Does anybody else worry that some combination of sloth and groupthink could someday lead somebody to take some of the more bombastic pundits seriously?
Take for example the following quote from Mike Whitney:
All told, Obama has been bad for the economy, bad for civil liberties, bad for minorities, bad for foreign wars, and bad for health care. He has, however, been a very effective lackey-sock puppet for Wall Street, Big Pharma, the oil magnates, and the other 1% -vermin Kleptocrats who run the country and who will undoubtedly attend his $100,000-per-plate speaking engagements when he finally retires in comfort to some gated community where he’ll work on his memoirs and cash in on his 8 years of faithful service to the racketeer class.
(via AZSpot and Cognitive Dissonance).
Bad for the economy, civil liberties, minorities, foreign wars, and health care?
First, let’s start with foreign wars. I suppose if you’re on the side of foreign wars, it’s a reasonable charge. When Obama took over as President, we had two major, largely-intractable foreign wars. Now? We’re on track to leave Afghanistan. Involvement in other conflicts has been limited and quickly resolved. Under Obama’s presidency, the foreign war situation has gotten markedly better. Is there room for criticism? Yes. But by any reasonable measure, the Obama administration improved things.
Second, the economy. Remember when Obama took office in 2009? All the good indice were plummeting and the bad indices were skyrocketing. Since then, unemployment has dropped to below where it was at the end of 2008. The stock market is at record highs. Is there room for criticism? Yes. But by any reasonable measure, the Obama administration improved things.
Third, health care. The Affordable Care Act brings affordable healthcare coverage into the range of pretty much everybody who was uninsured. There have been major implementation headaches. But virtually nobody wants to go back to how things were before Obama took office. Perfect? No. But an improvement.
Civil liberties? So a bunch of Bush-era programs came to light under the Obama administration. As details emerge, we see a picture of a Presidency that works to curtail the worst of the abuses—but has allowed a bunch of programs to continue in some form. Across the board, things are better—but there’s still work to be done. Etc.
Finally, is Obama “a very effective lackey-sock puppet for Wall Street.” Try asking somebody on Wall Street. Or just compare who big finance donated to in 2008 with 2012. Wall Street is not happy with Obama. Or talk with the Big Oil people. They’ll be similarly unhappy.
So basically Mike Whitney is mad at Obama because LOTS OF THINGS ARE BAD and Obama hasn’t fixed ALL OF THEM. He’s got a laundry list of charges—and he’s demonstrably wrong on, well, all of them.
There are plenty of things to criticize the Obama administration on. But … why not be a bit coherent about it?