Thursday, January 29, 2009

Obama's Doing a Pretty Good Job!

Which is a bit of an issue, since that sort of thing can be difficult to blog. Fortunately, once again, America's northern neighbours and its 'Liberal' party come to the rescue, after placing themselves in a de-facto coalition with the ruling Conservatives. And, well, they don't like small 'l' liberals opening their mouths much these days.

James Curran:

Is anyone else in this f--king party livid? Cause this - As Warren Kinsella would say - former Liberal activist (not) is. Unbelievable. Michael! You crossed the ocean to Harvard, then to Toronto, then to Ottawa, to be Prime Minister! What the hell are you waiting for?

More proof the kids in the OLO have no clue what they're doing, and that this party is lost for a generation. We have the conviction of nothing. Say what you want about Stephane Dion, he died fighting for the environment and some sort of principal attached thereto.

The other night a Liberal friend of mine suggested I leave the party for the party's sake and complain as a non-member. It was the 6th such suggestion by an Ignatieff insider over the last month. Let me just tell you something people. You've pissed me off. You're pissing off the rest of the party too. Just like you did in the 2006 leadership.

You know what else? I ain't leaving! Unlike some of the others that won't be heard, I'm gonna stick around and help change the bullshit attitude in this party. Know what else? I bet I'm not gonna be alone in my quest. Don't believe me? Just watch us!

While we're at it, let me ask what the hell the rest of the 76 Liberal MPs were thinking over the last 24 hours that would lead their leader to the undramatic decision he made today? What the hell are you thinking? You think that you're doing justice for your constituents? I have news for you people, your constituents sent you to Ottawa to speak up for them, not just so you can collect your $158,000 a year.

Where is the Liberal Party of Kelowna? Where is the Liberal Party of Health Care? Where is the Liberal Party of a National Childcare Strategy? Where is the Liberal Party of Kyoto? The Party of Trudeau? Of Laurier? Of Pearson? Of Chretien? We just sold out our convictions to keep this evil, vindictive Conservative government in power. We just let this country slip back into Mulroney years.

Bolding's mine.

You know what's a sign of a healthy, strong, vibrant political party? Telling your most passionate, engaged members to "get the fuck out" because they don't Support The Leader. Never mind that The Leader wasn't technically chosen by the party and was instead placed there by its most powerful members (having just tweaked the rules to ensure nobody else would run). And never mind that his ideology clearly has little to do with the ideals of the party he leads.

Nope, it's "fall in line or piss off and die."

Funny thing, though. Everybody thought that Obama would be like this, but he's turned out to be surprisingly progressive-friendly. He's not always progressive, but he clearly keeps progressives in mind when he's making his decisions and explaining them. "Obama the centrist anti-liberal" is not a problem, even if the media and Republicans are screaming foul about it.

What's surprising is that everything that everybody feared about Obama is, it would appear, true for Ignatieff. Ignatieff wouldn't close Gitmo: he's defended "the lesser evil" and "coercion" any number of times in the past, as much as he whines that he's anti-torture. (Carefully splitting hairs, Cheney-style, over what that is.) Ignatieff propped up the Conservatives, despite their production of a pork-laden "stimulus" budget that privileges tax cuts and anti-environmentalism over aid to the unemployed and desperate. And he's being as adroit at kicking out the people who don't fall in line as any Republican, where Obama has made a point of bringing critics on board.

Ignatieff clearly hopes that Obama's success will spill off on him. But, honestly, why should it?

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