Melissa Harris-Perry has a column in today's issue of The Nation arguing that white liberals who are disappointed with Obama are racist because they supported Clinton more at this point in his presidency.
Of course, there's no polling on what white liberals think of Obama; Obama's support has dropped among all race groups since 2009, as most presidents' approval ratings tend to drop after elections; the economy today is doing much worse than it was in 1996, with levels of unemployment unseen in recent American history; Clinton wasn't all that popular with the left in 1996, drawing ire from so many constituency groups for selling them out (we get the phrase "Sister Souljah moment" from Clinton's behavior); and Obama's policy's have generally been to the right of Clinton's, with the major exception being LGBT rights. (David Sirota has a more detailed rebuttal; I'm not interested in writing one.)
That all goes unmentioned in the column, and it's not to hard to understand why. Harris-Perry is pursuing a career in corporate media, and while corporate media like MSNBC will tolerate "liberal" commentary, one thing it won't tolerate is people calling out our political theatre as being just that: theatre. It's fine to take one party's side or the other since neither threatens the powers that be, but to reject them both is to indict our fake democracy.
Moreover, the fact that Harris-Perry cites few of Obama's actual policies (she actually uses the fact that he's passed a lot of laws to show how great he's been without describing if they're good laws... details, details) shows how superficial her comparison is. Instead of actually discussing how high the unemployment rate is, how Obama's done enough to combat it, or why it's out of his control, she says that the difference in the black and white unemployment rates relative to the general unemployment rate is about the same today as in the 90's.
In other words, why would someone with several well-paid, secure jobs care about how well Obama's actual policies work so long as the champagne keeps on flowing?
I subscribe to The Nation and I like the magazine, but if Harris-Perry is moving to Versailles maybe they should reconsider her column. I suspect MSNBC and other corporate, pseudo-liberal media is going to be lashing out more and more against people who criticize Obama from the left.
Psuedo-liberals, for the last four decades, have gleefully participated in the right's McCarthyism, often doing the dirty work of convincing America that anyone who defends poor and working class Americans' interests is outside the realm of reasonable discourse. Eleven years ago Democrats called Nader voters traitors for putting Bush in office (the Supreme Court had nothing to do with it, of course), nine years ago liberal hawks were calling those against the Iraq War the fifth column, two years ago anyone who wanted the public option was an unreasonable, "retarded" socialist, and now anyone who thinks that calling for austerity in the middle of recession is bad economics, bad politics, and bad for themselves and their loved ones is racist.
Traitors, treasonous, "retarded," racist. Those are some pretty big insults in our culture, and fake liberals have no problem throwing them around when the rabble gets too noisy.
These folks know their job: make it seem, to the untrained eye, that America discusses important issues, but also make sure that the left stays marginalized and disorganized. Don't call Harris-Perry stupid or lazy, because she's neither; she just has a career to look out for.