So I’m traversing the “internets” in absolute disgust over the amount of sabotage (though, always shielded in the name of “speaking truth to power”) I see in some segments of the “progressive blogosphere” and the Democratic establishment. 

Yes, like clockwork, that circular firing squad is right on schedule. 

I had to power down for a moment as I realized just how the PUMA sites linked to the “Not black enough” sites, linked to the “McCain for President” sites.  Just the same, I took a deep breath after noticing how some of these same sites have begun to parrot each others arguments. 

Amazingly, some of the most “progressive” sources (both black and white) have started championing Republican talking points on matters of authenticity, race, religion, worldview and, yes, bottom line.  For if you stay long enough, you’ll see a common motive that links many of these groups beyond party-politics . . . a bottom line obsessed with keeping Obama out of the White House. 

The method to do so is by way of creating distractions through unreasonable standards and countless political litmus tests on peripheral issues. 

Many of these sites feed from a fear of Obama change.  Conspiracy theories abound.  And both liberal and conservative bloggers have assumed a mantle of righteous indignation wherein their only goal is to “EXPOSE the real Obama.” 

These are sites where cynicism is mistaken for courage and “hope” is openly mocked in want of some ominous life lesson wherein all critics can turn in unison to proudly proclaim . . . “I TOLD YOU SO!”

Don’t get me wrong.  I have no desire to squelch healthy debate or silence dissent.  It’s always healthy to have a certain amount of cynicism and to keep our candidate on his toes. And there are people who can be critical yet remain focused on the larger picture.

But, on that same note, I also have no desire to argue for the sake of argument alone or to be cynical for the sake of being cynical.  And at a time where skepticism is easily, and oft-times undeservedly, labeled as “truth,” I’d ask that people be consistent and “courageous” enough to have a healthy skepticism of the skeptics.  For my take is that some of these left-wing and right-wing groups share a second common goal . . . to maintain a status quo for partisan political dogma; a dogma that, despite its admirable passion, has grown stale, preditctable and nonproductive. 

You might realize that demagogues on both the right and left do not like nuance.  For while they’ll go on and on about their particular theories of “truth” to power, too many lack answers or ideas to test said truth in practice.  Though quick to fire a stream of automated responses based on a set of trigger words, they don’t do quite so well when people begin to think for themselves.  Which is why I’ve long seen the “cult” meme as a Rovian spin.  People ARE thinking for themselves.  People are more involved in this election than in any time I can remember.  Record voter registration, turnout and inclusion into this political process is a good thing.  It should not be mocked.

Indeed, some of these sites work together to form a political twilight zone wherein groups turn so far left that they end up on the right-wing of the political spectrum.  Thus, you’ll have self-proclaimed “liberal” sites that spend most of their time bashing other self-proclaimed liberals . . . sites where you’ll see countless posts bashing Obama, but rarely any posts attacking John McCain . . . sites so consumed with speaking “truth” to Obama’s “power” that they forget to take equally passionate measures to keep John McCain out of power.

So, oddly enough, it’s times like this when I’m appreciative of the Rush Limbaugh’s in the world.  For it’s only after listening to some good ole’ right-wing hatred that one can remember just what we’re up against.

hat-tip to JJP commenter, Town . . .

Rush Limbaugh:  “Obama’s patriotism is not being attacked in an ad. McCain’s just out there saying he’s putting his own personal political ambition ahead of the country’s. It’s — you know, it’s just — it’s just we can’t hit the girl. I don’t care how far feminism’s saying, you can’t hit the girl, and you can’t — you can’t criticize the little black man-child. You just can’t do it, ’cause it’s just not right. It’s not fair. He’s such a victim. (emphasis added)(

Here’s Rush in an earlier broadcast: 

“[I]t is striking how unqualified [Sen. Barack] Obama is and, and how this whole thing came about with, within the Democrat [sic] Party. I think it really goes back to the fact that nobody had the guts to stand up and say no to a black guy.” Limbaugh went on to say: “I think this is a classic illustration here where affirmative action has reared its ugly head against them. It’s the reverse of it. They’ve, they’ve ended up nominating and placing at the top of their ticket somebody who’s not qualified, who has not earned it.” Limbaugh added: “It’s perfect affirmative action. And because of all this guilt and the historic nature of things, nobody had the guts to say, well, wait a minute, do we really want to do this?”  (emphasis added)(

Arguendo, perhaps good ole’ Rush would like to tell us what race (i.e., affirmative action) has to do with Obama’s alleged lack of qualifications for president.  This isn’t Rush’s first attack against Obama.  Who can forget his classical rendition of Barack, the Magic Negro (an act that wouldn’t be as disheartening if it hadn’t echoed claims of racial inauthenticity from the “Not black enough” crowd last year). 

All of this is consistent with the cynical view that Obama is nothing more than a hustler pretending to be something he could never be . . . president.  And we, as supporters, are nothing but fools . . . kool-aid drinking, cultists (a meme repeated by all critics regardless of political affiliation) who are naive and childish enough to still believe in such “fairy tales”.  People like Limbaugh laugh at us.  And they rest assured that Obama is no more than a phase that we’ll all grow out of once reality sets in.

Never realizing that chants of “hope” and “yes we can” are and have been much larger than Obama for some time, now. . . never realizing that the beauty of Obama’s campaign is found, not in his rhetoric or charisma, but in the sea of new faces being brought into the political spectrum. 

This goes to the heart of a highly psychological battle that each of us has between “hope” and “doubt.”  For it’s always safe to doubt.  And it goes well beyond politics.  Whether it be a question of pursuing that career in our professional lives, or exposing our vulnerabilities in our personal relationships, it seems that a lot of people tend to trust their doubts more than their hopes. 

Again, we assume a security in our cynicism, never wondering just how many opportunities we’ve missed for no other reason than we’ve convinced ourselves that something is too good to be true.  See, a doubter is never out of fashion.  Doubters are never asked to commit and their cynical disposition shields them from ever having to face the fear of rejection . . . the fear of being chastised . . . the fear of being wrong(ed). 

No wonder there’s such a thirst for Obama’s message.  It IS the “audacity of hope.”  Not Obama’s hope, but the collective hope of a nation that wants to do better than the last eight years have told us is possible.  Particularly in the wake of 9-11 and the fear of unsure times, people are flirting with hope, not because it’s cool, but because we sincerely believe that something better is possible. 

Sorry, but I can not mock people’s hopes.  Even if it’s cooler to be a cynic . . . even if it’s safer for my ego and reputation to insist that this can never happen, I’m through apologizing for being optimistic.  Particularly in times such as these . . . in case you haven’t noticed, the cynics have been controlling things for quite some time

Which is why I always force myself to listen to right-wing radio . . . if for nothing more than to remind myself that cynics like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Anne Coulter and Michael Savage have been kicking our collective left-of-center as*es in these elections for the past generation in modern politics. . . if for no other reason than the thought of Rush Limbaugh lighting another victory cigar on November 4th. 

So please keep that in mind the next time you see the left begin to form its circular firing squad.  The next time you hear a PUMA rant or fancies of a protest vote . . . be aware of the fact that you might be doing more than “teaching Obama a lesson” or “speaking truth to power.”  You just might also be rewarding those cynics with another four more years in the White House.

Remember . . . This is what we’re up against! 

I’ll leave you with a snippet from between John McWhorter and Glenn Loury.  I disagree with bothon a lot of things (though I tend to agree more with McWhorterin the context of his more recent debates with Loury on  Despite his conservative appeal, McWhorter is a long-time Obama supporter.  Glenn Loury was (and I get the sense, still is) a major Clinton supporter.  But they bothgrapple with this idea of hope vs. cynicism.  Enjoy!

Psst! . . . we’re down to two viable choices. It’s okay to be “a fan.” After all, somebody’s gotta win. Why not us?

cross-posted at my blog

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