For eight years, progressives gnashed their teeth as the media and people on the right blindly applauded everything George W. Bush said or did. Chris Matthews would call a speech (yes, read from a teleprompter) "Churchillian." Wingnuts everywhere referred to him as "our president" and demanded that we all support "our president" -- blindly, utterly, completely -- as the heinousness escalated.
We've always felt we were different because we didn't always have to march in lockstep. I felt Obama's speech was lackluster, with more-of-the-same futile gestures towards "post-partisanship" with people who would like to see him dead, empty calls for commissions to talk the BP spill to death while the oil continues to gush into a dying Gulf of Mexico, and finally, because he seemed to not know what else to do, a call to prayer -- perhaps designed to try to get the Dominionist right to like him but instead sounding like a gesture of futility. Over at Balloon Juice
, the sense is that the speech was sober, reasoned, and showed leadership. I respect John and Doug and the others for that opinion, even if I disagree with it, because where they're coming from is NOT some kind of blind faith in 11-dimensional chess, but a different interpretation of the speech.
No one was expecting Barack Obama to put on a wetsuit and fix the spill himself. What we were hoping for is the courage to use the spill as a launchpoint for a serious addressing of our dependence on fossil fuels. That doesn't make us Limbaugh dittoheads.
It's no secret that getting progressives to agree on much of anything is like herding cats -- except over at the Great Orange Satan, where any criticism of Barack Obama is met with scorn, troll ratings, and attempts at banning. For many Kossacks, the delusion that Obama is some kind of progressive visionary Superman dies hard -- so hard that trashing two of the most stalwart guardians of progressive values in the media became the order of the day, in diaries like Dear Rachel Maddow
and Memo to Keith Olbermann: Go - - - - yourself
Well, Mr. Olbermann has had quite enough
of being trashed for refusing to participate in this kind of blind worship of even Democratic politicians as demigods:
If I can understand people's frustration with seeing a speech by a Democratic president criticized in a venue such as mine, why is it impossible for some people here to accept my frustration about the speech? You don't agree with me, fine. You don't want to watch because you don't agree with me, fine. But to accuse me, after five years of risking what I have to present the truth as I see it, of staging something for effect, is deeply offensive to me and is an indication of what has happened here.
You want Cheerleaders? Hire the Buffalo Jills. You want diaries with conspiracy theories, go nuts. If you want this site the way it was even a year ago, let me know and I'll be back.
Call Olbermann a crybaby if you want. But this is a guy who gets envelopes of white powder and death threats because of the things he says. When Ari Fleischer threatened all of America by ordering them to "Watch what they say, watch what they do", Olbermann was there. Night after night, as people who would turn this country into a right-wing Christian military theocracy that resembles Iran more than what we know of as America, Olbermann exposes them. This is the guy who brought Rachel Maddow out of the swamp of the dying Air America Radio and out where more people could hear the most ferociously smart commentator on American politics we've seen since Edward R. Murrow. For a guy whose ego is reputed to be bigger than Mt. Everest, that's no small thing. But let him criticize Barack Obama, and he's persona non grata
among the Freepers of the Left.
If Olbermann had done nothing other than put Rachel Maddow on television, he'd deserve our enduring thanks...for segments like this:
Rachel can disclaim all she wants. I know there were people watching Fake President Maddow give that fake speech who found themselves wishing it was real. I know because I was one of them.
Labels: blind cheerleading, Daily Kos, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow