Thursday, September 30, 2010

With friends like these....

...who needs Republicans?

First it was Press Secretary Robert Gibbs decrying the "professional left" last month:  "They wouldn't be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was [sic] president."

Then it was Vice President Joe Biden suggesting earlier this week that dissatified progressives should "stop whining" and "buck up".

Then, for the trifecta, President Barack Obama, in an extended sit-down with Jan Wenner of Rolling Stone, bemoans a "lack of enthusiasm" and echoes Biden's "buck up" line.

Call me crazy, but I'm sensing a theme.  It would appear that the three most important spokesmen for the administration are having a hard time figuring out why some of their allies are underwhelmed by their performance to date and are starting to get a little pissy defensive about it.  It's almost as if they were looking to assign pre-blame for the electoral beating about to be delivered.

Apparently the buck now stops elsewhere.

Earlier in the interview, Obama described a "turn of mind among Democrats and progressives where a lot of times we see the glass as half-empty", admitting that this was "probably a healthy thing, but it can also be debilitating".  Fair enough.  However, isn't this also to be expected?  This isn't Obama's -- and certainly not Biden's -- first time at the rodeo.  Whereas they are expected to tackle issues across the board as defined by the platform of the political party they head -- especially the ones they highlighted and committed to on the campaign trail, the rest of us have specific issues that we care about and focus on.  For some, this might be a single issue; for others, many.  Regardless, it is our "job" to make the wheel squeak; we are our issues' lobbyist; one might even say that "we are the ones we've been waiting for".

In short:  of course we're unsatisfied!  It's our responsibility to be unsatisfied!!

John Aravosis at AmericaBlog addresses this in two excellent posts yesterday (here and here).  Using the sad story about the Rutgers freshman who, outed by his roommate on Twitter, jumped to his death off the George Washington Bridge, he reminds us that "[g]ay civil rights isn't a 'social issue'.  It's our lives."  As long as college students are still committing suicide in 2010 in the "liberal" northeast at one of those "elitist" universities, President Obama should not expect that gay activists (or anyone with a heart) react to his advice to "take the long view" with anything but disdain and disgust.

Is this really something he needs explained to him?

Now substitute gay activist for health-care activist or environmental activist or people fighting nuclear proliferation, sexism, racism, torture, etc. etc.  It's our job to get our elected leaders to focus on these things and its their job not to get annoyed when we do so.  So, if anyone needs to "stop whining" and "buck up", I humbly suggest it's this White House.


[Picture source.]