A little to the left: Mehdi Hasan wants leftist democrats to challenge Obama. Why so delusional?
Guardianistas dole out strange advice, even to their friends. Hasan's ideologically driven recommendations are full of sound and fury but signify nothing.
Regular writing requires regular inspiration – or in my case, anger. And where better to find such a muse than in a shoddily concocted piece by Mehdi Hasan, senior political editor at the New Statesman and the man who would be king to queen Polly Toynbee’s deserted fiefdom of ‘progressive majoritarians’.
Arguing that President Barack Obama should be challenged from the left, not the right in the forthcoming US Presidential elections is akin to signing a confession which reads, “I know little about American politics, but I believe that lurching left is the most obvious solution to America’s problems.”
If Hasan wanted to save himself the time of writing a thousand words, he could well have just provided that statement with a picture of his future vision for America.
Indeed, I am poking excessive fun, and no I don’t believe that Barack Obama is a raving communist. But we do know that he’s a socialist whose poll ratings decline when he attempts to enact ideologically driven policies upon the American people. Notably, his poll numbers climb when he makes concessions to the right.
Earth to Hasan – not only was your ‘progressive majority’ smashed last week in Britain’s referendum, but the United States has swiftly rebuked such notions and will continue to do so. Sixty-four percent of Americans think the country under Barack Obama is heading in the wrong direction, yesterday’s Rasmussen poll tells us. Pushing harder with a left-liberal agenda is a sure fire way to ensure Democrats rot in the wilderness of opposition for the next eight years.
However Hasan considers it a fait accompli that Obama will return for a second term and I tend to agree. But this isn’t on the back of his leftist reforms. Obama’s popularity is given a shot in the arm whenever he kowtows to the centrists and the right-wingers. Like when he folded on the public option on the healthcare debate, when he extended the Bush tax-cuts and there was that time he had the world’s most wanted terrorist killed, remember?
So on what basis does Hasan think that this leader of cattle (yes, watch this video) should lurch left, taking the US economy and recalcitrant public with him? On sheer ideology of course. Sheer baseless, speculative, far-left ideology.
If we’re (often correctly) using the term ‘extremist’ to describe members of the ‘tea party’ in the United States – may I suggest that Mehdi Hasan’s piece reveals his own inner extremist. That of the regressive left. Those who would reinstate the old Clause IV of the Labour Party constitution and nationalise economies in deadly swathes.
This hot air is wholly appreciated from the centre-right. In the United Kingdom, conservatives are viewed as strong on the economy and the vast number of Hasan’s readers at the New Statesman are scratching their heads at Ed Miliband’s unpopularity. Who would’ve thought that he ordained by the militant unionistas would go down like a lead balloon with the British public?
Obama’s recent poll leaps are clearly a result of pursuing George W. Bush’s policy of hunting down Osama bin Laden – and they won’t last long either. This is a welcome vindication for conservatives and those willing to strike a balance between their own professional beliefs and public opinion. A trait Hasan wishes Obama would throw to the lions.
N.B. For the sake of full disclosure of just how ‘liberal and progressive’ Hasan is by the way, see here. Something in my gut tells me the Democrats would do well to steer well clear of his suggestions.
Also: It appears the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson made the claim about the GOP candidates resembling the 'motley crew' from the 'Star Wars bar scene' a day before Hasan's piece in the Guardian. Plagiarise much?
Raheem Kassam is the Associate Editor of The Commentator. You can follow him on Twitter: @RaheemJKassam
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