In the news this morning:
• rank-and-file Democrats resist President Obama’s attempt to take over health care,
• Congress drops “card check” provisions–an Obama-backed power grab by unions,
• Congressional Budget Office calls White House health care dreams prohibitively expensive.
That’s from the front pages of Politico, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Taken together, they show a picture of a Democratic congressional majority running away from a President trying to push this country way, way left.
Not according to NPR. Over there, the news this morning—the news all week—is that the President is not leftist enough.
Steve Inskeep, whose empathetic tones regale listeners on Morning Edition, has been running a series on how the President has been disappointing people on the left. Yesterday he had on Justin Ruben, executive director of the “progressive advocacy group” MoveOn.org (Steve’s helpful description, not mine). MoveOn.org—those of us shaving, putting on makeup, or making coffee at that hour heard—is indeed slightly peeved with this President: he has traveled too slowly down the road to Socialist Nirvana.
This morning, Steve had on my old Congressman, Jerry Nadler, whose hold on the Upper West Side of Manhattan will not be dislodged by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Jerry—as he is known at Zabars, La Caridad and the 82nd St. Barnes—was a bit of a rougher go. Yes, the President is not going far enough, Jerry allowed. Of course people in the community are upset, he granted. But it’s not really the president’s fault. He needs the votes to carryout the “progressive agenda.”
Steve would not let up. “I was talking the other day with an acquaintance whose politics might be described as progressive or liberal—certainly someone who voted for Obama,” explained Inskeep. “He was disappointed with a bunch of the issues that you mentioned hearing disappointment from your constituents about, and even added another one: he felt the climate change legislation that just passed the House doesn’t nearly go far enough. He summed it up by saying, ‘This is not the President I voted for.’”
“That’s not fair,” shot back Jerry.
Maybe Steve needs new acquaintances. Or maybe an outfit like NPR that runs on the public dole has a reason to expand the spigot. But those of us who listen to NPR—and who must pay for it, for we have no other choice—deserve something slightly less skewed, perhaps?