The liberal blogosphere is beyond parody at this point. Amanda Marcotte, last seen remarking that when it comes to the war on terror, Obama “has been wisely if quietly winding it down” — tell that to a Pakistani, Afghan, Somali or Yemeni citizen — offers two theories regarding the peace president’s nature: that he’s a benevolent man whose glorious progressive agenda has been blocked by the evil Republicans, in which case those at fault are the evil Republicans; or that he’s an evil, vile man, in which case the blames lies at the feet of . . . those evil Republicans.
I’m rather fond of the latter theory:
This theory holds that Obama passed himself off as a moderate Democrat to get elected, but is in fact a secret conservative who has been aching for a chance to destroy Social Security, amongst other programs. I found this theory a little confusing at first, because it seemed to me that his secret plan would have been easier to enact when he had a majority party in Congress, so I asked around on Twitter, and this is the explanation I got: he couldn’t destroy Social Security then, because there’s enough liberals in the Democratic Party that they could have stopped him. It was only after Republicans got control of the House and went crazy that he had enough cover to do what he always hoped he could do.
The problem: Well, basically the Republicans. If the batshit crazy Republicans weren’t there giving secretly conservative Obama cover, none of this would be happening.
So, from my point of view, no matter what evil or non-evil lurks in Obama’s heart, the problem is that this country keeps electing frothing-at-the-mouth crazy Republicans, and if voters would stop doing that, we wouldn’t be having one politically provoked crisis after another. Sure, if Obama is a secret conservative, that is a problem. But we can’t actually know that. But what we do know for a fact is that no matter what lurks in Obama’s hearts, none of this would be happening if Republicans didn’t win the House. So I think that my priorities are just fine, thank you very much.
The premise is that all Bad, Evil Ideas are the exclusive intellectual property of the GOP. There’s not even a throwaway line about the Blue Dogs. More troubling, however, is the idea that — putting aside their origin — Democrats like Obama ought not be held accountable when they, in the liberal blogger telling of it, take GOP ideas and run with them. Indeed, it’s suggested that to do so would be to engage in the mere adolescent nihilism of a Nader-voting “newly minted leftist,” one who fails to recognize that one party in this country is Good, the other Evil
Notice what’s missing in all of this: the half-dozen wars the U.S. is openly fighting, including that since-forgotten humanitarian intervention to stop the Next Hitler in Libya, one Obama unilaterally (and illegally) launched and for which he has yet to receive congressional authorization. Marcotte ridicules the notion of Obama as dictator, but as president he of course has massive power and could have, for instance, begun pardoning non-violent drug offenders or prevented the Treasury Department from sticking taxpayers with the bill for bailing out Wall Street. When it comes to foreign policy, he really does have dictatorial power and as commander-in-chief could start bringing the troops home immediately, which you’ll recall many liberals calling for from the back bumpers of their Volvos when that other guy was president and the murder of poor foreigners was still seen as an important, moral issue.
But we lefties don’t care about that kind of stuff anymore, right? The killing is not being carried out by an evil Republican, so it’s explainable: Obama’s only killing people because of . . . . the evil Republicans. And that makes it okay, or at least less bad. Sure it’s regrettable, if we can be bothered enough to regret it, but don’t you say “impeachable” if you still want to get on MSNBC.
Can’t we just talk about Eric Cantor?
Just in case you’ve gotten any ideas about Marcotte, though: “I’m going to be accused of being a partisan shill for Obama,” she acknowledges. “I just want to say that I’m really not.”
So that’s settled.