This is pretty good satire as far as it goes, but it gives the impression that the backlash against Obama on the left is irrational and evidence of an insistence on ideological or some other sort of purity over political pragmatism. Besides making a joke out of the legitimate reasons for anger at Obama from his own supporters over the FISA legislation, it makes it seem as if principled protests from the left are somehow the cause of Democratic defeat, when the disastrous results of ’88 in particular were the result of a horribly-run campaign. Think about it from their perspective: they see a tremendous opportunity in an overwhelmingly pro-Democratic year to win an election that also could provide something like a mandate for a progressive agenda, and in the interests of winning they have swallowed their objections to Obama’s relatively less progressive platform (as compared to Edwards or Clinton) only to be betrayed on an issue as fundamental and central as constitutional liberties and derided in the process as part of the problem with our political system. “Be practical,” someone says, “we’re trying to win an election.” To which they might reasonably reply, ”To what end, if our candidate caves in on major issues?” Many conservatives like to argue that when they give the Republican nominee grief about his pandering, changed positions or (as they see them) bad positions they are standing up for important principles. When people on the left engage in the same behaviour, it’s supposed to be crazy, loserish fratricide. It seems to me that there have to be some things that are not negotiable and things that should not be compromised for electoral expediency. You might think constitutional protections would be among those things, and that this would not be the concern of left-liberals alone. Apparently, you would be wrong.
What has been remarkable about the slow, but eventually almost total embrace of Obama by the netroots is that most of them ultimately felt compelled to side with him in the primaries after Edwards dropped out. His grassroots online movement arose largely outside of the netroots structures and became something of a competitor with them before gradually starting to subsume them. Pretty early on the major community blogs became overwhelmingly pro-Obama, so much so that the few remaining Clintonite bloggers at Daily Kos broke away in protest. For perhaps the first time there is sustained criticism of the nominee, and then only after the nominee did something that, as a matter of substance, is pretty terrible (and not just in the view of the left), but to listen to “mainstream” commentary everyone is supposed to treat this reaction as ludicrous. That says as much about what is wrong with our political culture as the cynical reversal itself.
P.S. The backlash is growing.