Now we know where all those "liberal" references which should be attached to leftist Democratic politicians but seldom are went. Steve Peoples at the Associated Press used them all up in his Thursday coverage of the "Netroots Nation" gathering in Providence, Rhode Island.
Occurrences and variants on the word "liberal" appear ten times in Peoples' coverage, including in the item's headline. There are even several occurrences of "progressives" and even references to the "left":
Frustrated liberals want more from Obama
They are trying to be hopeful, but the Democratic Party's most passionate voters are struggling to hide their frustration with President Barack Obama.
Republicans attack the president as a big-government liberal. Many liberals meeting Thursday at Netroots Nation - it describes the annual convention as "a giant family reunion for the left" - argue instead that Obama hasn't fought hard enough for progressive priorities on taxes, health care and the economy.
... More than a dozen liberals interviewed here indicated some level of frustration with the president, despite widespread praise for his recent decision to support gay marriage and ongoing push to scale back military action in the Middle East.
Most plan on voting for Obama and their gripes are not unlike what the White House has heard for much of the president's term. But these left-leaning backers' varying levels of enthusiasm could spell trouble for a president whose 2008 victory was fueled by a massive network of grass-roots volunteers and small-dollar donors. Polls show the president locked in a tight race that's likely to be decided in several swing states where he scored narrow victories four years ago. Places like Ohio, Florida and Virginia are expected to be especially competitive, and Obama will need liberal supporters to both work on his behalf and turn out in droves on Election Day.
"He's done a good job, but he could have done a lot better," said Ed Tracey, 55, of Lebanon, N.H., who heads his local chapter of the group, Drinking Liberally.
... Liberals were further irked when he abandoned the so-called "public option" in his health care overhaul, didn't go after big banks more aggressively in his financial overhaul bill and supported the extension of Bush-era tax cuts.
... "I look forward to him fighting much harder," said Arshad Hasan, executive director of Democracy for America, a group founded by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.
But, like many liberals here, Hasan offered a mixed review of the president. He said Obama's decision to support gay marriage was "a huge accomplishment for progressives." He also was hopeful that Obama might shift further to the left should he win a second term.
"There's also a strain of thought among progressives that he's waiting until after the election to come out and be more boldly progressive," Hasan said. "I don't know which way that's going to go, but I know that either way, we get a much better deal than if Mitt Romney is elected."
... Massachusetts-based liberal radio host Jeff Santos held the first stop of "the Real Romney tour" at the conference.
... "If Mitt Romney can't stand up to a birther who's putting out racist conspiracy theories, how can he lead on other issues?" asked Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, a liberal group that promotes African-American political influence.
All of this begs the obvious question: If "liberals," "progressives," and "the left" support Obama and his fellow Democrats, why is the AP, and the press in general, so reluctant to similarly label Democratic politicians -- while applying the labels "conservative," "ultraconservative," "right-wing" and even "far right" to Republican politicians who are often anything but conservative quite, well, liberally?
Still missing in action from Peoples' prose: "Far left," a term which outfits like Color of Change clearly deserve.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.