Sunday, September 28, 2014

Nancy confronts her naiveté

I've spent the morning reflecting on how naive I was 4-5 years ago. You see, back then when poutragers were busy railing about how President Obama dropped the public option from health care reform and his stimulus bill was too small and he had abandoned the effort to end DADT, I thought that the success of this President's pragmatic policies would lead them to take a second look at the assumptions they were making about him.

Now here we are years later and its clear that Obamacare is both reducing the number of people without health insurance while is slows the rise in costs. It turns out that the things President Obama fought for - like Medicaid expansion, the medical loss ratios and competition on the exchanges - have all been at least as important (if not more so) than the public option would have been.

Not only has Michael Grunwald educated us on the "hidden story of change" contained in the Recovery Act via his book The New New Deal, President Obama got a "second stimulus" in exchange for temporarily extending tax cuts for the wealthy. All told, he was successful in getting over $1 trillion to boost the economy.

On ending DADT...

Nuff said. 

My early expectations were never that these critics would agree with the President. I simply thought that these successes would entitle him to some respect that would be demonstrated by a willingness to give his ideas a second look before jumping into nefarious assumptions about him. Didn't happen.

I're all going to lecture me about how its way past time to have given up on this hope. And it didn't just fall in one fail swoop recently. But when you see things like Michael Moore saying that President Obama's only legacy will be that he is the first African American president and Tavis Smiley says that on every measure blacks are worse off than when Obama was elected, I can't help but scratch my head and wonder what reality these folks are living in. Its certainly not the same one I inhabit.

Frankly, I see very little difference between those statements from Moore/Smiley and the tea partier's ongoing belief that Barack Obama is a Kenyan Muslim socialist. Neither one bears any resemblance to the facts. 

The recovering therapist in me wants to delve into trying to understand this phenomena. But I'm not sure that's a good use of my time. Suffice it to say that the human mind is an incredible and complex thing - with an amazing capacity to cling to distortion in order to avoid the dissonance of reality.


  1. like sinclair said, it is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

    there's a little left over to be explained with that concept on board, but not much

  2. I realized shortly after Obama was elected that his critics (both left and right) would never give him credit. They are bound to a warped level of thinking which inherently relies on their central belief of always being right. Therefore, if they are always right, then Obama will always be wrong -- irrespective of the facts. More clinically put, they happily indulge in cognitive dissonance.

    Frequently perform acts of hand-wringing about what Obama has or has not done, while simultaneously opposing or supporting the very same thing. Although Obama's election uncovered the ugly stench of racism still alive in America, it also revealed the radical elements of our "liberal elites".

    Aside from the constant fomenting about Obama's "failures", what societal-changing policies have they helped push forward? What progressive legislation have they helped to enact? What is their intended broader impact to the political discourse?

    In fact, the same questions they frequently raise to challenge the impact of Obama's legacy should be returned back to them with a non-deliverable receipt.

  3. Michael Moore and Tavis Smiley can't see Obama's accomplishments because they're blinded by their own narcissism. Their need for attention and creating controversy supersedes everything else, including reality. The day after Holder resigned, Smiley was on Hardball. He sang Holder's praises for his work on civil rights, voting rights and LGBT rights. He criticized him on privacy and going after the press. After agreeing with Chris Matthews that Holder is the most effective AG since RFK, Matthews asked Smiley to give Holder a grade. Smiley gave Eric Holder a B.

    By the way, there's also another technical term to describe Smiley and Moore, and that's colossal douches.

  4. Frankly, I see very little difference between those statements from Moore/Smiley and the tea partier's ongoing belief that Barack Obama is a Kenyan Muslim socialist. Neither one bears any resemblance to the facts.

    2 sides of the same coin

  5. Hi SP!
    Was reading this interview with AG Holder and his quote below reminded me of one of your familiar themes when writing about PBO (& AG Holder).

    “That’s what I learned from those folks. You keep your eyes on the prize, you try to do what’s right, and eventually, you’ll reach your goal.”

  6. Michael Moore was also a vocal supporter of Ralph Nader for president in 2000. That tells you all you need to know about his political acumen.


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