Are Liberals Too Tough on Obama? Two Views.

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JONATHAN COHN JULY 6, 2010

Are Liberals Too Tough on Obama? Two Views.

Last night I wrote that liberals show too little appreciation for Obama's accomplishments in office. Reader drofnats1 disagrees:

The prescription to help Obama is the opposite of the proscribed by Cohn. What Obama need is loud, vocal Progressive /Liberal opposition.. maybe even an announced challenge. Obama has made it abundantly clear his highest goal is compromise between vocal factions. He got a vocal right.. he's had a mostly silent left. And don't give me BS about far socialist left. We're talking policies that Nixon, Kennedy, Eisenhower, LBJ, Truman, Dirksen, Ford would have supported.

Reader wildboy sees things more like I do:

Liberals need to step back, understand some basic truths about American politics and get some clarity. They should understand that the President can essentially do what he will with foreign policy and security policy, because no Congress will take the precipitate step of cutting off military or security funding in the midst of a war except under the most extraordinary circumstances (as with South Vietnam post-Watergate). That said, they should feel free to oppose Obama's foreign policy and push for more liberal alternatives as much as they need to do so. But on domestic policy, there is no magic way to get what you want, especially where Senate Republican opposition is a solid wall and Senate Democrats are not all liberals. Administrative agency action and passing legislation through reconciliation are not viable options for most policies, especially those that don't directly relate to taxes and spending. Liberals need to prod DEMOCRATIC SENATORS into passing their preferred legislation, not demonize a President who understands Senate math much, much better than they do. And those that live in swing states or swing districts need to get their tuchii to the polls this November, because the solution for passing progressive legislation is definitely not Republican control of the Senate and/or House.

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posted in: jonathan cohn, politics, ford, congress, senate, nixon, truman

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