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Posted by on Oct 18, 2009 in Politics | 12 comments

Liberals uneasy with power

It’s funny the way power influences people. It’s funny how power influences people that hadn’t had a sniff of it for a very long time. It funny how people react to power after never seeing it for (oh lets see) eight years.

President Obama’s recent town hall meeting saw a young boy ask the question ‘why do people hate you?’ Now, most observers instantly thought he was referring to the tea-baggers and other far right wing attacks he has faced this summer, but you could have also made the assumption that the young lad was referring to far LEFT wing attacks – and it is a good question to ask – why do people in your own party hate you Mr President (I know hate is a bit strong, but I’m going for drama here)?

Many progressive Democrats are not only blaming Obama but also looking to his Chief of Staff as the culprits to why ‘change’ hasn’t happened faster. Why hasn’t he repealed don’t asked don’t tell? Why hasn’t he passed health care yet? Why is he not fighting for the public option? Why hasn’t he ended the Iraq and Afghan war? Haven’t the Eemocrats got a veto proof majority?

“I’ll tell you why! It’s these damn blue dogs and moderate Democrats Rahm forced into our party. They’re are just Rethuglicans dressed as liberals!”

Obama had a choice when taking over the office from a popular two term president, he could either govern in the same narrow-partisan fashion or he could govern as a moderate with a liberal compass.

I know many will say that he made promises which he should keep, and I do understand that point of view, but campaigning for President and telling people what you would like to do is very different from governing and prioritizing your agenda based on what you feel is most important to the country you are serving, and whether liberals like it or not – not everyone in the country is a Democrat. If I remember rightly Obama did not win the presidency by 100%, so why should he force a liberal agenda down the throats after only 10 months in office?

And for me this fight between liberals and the White House is what’s making Obama’s presidency so fascinating. A president who is determined not to be led by political ideology but by necessity, a president that prefers to deliberate strenuously over sending troops to war (rather than follow his gut) and at the same time a president that is being haunted by his political party who are trying to force him to be more liberal.

Liberals have to except that this is what power tastes like. It tastes like Arlen Specter, it smells like Olympia Snowe. It may not be to everyone’s taste but this is the realities of being a majority party in America, a big tent party, a party that win election.

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