vanden Heuvel's Naivete

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Jun 15, 2010 1:52 PM
Apparently recognizing one of their own, the left still adores Barack Obama -- the problem, in its believers' eyes, are the other Democrats who aren't ready to fall into lockstep with him.

In today's WaPo, discussing the left's failed attempt to unseat Senator Blanche Lincoln in the primaries, Katrina vanden Heuvel writes

[T]he Obama administration, which had endorsed Lincoln, apparently misinterpreted the progressive position as a threat from its base. The White House political operation turned prickly. . . .

Actually, the point of the exercise was that those opposing Obama's reform agenda will not get a free pass.

In other words, the hard left is trying to help Obama, not to oppose him! See?!

But what vanden Heuvel is apparently too dazzled to realize is that the One is, ultimately, just another politician.  And he will support a moderate Democrat with a prayer of winning to a "pure" leftist who would go down to even more certain defeat than Lincoln.

More than that, whatever the noble talk about his willingness to be a one-termer, Barack Obama wants the "vindication" of winning a second term (if for no other reason than hoping to avoid the designation of a "failed" presidency).  And with access to the best polling money can buy, he realizes that the hard left's agenda (and, I suspect, much of his own) simply isn't palatable to the normal, productive people of this country, because they aren't radicals.

And so finding it "impossible" -- because of evil Republicans and the moderate Democrats, don't you know -- to implement some of the hard left's agenda actually accrues to the President's ultimate political benefit.

In other words, leftists like vanden Heuvel can continue to dream of providing Obama with sufficient hard left support to enable him to activate the entire lefty agenda -- but he's politically savvy enough to know that such a "gift" would trigger nothing more than a collective gag reflex from anyone to the right of considerably-far-left-of-center.