At Netroots Nation, Politico's Schultheis Is Surprised That the Left Is 'Not as Angry at Obama as You'd Think'

Netroots Nation, the leftist annual convention currently in progress in San Jose (next year it's in Detroit; can't wait), bills itself as a "connector of awesome progressive activists."

Based on Emily Schultheis's Saturday morning report at the Politico on the viewpoints of those in attendance, the gathering's slogan should really be, "Blame it on Bush and Boehner." The Politico reporter also professes surprise that these largely angry leftists aren't angry at President Barack Obama, as if anyone would have really expected that (bolds are mine):


Progressives not as angry at Obama as you'd think

President Barack Obama has given progressives plenty to be angry at him for lately: The liberal wish list he laid out at his second inaugural remains just that. Then came revelations of sweeping domestic surveillance programs that triggered flashbacks to the ultimate villains of the left, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Yet despite all of that, Democratic activists on hand here for the largest annual gathering of progressives cut the president a surprising amount of slack. Yes, they’re unhappy about Obama embracing Bush-era snooping. And they think he hasn’t done nearly enough on climate change or other issues they had high hopes for when they helped propel Obama past Hillary Clinton in 2008.

But two dozen people interviewed by POLITICO at the Netroots Nation conference this week agreed, in broad strokes, that a broken Congress and leftover Bush-era policies deserve at least as much blame as the president. The National Security Agency controversy may be headline news — on Friday night, news broke that federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges against NSA contractor Edward Snowden for allegedly leaking classified information — but it was barely mentioned in a series of speeches kicking off the conference.

... Said Jonathan Dale, a 42-year-old Planned Parenthood activist from San Diego: “The NSA stuff that came out was disappointing but not surprising.” But “it’s a legacy from the Bush era.”

His colleague, Rachel Dixon, 35, agreed: “I always kind of assumed that our emails weren’t private,” she said.

The idea that Bush, not Obama, was responsible for putting these programs in place came up time and again.

“Everything that Obama’s going through, Bush started,” said Democracy for America Chairman Jim Dean. “So we’re not trying to parse between whose fault it is or who gets the blame or who the hero is.”

The fact that Obama has had almost 4-1/2 years to order the NSA to do its job differently, something which would require no congressional cooperation whatsoever, and has done nothing -- instead embracing it, as Schultheis noted -- clearly doesn't matter to the true believers. I guess it's okay if their guy is doing the spying. They must be serving really strong koolaid there.

Schultheis all too predictably failed to point out that the scope and breadth of the data NSA dragnet under Obama dwarfs anything seen during the Bush 43 era.

Schultheis also either didn't ask any of the attendees what they thought of the IRS targeting scandal, Eric Holder's phone-record sweep of the Associated Press, or DOJ's investigation of Fox News reporter James Rosen as a possible criminal, or didn't care to tell readers what she found. Why not, Emily?

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.