I've noticed this within the Democrat party. There's always a cadre of supporters who'd rather play the role of perpetual underdog. They see some sort of beautiful purity in being the perpetual punching bag of opposing forces, where each blow rendered is treated as an absolution of sorts, the same way the Flagellants treated every lash as self-mortification of past and present sins, both real and imagined. For the rest of us, this "beautiful suffering" sucks greatly, as it interferes with other things. You know, like winning elections.
These people don't like President Obama much. They don't like him because he failed in his obligations to play the Magic Negro that most emotional progressives (henceforth known as "Emoprogs") expected him to be. Others don't like him because he doesn't describe to the "beautiful suffering" bit that many perpetual underdog Democrats (henceforth known as "PUDs") subscribe to. He refuses to fall on his sword in grand disgraced samurai style for not bringing the results Emoprogs expected, nor has he shown any inclination to jeopardize support from moderate circles in the pursuit of the PUDs and other groups that have confined the Democrats to electoral loserdom.
A lot of people don't understand that you can't do jack-shit if your people don't win. The Teabaggers, God bless those assholes, understand this well. Sure, they appear to be jokes (because they are), but when Election Time rolls around, they pound the pavement, crank up the Wurlitzers and get their people out to the polls. And after they've won, then they attempt to put all of their crazy plays into motion. Meanwhile, the PUDs are busy thumbing through their Rolodexes in search of the mythical pure candidate who can do the "beautiful suffering" bit on cue with flawless precision.
The PUDs are so pissed with Pres. Obama that they're ready and willing to give him the heave ho at a time where the American people can least afford to do so. To wit, Obama is and will remain an electoral shoo-in, an incumbent who, despite all he didn't manage to do, did far more. With his "11-dimension chess game," he managed to unmask the Republicans as a sorry bunch of obstructionists who are ridiculously obsessed with kicking him out of office, even at the risk of leaving Americans unemployed and uninsured. He gingerly stepped out of the way of the Teabagger bus and watched as the wheels fell off of it in grand fashion. The GOP candidates are a mess and the nominee will most likely be someone who will end up having his head handed to him on a silver platter come November 4, 2012. Democrats have this election in the bag.
And yet there's always someone who can't wait to dump the contents of said bag out on the floor and tear the bag into tiny strips, all because it happened to be a paper bag and not an "environmentally friendly" cloth bag. Which brings me to the brouhaha over Naomi Wolf's op-ed.
As mentioned before, the only crime Wolf can be successfully tried, convicted and flambe'd on is using a bullshit news article to springboard her own sensationalist piece to popularity. And people are still talking about it. In showbiz (or was that public relations?), they say bad publicity is better than no publicity. I'm only surprised at the level of energy being expended on this woman and her crap op-ed, presumably to stop a story like this from becoming accepted gospel.
And why? Apparently because, as Sarah Jones of PoliticsUSA explains:
Why are progressives hawking a right wing rumor? In the best of worlds, I suppose it’s because post-W, we are all government-leary and the Right knows how to stoke this fear in us and use it to scatter us into fragments of what we could be. But just as in any other relationship, a constant attitude of mistrust to such a degree that we believe any smear no matter how unfounded will not lead to positive change. It’s impossible, in fact, to create positive change when you’re hampered by the power of fear and hatred. These are emotional diatribes, at best; at worst, they’re cynical ploys to be King or Queen of the movement.The Emoprogs and PUDs have this knack for following only "approved voices" when it comes to stuff like this. The Naomi Wolfs, David Brooks and Jane Hamshers of the world. You know, folks like those. Ever since slowly making my way through to the liberal/progressive end of the political spectrum after spending my formative years in Freeper Hell, I've tried my best to divine exactly what about these people that makes them such an anathema to ordinary left-wingers but just perfect to the PUDs and Emoprogs. Unfortunately, my natural tendency to just disregard these people as not being important enough to even bother with hampers my ability to do just that, but I keep trying.
Perhaps it's the condescending manner to which they speak to others and of others who are outside of their personal and political frame of reference. Perhaps its their love of being the darlings of the cocktail circuit, where it is OK to be contrarian, to a point, just not contrarian enough to piss off those who financially or socially butter your bread. Or maybe its because when push comes to shove, these people are far too wrapped up in the art of being a "beautiful loser" and a "lovable underdog" to actually effect any sort of meaningful change to the way things are done in this country. A lot of these people love the current status-quo -- it works out for them, and to change that would mean screwing up a good thing.
The story of Pres. Obama allowing the DHS to run roughshod over the civil liberties of the OWS and 99% fits perfectly with a lot of narratives from the Emoprog and PUD-end of things. Obama is evil because he lets the Homeland Security dickwads encourage local police to wail on and hose hapless protesters with OC spray. Therefore, Obama must be shown the door. No one ever bothers to answer the following question: "Replace him with who?" No, just some throwaway answers about how Elizabeth Warren or Ron Paul would do a better job and so forth.
No one ever manages to connect the dots between weakening Obama's electoral support and having another Republican president in office. In fact, such an event suits the PUDs and Emoprogs well. Both groups can continue to practice the "beautiful suffering" and "lovable underdog" routines without having to deal with the responsibilities that come with actually effecting positive change to our political and social institutions. Meanwhile, the GOP is left to its usual routine of practicing cronyist ineptitude vis-a-vis governmental affairs while allowing the free marketeers to sell the nation off for wholesale prices, one factory at a time. Status-quo achieved. The Brooks and Hamshers of the world are pleased as punch.
As you can tell, I'm not a big fan of perpetual underdogs.
*Let's get those homosexual/prison jokes out of the way right this instant.