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Authoritarian followership

BooMan's been reading Plouffe's campaign memoir, The Audacity to Win*, and his post is too delicious not to quote:

[The book] helped me step back from the daily grind and remember what it was we [who?] thought we were trying to do in this presidency. Overall, I've found the experience bolstering to my optimism [no doubt]. I do feel like the Obama administration is going through one of its down phases, like many they faced during the interminable [yeah, WWTSBQ?] path to the White House [like losing all the big states and the popular vote]. But I have been reminded of how they, time and time again, were able to step back [racism smears] and reset their course [caucus fraud] when they found they had strayed [misogyny] from their strategy [RFK smear] and principles [if any. FISA; TARP] during the campaign. It's [sic] makes me feel more confident [no doubt] that they'll be able to do the same during this first term.

Well, this "little single payer advocate" has every confidence, too!

From my perspective, they've been swallowed up too much by the Washington culture that they so successfully resisted during the campaign [Oh, how? By having Rick Warren give the inaugural invocation?]. They came in hoping to change things up [Oh, how? With "entitlement reform"?], but were met with iron resistance from the Republican Party [a classic narrative of Democratic weakness**]. Obama wanted [BooMan projects onto the "blank screen"] to be pragmatic, which meant that his instinct [again with the "blank screen"] was to forge a new kind of bipartisan compromise. It wasn't triangulation exactly [because that would be like the Clintons], because triangulation was an almost wholly cynical enterprise [and FISA and TARP rule out cynicism]. Obama wanted ["blank screen"] something more authentic [of course, of course]. But that required the other side*** [and not Democrats themselves] to provide members of good will [a scenario that was always, like, totally realistic LOL!!!!!!!!!]. So far, they have been lacking.

The effort to change Washington has failed. [Nobody could have predicted...] The administration now needs to step back and realize that he may not be able to change Washington but that he can lead it.

Anybody notice the typo in the last paragraph?

BooMan writes "... he may not be able to change Washington..." but must really have meant to write "... He may not be able to change Washington...", using the reverential capital H. Why? Well, look at BooMan's last sentence again in full:

The administration [1] now needs to step back and realize that he [2] may not be able to change Washington but that he can lead it.

"He" [2] of course, means Obama, but refers to "the administration" [1]. Poor BooMan has identified the entire executive branch with a single person who "leads."

Like I said: Authoritarian followership. Classic.

NOTE * What a perfectly value-free title!

NOTE ** It's the equivalent of Digby's "Conservatism can never fail; it can only be failed," except for the FKDP: "Democrats can never FAIL; they can only be weak."

NOTE *** The assumption that there are only two sides is a fine example of "Progressive" Bipolar Disorder. "Progressives" and access bloggers expect the unterbussen to stay on the side of those who threw them under the bus. Why? Strategery?

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Submitted by Anne on

Never, ever. Always someone else's fault.

There's just one little thing that might get in the way of Obama's master plan being fully revealed and developed: he's not a leader. Not now, not then, not ever. He's afraid to lead, afraid he might choose wrong. Afraid people might not like him. He's the poster boy for Imposter Syndrome.

Honestly, I don't know how you can keep reading BooMan; it's like reading chapters in a book titled, "How I Found Obama and Lost My Mind."

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

Back then it was some staffer that failed Obama and the charge of intolerance or even insensitivity to India or Americans of Indian heritage never was made against Him. Meanwhile, Clinton herself was accused of horrible racism when some random campaign worker in Iowa, I believe, forwarded along an anti-Obama e-mail.

What bothers me more than anything is that not only is Obama considered blamelesswhen he's the actual boss and leader (FDL: Blame Rahm! Rahm!), but he's also treated as an actual champion of the issues he either directly assaults or dismisses as a "distraction" (e.g., Ms. Magazine declaring him a "superfeminist;" the environment). It's classic distract and project.

Violet Socks's picture
Submitted by Violet Socks on

Honestly, I don't know how you can keep reading BooMan; it's like reading chapters in a book titled, "How I Found Obama and Lost My Mind."

Too true.

kerril's picture
Submitted by kerril on

but this post made me grin. It's got everything.
My daytime progressive radio stars, Ed Shulz, Stephanie Miller etc... all seem to agree with BooMan. Everyone's letting Obama down, and no, we never behaved as rudely as the right during Bush's term. Never pushed irrelevant memes to make him seem illegitimate. Never pushed back just to say we did. Never took photos and shopped them to embarrass him and show our contempt. Oh, and Sarah Palin is the new fascist superstar. Look out! Booga booga booga!
Although I agree the right is crazy right now, I'm hardly confident that Obama is worth defending. He's done some things right I guess, but he's just not up to the important stuff. Can we have a do-over?

jumpjet's picture
Submitted by jumpjet on

since Obama came to power, I've grown to hate the word 'pragmatic'?

It always, always means someone is abandoning their principles or forsaking the best option. It's the sanitized way of saying someone has sold out. I hate it. I think we should all strive to be as un-pragmatic as possible from here on out.

A. Citizen's picture
Submitted by A. Citizen on

...'How I Found Obama and Lost My Mind.' is a stroke of brilliance which I truly envy.

Well said indeed!

I long since abandoned reading the likes of the Booster, Bowers and all the rest of the soldout 'Access Bloggers' not because I disagree with them nor because they banned me; rather, because they really are not a very smart nor insightful bunch. Pretty crummy writers too...most on 'em.

'There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the pubic liberty.'