Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mr. Obama Wags His Finger Again: Stop "Sulking and Sitting Back"

David Mark reports at Politico that last night at a fundraiser, President Obama lit into the Democratic base yet again, telling us to stop sulking and sitting back.  And here are my reflections, which I've just posted to a blog discussing the enthusiasm gap in the coming elections and the attempt of Democratic leaders to reignite enthusiasm in the Democratic base:

I think the Democrats have a serious problem right now, and it comes right from the top. Yesterday evening at a fundraiser, the president once again wagged his finger at the Democratic base and told us not to sulk and sit back as the elections approach.

What's fascinating about this and the other reprimands of the Democratic base flowing from the top of the party is that they employ language traditionally used by the political right to marginalize progressives. Stop whining. Grow up and recognize that politics is dirty. Stop sulking. You can't have your way all the time.

This rhetoric infantilizes those who are targeted in this way. It's designed to do that.

It's interesting to see that a party's leaders somehow assume they are motivating their supporters by infantilizing and insulting them. Perhaps it would have been better, from the outset of the new administration, to govern according to the wide popular mandate the administration was given, rather than caving in at every turn to the demands of the right-wing minority.

I think we may be reaching a turning point in American politics where the attempt of the Democratic party to scare voters into voting Democratic by using Republicans as a bogeyman is no longer going to work, and where the party will begin to see what a steep price it has paid by abdicating its principles and lambasting and marginalizing its own base.

No comments: