracy they so love in the failing European states?

So Broyles wants a strong leader — in particular,  Hillary Clinton. He tells Obama to do what Chamberlain did — resign and hand over the Democratic nomination to Hillary, “the leader we should have chosen in the first place.” But they and Broyles did not support her; indeed, they supported Barack Obama, because they realized he came from the Left and was a black man to boot. Broyles seems to have forgotten the vicious campaign they ran against Secretary Clinton before the nomination, along with the charge that it was racist to oppose Obama.

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