Leftist alienation with Obama is already setting in, and it is hilarious. Here is “Rabbi” Michael Lerner:
Election night tens of millions of us wept for joy. We sang the songs that we had sung as young men and women when we were fighting segregation in the south and then in the North, some of us being beaten, others jailed, some even killed. …
So no wonder why many of us were shocked and deeply disappointed when we learned on Thursday that Congressman Rahm Emanuel was to be the Chief of Staff in the Obama White House.
Emanuel, for those who don’t recall, was the Congressman who traveled the country in 2006 finding “suitable” candidates in “swing districts” to run against Republican incumbents, and in many instances he succeeded. But his theory of how to succeed was destructive: he sought the most conservative possible candidates in each district, insisting that local Democratic Party organizations reject more liberal candidates who, he feared, might not win.
A Democratic Party operative seeking out electorally viable candidates? We can’t sing Kumbaya to that!
Emanuel will almost certainly be protecting Obama from all of us spiritual progressives and those of us who describe ourselves as the Religious Left-so that our commitment to single-payer universal health care, carbon taxes for environmental protection, a Homeland Security strategy based on generosity and implemented through a Global Marshall Plan, will be unlikely to get a serious hearing in the White House.
You get the sense that Lerner wants to be shut out. Complaining about being shut out or silenced or marginalized or othered comprises approximately three quarters of Lerner’s day; how would he fill his time if it was otherwise?
The Rahm Emanuel selection is an early warning that the peace and justice agenda dropped by Obama after he won the Democratic nomination may be permanently on hold, and the progressives themselves may have to settle for “access” and flowery words at an inauguration address rather than the substance of change. For many of us, just the fact of having a brilliant young black man in the White House will be such a healing experience that we won’t care about this newly emerging reality: unless Obama creates some other path to access and to public input into his policies by those of us who helped build his electoral success, or unless we organize to do so outside the framework of his campaign organization, we may be in for lots of disappointments.
For some of us, reading missives from jilted progressives is a healing experience.