Responding To The Progressive Obama Haters Not Quite One Year Out


So I just read this piece by David Zirin at HuffPo, and it greatly annoys me. It's titled Last Night's Lesson: It Ain't Rocket Science and in it he states:

But if last night's election results reveal nothing else, the time for swooning over photo-ops has long passed. This is not rocket science. Throughout the country, Republican turnout stayed the same as in 2008 while Democratic turnout cratered. That's what happens when you don't deliver the goods. For all the people who voted Democrat because they wanted to bring home the troops, stand for civil rights for all people, and see real job creation and union protections, the last year has been a thin gruel indeed.

My thoughts: this author should stick to sports. Mr Zirin's political analysis is 100% faulty. For the past 20 years at least, VA and NJ have elected a governor the opposite party of the president. They are the only two states who elect governors the first year after presidential elections. To fail to mention this severely undermines his argument.

I agree that the White House hasn't done everything it set out to do. I don't like some of the things it's done. I disagree that this is a sign of failure.

This administration took office amidst a financial panic not seen in several generations. It moved forward aggressively (by historic standards) on health care, engagement with the world (including Iran, Burma and the Middle East peace process), climate change, Supreme Court appointment of the first Latina, a recovery act that PREVENTED even harsher economic reality for millions (COBRA , housing credits, cash4clunkers, funding of projects, and unemployment extension), a system-altering stance on lobbyist employment in government, not to mention more press conferences, new media outreach and public disclosure of government data than any administration probably in history.

I am so tired of alleged-pr­ogressives screaming failure at this administration. First of all, you misremember certain key beliefs and tenets of this president. He promised us an escalation in Afghanistan. The fact that his is deliberately and publicly considering alternatives should give you hope, not further your despair.

So no, yesterday's election results were not rocket science. But Zirin's interpretation is based on no science at all.

BTW, for a much more thoughtful, balanced and complete analysis of Obama's not-quite-first year, see Ari Melber's piece at The Nation.

Posted via email from baratunde's internet scratch pad