What I find sad is how during the past year you have spent soooo much time this promoting this narrative which portrays Obama as The Most Progressive President Ever (rather than the Clintonian compromiser has he turned out to be) and the Republican Party as a relic going the way of the Whig Party (despite how mainstream political discourse was letting the GOP off the hook for the mess they left us) all the while criticizing and ridiculing anyone who dared to question said narrative to sound a warning about the debacle that was sure to come... Perhaps the bright side for readers of this blog is Dale Carrico finally coming down from his ivory tower to really listen to what other people are saying. -- Your Peer
What I have always said is that Obama is the most progressive President since FDR. And I still consider that to be as true as I ever did.
What I have also always said is that the Palin/Rush/Teabagger phase of the Movement Republicanism consummated in the Killer Clown Administration is not sustainable as a National Party in the secular multicultural America that actually exists and puts them in the position of either alienating the crazytown Base who are the only ones still listening to them and sending them cash in the name of rebuilding themselves as a National party but at the cost of losses to many of the most powerful Republicans now in charge, or allowing their party to marginalize itself into a regional neo-Confederate rump that is not viable for long as a National party. And I still consider that to be as true as I ever did.
That's not revisionism or spin, that's simply what I have said over and over. It remains my general take. You may choose to read that as me declaring Obama godlike or declaring the GOP impotent, but that has nothing to do with anything I have actually ever said.
Since the President isn't a superhero who imposes his will unilaterally into policy and law it shouldn't really be that difficult to grasp how literally unprecedented monolithic Republican obstructionism (an explicit strategy publicly repeatedly and even gleefully affirmed by the Republican leadership) gives de facto veto power over all legislation to every one of the sixty/fifty-nine Senators who presently caucus with the Democrats, including a non-negligible minority of them who are conservative in key policy areas, some to an extent that makes them nearly as obstructionist as the Republicans themselves.
Under such circumstances, Gandhi or King could be President and fail to do better than Obama has done this year, whatever magical thinking if I were King of the Forest scenario you are spinning to the contrary. This wouldn't make them Clintonian triangulators (a word I am using in preference to your choice of "compromisers" because I can't imagine you really disdain all compromise, inasmuch as compromise is actually the substance of all politics worthy of the name), however emotionally satisfying it might feel to say so given the frustrations of democratizing struggle in the belly of the beast.
Of course there will skirmishes that progressives lose, of course Republicans can game constituted procedures, special elections, vapid media outlets to obstruct general welfare and win occasional races (indeed Republicans should prevail in some places, even in their present debased state, given that their agenda reflects the actual preferences of substantial majorities in some benighted places), but none of that detracts from what I take to be the demand that Republicanism reorient itself to accommodate American secularization and diversity in a world less inclined to treat it as the Big Dog on the planetary scene and in which sustainable and social democratic institutions and practices look to be the only way for America to overcome its palpable vulnerability to becoming a failed state while at once contributing to the destruction of the world via climate catastrophe, gluttony on the downslope of resource descent, proliferating arms, and universal vulgarization.
My point is certainly not the cartoon viewpoint of declaring Obama "impotent" in the face of the phony Democratic Senatorial majority. My point is certainly not the cartoon viewpoint declaring Obama to be as much to the left as I would want him to be when he remains the center-left figure he always was (he's to the left of Clinton in both his actual rhetoric and in the substance of his actual policy recommendations). My point is not the cartoon viewpoint of pretending Obama has made no mistakes (as I have said, the stimulus was too small in consequence of a too rosy understanding of the state of the economy, his lgbtq politics have been shaky at best and awful at worst, his escalation in Afghanistan and miredness in W. terror-wars keeps one up at night in its nightmarishness, among other things).
But neither do I approve Obama-Clinton equivalency theses any more than I do the even more idiotic Obama-Bush equivalency theses one also sometimes hears among folks whose long-term political aspirations are as far to the left as are my own. The facts don't justify them and politics premised on them make no sense, or at best confuse theoretical declarations with tactical considerations to no useful purpose.
I find your final move of crowing about me coming down from my "ivory tower to really listen to what other people are saying" fairly flabbergasting. It's not that I don't listen to what you and many others who disagree with me are saying, it's that I listen and disagree. My disagreement is based in reasons I specify, which is the way I indicate my awareness that I am addressing peers.
I think it is magical thinking to believe "talking tough" could achieve consistently and substantially better outcomes than Democrats have done, given the facts on the ground, and I think it is probably magical thinking to believe there was substantially more that could have been done in this first year to get the Killer Clowns "on the hook" for their crimes and lunacies than we have done (I do hope for and still expect more accountability to come for war criminals, war profiteers, financial fraudsters -- although I doubt it will take on the purple coloration of my occasional revenge fantasies on this score).
I can see that it hurts your feelings to hear such assessments from me, since you apparently take them to constitute "ridiculing anyone who dares question" what I take to be true for the reasons I offer, statements and reasons of mine which are exposed via publication to disagreement and ridicule thereby quite as much as anybody else's. I don't quite understand why you seem to think I find disagreement with me particularly more "daring" than my "daring" to disagree with anybody else. That's what we are all doing here I would have thought. Perhaps this is an issue better left to a therapist or personal confidante.
I do think any person of the left who feels vindicated or pleased by the Brown victory is foolish in the extreme, and to the extent that they want to portray themselves a person of the non-revolutionary left and actually engaged in democratizing politics such cheer looks to me actually irresponsible.
I was displeased in the extreme by the Brown victory, although I was not surprised by it once I learned over the last two weeks about the specifics of the relevant three campaigns in question. Brown will seek re-election in two years, you know. It remains to be seen if he will alienate his Teabagger/clueless Independents base by actually governing as a Senator in Massachusetts and hence open himself to loss to a stronger candidate or better campaign from the Democrats in consequence, or if he will go the star-maker route of La Palin and Rush, raising hell by spewing delusive narratives that render him a "star" so unserious as to be less electable by the day.
It's too early to tell what will happen, but one has to be able to grasp the actually-relevant circumstances that actually articulate the possible in a campaign for office in a particular place or in a policy-process as it plays out in a State legislature, in a Circuit or Supreme Court, in the House, in the Senate to think about it usefully. One then lodges one's thinking within one's wider demographic, ideological, aspirational maps and narratives. You have to walk and chew gum at the same time.
My impression is that much of the left blogosphere has a steep learning curve to scale when it comes to understanding the difference between the politics of blanket condemnation of racist Christianist corporate-militarism in power when Movement Republicans are in charge and the far more difficult responsibilities and tactics and heartbreaking pain of keeping ones eyes on the prize (equity in diversity, a literate, healthy, secure society, and a participatory, accountable, consensual republic) while struggling intelligently and forever frustrated for piecemeal changes through the convulsive ugly sausage-making of Democrats in charge, in a divided demoralized enraged polarized pampered ignorant stratified stakeholder republic with flawed institutions across every layer of governance.