In this, the third part of my rant on the actual liberal elites who (again, ironically) refer to pragmatic liberals like me as “liberal elites” somewhat sardonically, I want to talk more about their fantasies about how “progressives” are supposed to act. Only, with this section, I want to talk about a very touchy subject: the inherent racism and sexism that is rampant among the PUBs (again, Progressive Unicorn Brigade) and the professional left. I am very white, so I am only speaking as an observer, I know, so bear with me.
I know that PUBs and pro lefties don’t think they’re racist or sexist, but that’s kind of the point. For some reason, there is a sense that they believe that calling themselves progressive gives them a pass to say whatever they want to People of Color, immigrants, and women. We have seen this in their treatment of Barack Obama. They wholeheartedly supported him during the 2008 election, but they did so primarily because he was black. A lot of the talk in the professional left in 2008 was about how liberating it would be to have a black man in the White House. I remember getting an email from a professional left writer back in 2004, before Obama’s infamous convention speech, telling me how he was the “real deal” because he was “so articulate” and “extremely charming,” in a way that made me think that he thought this combination of traits was unusual in a black man.He also expressed how the notion of a Black president would somehow stick it to the far right. In other words, he would make a great candidate because he was black.
That notion is racist, of course, but it got worse. Apparently, PUBs imagined that the first black president would absolutely “stick it to the man.” They imagined that they were getting Huey and Bobby as president. I only say that because, when they found out he was a pragmatic progressive and not a bomb-throwing, they turned on him immediately. And when I say immediately, I mean even before he was inaugurated. While George W. Bush was negotiating a Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq that would pull troops out of Iraq on a date certain and hand part of the country over to what would eventually become Daesh/ISIL, PUBs and pro lefties were freaking out over Obama’s choice of Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary as if he was somehow going to bring the already crashing economy to its knees. They wanted a far-left liberal to lead the economy back, and they were incensed that Obama the pragmatic didn’t choose one. Of course, they also spent several weeks freaking out over Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to give the invocation at the Obama inauguration. Again, they went crazy over who gave the prayer, just because he was a white conservative evangelical. Who gives a shit about that, really?
And they never stopped beating up on Obama and the Democrats. Those of us who followed his campaign closely knew we were getting a progressive centrist (No, PUBs, that is not an oxymoron!), but they apparently envisioned him showing up on inauguration day wearing a dashiki and giving a “black power” salute. I used to laugh at the right wingers who derided liberals for treating Obama as if he was a messiah, until I realized they were right, if you think the professional left actually reflects progressive thought. I mean, President Obama, in concert with the Democratic Party, got us out of the deepest recession in the post-War era more quickly than anyone believed possible, and they did so with absolutely zero help from the Republican Party. For all of the professional left talk about Democrats being “anti-worker,” they managed to rescue unionized auto workers from losing their jobs at a time when the economy was still tanking.
Yet, all through 2009 and 2010, all anyone could read or hear from the “far left blogosphere” was talk of Obama being a “disappointment” and Democrats being sell-outs. Again, pure fantasy. We had a Republican Party that refused to vote on anything Obama and the Democrats wanted to do, and a Republican minority in the Senate that blocked every bill that was passed by Democrats in the House. In all, 375 bills passed the Democratic House and were blocked by the Republican minority in the Senate. Democrats were 2-3 Senate seats away from a filibuster-proof Democratic Senate, so what’s the natural solution to such a legislative logjam? To gain 2-3 seats, right?
Well, according to PUBs and professional lefties, the solution was to purge the Democratic Party of Blue Dogs, who had actually worked with Nancy Pelosi to pass those 375 laws that Senate Republicans blocked. They even worked with her to make sure she had just enough votes to pass the Affordable Care Act. If you think the left doesn’t have its own version of the Tea Party, you apparently don’t remember the time when a professional left, led by Markos Moulitsas, Jane Hamsher, Glenn Greenwald and a phalanx of other white, self-righteous liberals demanded that progressive senators block any healthcare reform bill that didn’t have a “public option” attached. (Source) This, despite the fact that there were at least a half-dozen versions of “public options” at the time. (Source) (Source)
And I’m sorry to have to say this, but their motivation was at least partly racist in nature. They expected more from this President because he was Black. Again, they envisioned a Black man sticking it to “the establishment” (a meaningless word that they just love to throw around) and calling out the Republicans every chance he got. Consider how many times they accused him of “caving” to the Republicans, even though he was actually making them look really bad. They attacked him because he was smarter about politics than them. They wanted a Black Moses to lead them out of the wilderness and had no acceptance for him when it turned out that he was “only” a competent Black man. Never mind the fact that he’s probably the most competent President in history; to PUBs and pro lefties, he was supposed to be Moses, goddammit!
Since we readily call out Republicans who treat Obama differently because he’s Black President, why do white liberal PUBs and professional lefties get a pass on that when they hold Obama to a higher standard because he’s Black? How is that not racist? How is voting for Obama because he’s Black any different than not voting for him because he’s Black? How is holding him to a higher standard than any other President not racist? In 2014, I was laughing my ass off at the professional lefties who were calling out Democratic candidates who didn’t openly embrace Obama, primarily because they had been trashing him for six years at the time, because they demanded that he be better than any other (white) Democratic President.
We have seen this kind of thing repeatedly this primary season, along with a heaping helping of sexism. When you listen to the PUB and professional left complaints about Hillary Clinton this year, some of the complaints are just pointless, but many others are blatantly sexist, as well. I mean, the complaints about her being “corporatist” are just clueless, given the lack of evidence of such a thing. However, when they assume that everything bad they perceive from Bill Clinton’s time in office was her responsibility, how is that not sexist? Consider their continued 22-year freak out over NAFTA, which they apparently still fantasize about killing. She was First Lady at the time, but they give her as much credit as Bill and the entire Democratic Party for passing it, and apparently more credit than the Republican Party, even though Republicans negotiated it in the first place.
Note that they fail to give her any credit for the 24 million jobs, the unemployment rate that dipped under 4% for a time, a middle class that grew by leaps and bounds and wages that rose for the first time in decades, but they do give her credit for NAFTA, welfare reform and media consolidation. Worse, they have actually given her at least part of the blame for the infamous finger wag and blowjob. Yes, that’s right; the PUBs and professional lefties who have adopted Bernie Sanders as their latest “messiah” have actually been using Monica Lewinsky to go after Hillary Clinton’s bid for the Democratic nomination. (Source)
Still, their penchant for sexism hasn’t quelled their racist tendencies. Look at how the Bernie Stan PUBs and professional lefties went after civil rights hero and Congressional legend John Lewis because he “dared” endorse Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries? They went ballistic, primarily because they envision all Black people being basically the same type of “progressive” they are and they were disappointed when Lewis simply didn’t accept Bernie the Messiah as his Lord and Savior nominee. (Source) Look at what they did when Hillary Clinton all but clinched the nomination on the first Super Tuesday, March 1. Most of those states were in the South and the Bernie Stans and, quite frankly, the Sanders campaign, attempted to dismiss those states because they were “part of the Confederacy” and apparently didn’t count anyway. (Source) It didn’t occur to them that one reason these states are red is because most of the white people are Republican and most of the Democrats in these states are Black people. Of course, perhaps it did occur to them, since they didn’t take the same position when Sanders won some red states that have virtually zero Black populations, like Kansas, Oklahoma, and Utah.
And this is the problem with these people in a nutshell. PUBs have convinced themselves that the issues they have decided are most important in our society are the most important issues for everyone and that their position on these issues is the only acceptable position. They live in a tiny white (mostly male) bubble and don’t care how anyone else thinks about anything.
And that will be the next subject I will cover with this continued rant: The PUB Bubble