In an article posted this morning the Daily Kos quote Washington Post writer David Ignatius who wrote:
Obama’s speech showed us, once again, that the new president really means it when he says that he wants to create a new kind of politics for a “postpartisan” America. This has been difficult for some of his supporters to accept, in their rage against the Bush presidency and their understandable desire to settle scores with those who took the country into a dark and painful time. But Obama wants none of it. “On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.” Did that cause a moment of self-reflection at Rush Limbaugh’s offices, or at the Daily Kos? I doubt it, but one can always hope.
Hunter at the Daily Kos then preceded to rail against Ignatius and wrote that:
I would feel better about these pointed words towards us (and by direct extension, me) if I knew which things counted as the “petty grievances” that a radical voice like mine should be “reflecting” upon. Which were they? Was it speaking too loudly of the devolution of the United States into unapologetic torture? Was it complaining of the lives lost in Iraq, or making petty noises that even the president should follow the Constitution when it came to spying upon certain Americans, or making the case for their internment?
It’s views like this that make me sick to consider myself a liberal, or a Democrat. Hunter here seized on the phrase “petty grievances” and yet somehow largely ignored that which came after. As part of that Obama quote he talks about “the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.” I’m sorry Hunter, you’re a great writer and your blog has some great content, but here you’re simply perpetuating those dogmas that have created such a partisan divide and created the context in which it has become exceedingly difficult to actually accomplish anything.
I will not disagree with you nor try to argue that your stances on torture, the Iraq War, etc. are wrong or misguided; in fact, I agree with you wholeheartedly. What I disagree with is you presumption that these views are moderate, correct, and ought to be put into practice as they are. The fact is that these are the views of a significantly liberal blogger and represent just one worldview. Now, granted, your worldview is probably a little more encompassing than Limbaugh’s, O’Reily’s, or Hannity’s but that doesn’t give you or your ideas the power to simply be the unquestioned proper way of handling something. What you and other liberal and conservative bloggers fail to realize is that the views and opinions that the other side hold are just as apparent, natural, and “right” as you believe yours to be. By believing that you are the voice of reason and logic you are pushing the opposing population out of the political arena. By delegitimatizing the politics of the Limbaugh’s, O’Reily’s, and Hannity’s of the nation you are strengthening their conviction to stand up for what they see as right and natural too.
If you, and your opposites on the right, cannot set aside your ideals and work to incorporate the views and people of the opposition, then it will be exponentially more difficult to accomplish anything of substance in these next four years. President Obama desires to move past party politics in order to incorporate the entire population of the nation. Yes, he probably does believe that the ideas of Limbaugh are ludicrous, but he does not simply write them off as such. He gives the appearance of thoughtfulness and challenges those who disagree to speak up and present their ideas to him (notably, Krugman with the stimulus package). By acknowledging that the opposing views are legitimate and working toward incorporating the entire population of the United States into the political arena President Obama is putting this nation first. I would only like to see the political commentators on each side do the same.