Today I came across a piece that really shows the problem the left and left-center have governing versus campaigning.
The slice of the LGBT blogosphere that has been critical of this President has been chastised early and often by Obama defenders for expressing our disappointment, frustration -- and yes, anger -- at the inaction, slow-go and even no-go behavior regarding LGBT issues. We are all well aware that Barack Obama held our prized issues -- DADT, ENDA, DOMA, etc. -- in high regard and stressed their priority to him when he was on the campaign trail. We also know what has happened in the last two years.
Here's progressive Peter Daou sounding like many of us in his piece "The fierce urgency of defending Obama - against the left":
On the day he took office, I switched from campaign cheering mode to fulfilling Obama's request that we "hold him accountable." I take those words and that duty seriously. It's my job as a citizen. Since 2008, I've used the written word to tug at the administration from the left.
I truly respect and admire Obama. I've worked in past campaigns with a number of his staffers. I know they are good and decent people trying to improve their country and working tirelessly under extreme stress. There's no denying that they've racked up an impressive list of accomplishments and they deserve credit for it. But that doesn't mean I should set aside the things I've fought for my entire adult life. It doesn't mean I should stay silent if I think the White House could do a better job promoting a progressive vision. And it doesn't mean I should stand aside if I think mistakes are being made. Sure, I'm just one individual with an opinion, but why the fierce urgency of defending Obama whenever I express it?
Obama told us to hold him accountable (do you think he regrets saying that aloud now?), but we're all apparently struggling with what that means. Obviously, there are plenty of flat-out angry and profane critics, more nuanced ones, and those who fall somewhere in between.
Who is to judge what to take seriously -- or dismiss -- in terms of criticism of this President?
A good number of self-appointed arbiters of what is appropriate criticism and what is productive or not productive populate the comments and show up on Facebook/Twitter to "set the record straight" all the time. But these people are no more qualified to hold an opinion than anyone else. It's just that -- an opinion. Take it or leave it. Certainly the White House does, even if they have thin skin over there.
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