Liberals jumping ship on Obama?
posted at 2:09 pm on October 30, 2012 by Ed Morrissey
On the left, the defections are mounting. Last week, I spoke to Camille Paglia about her new book on art history, but she also stopped to explain why she wasn’t voting for Obama this time: basically, disappointment. She said he ran as a moderate, but has been “one of the most racially divisive and polarizing figures ever. I think it’s going to take years to undo the damage to relationships between the races.” …
Others on the “progressive” side are coming out, too. In Salon.com, longtime netroots activist Matt Stoller makes “the progressive case against Obama.” Stoller’s case is largely economic. He writes of the new ordering created by the Obama administration’s interventions: “The bailouts and the associated Federal Reserve actions were not primarily shifts of funds to bankers; they were a guarantee that property rights for a certain class of creditors were immune from challenge or market forces.” He’s right, and there are some Chrysler bondholders, and non-UAW pensionholders who can attest to that firsthand.
In The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf writes “Why I Refuse To Vote For Barack Obama.” “I’d have thought more people on the left would regard a sustained assault on civil liberties and the ongoing, needless killing of innocent kids as deal-breakers.” Well, lefties complained more under Bush, but some are unhappy.
Not all of them are jumping ship. Richard Cohen just gripes about the captain a lot before deciding he’ll stay on deck:
But somewhere between the campaign and the White House itself, Obama got lost. It turned out he had no cause at all. Expanding health insurance was Hillary Clinton’s longtime goal, and even after Obama adopted it, he never argued for it with any fervor. In an unfairly mocked campaign speech, he promised to slow the rise of the oceans and begin to heal the planet. But when he took office, climate change was abandoned — too much trouble, too much opposition. His eloquence, it turned out, was reserved for campaigning.
Obama never espoused a cause bigger than his own political survival. This is the gravamen of the indictment from the left, particularly certain African Americans. They are right. Young black men fill the jails and the morgues, yet Obama says nothing. Bobby Kennedy showed his anger, his impatience, his stunned incredulity at the state of black America. Obama shows nothing. …
On the movie screen, Robert F. Kennedy’s appeal is obvious: authenticity. He cared. He showed it. People saw that and cared about him in return. With Obama, the process is reversed. It’s hard to care about someone who seems not to care in return. I will vote for him for his good things, and I will vote for him to keep Republican vandals from sacking the government. But after watching Bobby Kennedy, I will vote for Obama with regret. I wish he was the man I once mistook him for.
I’m not sure which is worse — having well-known independent liberals sitting on their hands/voting Green, or having those who still plan to vote for you give such an indictment as an explanation. It speaks to the general lack of enthusiasm among Democrats, and the reason that independents are breaking so hard toward Mitt Romney.