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Why Progressives Are Different Than Conservatives And How The Media Misses This Point

Glenn Greenwald wrote a very fine piece earlier this week about a major difference between liberals and conservatives outside of policy. Whenever I w

Glenn Greenwald wrote a very fine piece earlier this week about a major difference between liberals and conservatives outside of policy.

Whenever I would speak at events over the last couple of years and criticize the Bush administration’s expansions of government power, extreme secrecy and other forms of corruption, one of the most frequent questions I would be asked was whether "the Left" -- meaning liberals and progressives -- would continue to embrace these principles with a Democrat in the White House, or whether they would instead replicate the behavior of the Right and uncritically support whatever the Democratic President decided. Though I could only speculate, I always answered -- because I believed -- that the events of the last eight years had so powerfully demonstrated and ingrained the dangers of uncritical support for political leaders that most liberals would be critical of and oppositional to a Democratic President when that President undertook actions in tension with progressive views.

Two months into Obama’s presidency, one can clearly conclude that this is true. Even though Obama unsurprisingly and understandably remains generally popular with Democrats and liberals alike, there is ample progressive criticism of Obama in a way that is quite healthy and that reflects a meaningful difference between the “conservative movement” and many progressives...read on

Glenn provides plenty of examples of right-wing Bush worship that is hard to refute. In Obama's short time in office, many progressives (including this blog) have written about many of the differences we have had with the Obama administration up to this point, and to me that's not surprising. That's kind of the point, and that's something that we can do quite well. Keeping our eye on what I feel should be the agenda moving forward is not something C&L takes likely and neither does the rest of the left-wing blogosphere, but what I find fascinating is that if we do break from the Obama administration, the media act like it's a major source of news.

Liberals are growing increasingly nervous –- and some just flat-out angry -– that President-elect Barack Obama seems to be stiffing them on Cabinet jobs and policy choices

And this one: Liberals Angry at Obama for Rick Warren Pick

And this one: Liberals Angry Obama Isn't Moving Further Left

I've found that if a blogger writes a negative post about something President Obama has done they almost immediately get an invite to go on TV or be quoted in print. We saw that quickly with his Cabinet choices. How shocking it must be to them that we would ever question the will of our leader.

It appears that the media has been so beaten down by the right wing kool-aid drinking whiners who have targeted the "librul press" for about three decades that they now instinctively believe we would repeat the same behavior that conservatives engaged in and who were slavishly enthralled with the Bush administration and all their decisions. If a terrorist attack occurs, start profiling middle easterners and round up all the brown people and send them where they came from, with or without their kids. Torture is good because they are now Luntzified and named "enemy combatants." Wiretapping our transmissions is wonderful because although Bush promoted "freedom for all" as his foreign policy center piece, giving up some of ours is for the greater good.

Don't like a law enacted by Congress, then the president can issue hundreds of signing statements to ignore them and that's fine too. Want some legal cover for excessive power, just fill the OLC with your flunkies to give their stamp of approval.

Need to fill job vacancies in government? Hire as many Regent/Pat Robertson University religious ideologues as you can without qualifications.

Need people to go overseas to rebuild a country that we invaded, staff them up with loyalty-oath babies. The major requirement is that you have never voted Democratic.

Lose 9 billion dollars in that country and who cares? What's a billion here and a billion there? They were nice new bills, by the way.

If the economy tanks with conservatives in charge, well, you know. Stuff happens.

This has been the mentality of the right since 2000 because they need their man in charge. Purity rings are preferable more than responsible criticism. After Paul Krugman disagreed with Tim Geithner's banking plan, Chuck Todd told us that he's always hated Obama. Now, I met Paul when he came into LA for a speaking engagement and we chatted about Obama during the general election. We talked about the differences of opinion Paul had with Obama's health-care plan. If I were a Villager I would have thought Krugman would have been depressed that Obama was the Democratic nominee, but Paul thought that Obama could accomplish great things and was very optimistic. Wow, who knew.

So here's a memo to the press: We ain't the right. We think for ourselves, but know that this country is better off with adults in charge instead of Jesus-worshipping, traitor-calling, fearmongering conservatives, but will still be a vital voice of what we feel should be done. Oh, by the way: I kinda like Jesus.

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