Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Why Obama's Beltway Apologists are Letting Us Down

Progressive defenders of Obama need to stop trying to discredit critics like Drew Westen and be honest with Americans about the President and our politics. September 4, 2011 This essay, which has been linked hundreds of times since it went up two days ago on Huffington Post,is as long (4300 words) as it is damning. I hope that you'll copy it onto a document and print it out in order to read it over the weekend and that you'll agree with me that the subtle horror of the rightward shift in "Democratic Party" public discourse I'm describing justifies its length. My argument here isn't that the Obama apologists I'm knocking -- Jonathan Chait, Fareed Zakaria, others -- should abandon him, even though he's abandoned a lot of what most Democrats think he promised to fight for. My argument, rather, is that his defenders should stop trying to discredit sharp critics of Obama, like Drew Westen, who've shown what kind of leadership the President still can and must exercise as a strategist and, yes, as a story-teller, the latter role being far more essential to good politics than some Beltway "realists" understand. Westen's game-changing essay, "What Happened to Obama?," landed in The New York Times' "Sunday Review" section on August 7 like "a rhetorical nuke dropped on ground zero in the liberal heartland," according to the blogger Andrew Sprung in a post titled, none too gently, "A Lover of Fairy Tales Casts Obama as Villain in Chief." READ MORE

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