Nudging Obama

Formerly "Obama Watch" Keeping the promise of change

Little Obama and Big Bad Beck (In Manure, Yet)

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CommonDreams.org

Little Obama and Big Bad Beck (In Manure, Yet)

by Abby Zimet

Glenn Beck – 2009 – bull shit and pigment on canvas 48” X 67”

With Obama increasingly straying from the progressive ideals that moved so many young people to work and vote for him, Campus Progress hopes to put him back on track with a helpful lesson in dealing with right-wing bullies who are pushing him around “like kids in a playground.” In honor of their “deranged” leader Glenn Beck, artist Michael Murphy has painted a portrait of Beck “in bullshit and pigment on canvas” – really – which is here

“There are two things you absolutely do not want to do when a bully tries to make your life a living hell: you do not want to ignore them and you do not want to give in to their demands.”

A Project of Center for American Progress

Obama’s Guide to Dealing with Kindergarten Bullies

September 11th, 2009 by tboggia

On November 4th 2008, young people propelled President Obama to victory with a clear mandate to advance a progressive agenda. Unfortunately things have not been going as well as we would have hoped. Right wing bullies, led by the deranged Glenn Beck, have been relentlessly pushing Obama and congressional Democrats around like kids in a playground. From delaying health care reform to the recent resignations of key progressives in the administration, our new found hopes are rapidly reverting to distant dreams.

It is time for President Obama to start dealing with the bullies who are threatening to take him down. Unfortunately, it seems like he does not yet know how to do this, despite having been an avid comic book reader (and thus a likely victim of bullies) and having sharpened his political mind in Chicago. As someone who has been pushed around a good amount as a kid and having done some pushing around myself, here are some pointers for how President Obama (hereon little Obama) can avoid losing more ground to the likes of Glenn Beck (hereon big bad Beck).

Big bad Beck is a bully through and through. His rocky childhood gave rise to deep paranoia, a bipolar personality, delusions of grandeur, and deep-seated anger at people he perceives to be different than him. He consciously and repeatedly attempts to cause psychological harm to little Obama, mostly by spreading false rumors, making threats, using put-downs and encouraging his base to take up arms. Big bad Beck’s attacks are not just criticisms of little Obama’s pet projects. His attacks are meant to destroy Obama’s spirit, self-esteem, and popularity and to get back at him for winning the elections by a wide margin. It must be said that, as Dr. Gary Namie (author of “The Bully at Work”) says, “Good employers purge bullies, bad ones promote them”. Fox News and talk radio stations are complicit in big bad Beck’s “bullyism” by providing him a bullhorn to spread his slanderous and deranged rumors.

It must be said that big bad Beck’s behavior is perfectly normal for a bully, especially one in the kindergarten playground spanning from New York’s media rooms to Washington D.C.’s halls of power. The unusual aspect of this bullying dynamic is that little Obama is passively taking all the blows. As Kidshealth.com states, “Bullies tend to bully kids who don’t stick up for themselves.”

There are two things you absolutely do not want to do when a bully tries to make your life a living hell: you do not want to ignore them and you do not want to give in to their demands. Unfortunately little Obama did just that and let Beck rant about his green jobs adviser until he felt compelled to resign. Big bad Beck gained strength, resolve, and a more active following and Obama was left wondering who among his administration was going to be targeted next. Now little Obama is not just at the mercy of big bad Beck, but also of every other conservative pundit, blogger, and politician who has been paying attention to how easily little Obama retreats and gives in. It is only a matter of time before his allies will become impatient, disillusioned, and less willing to stand up for their friend. This is a vicious cycle that leads little Obama right where the big bad bullies want him: friendless, cornered, and vulnerable. Needless to say, this is exactly what progressives need to avoid at all costs.

So, how can little Obama stop his descent in this downward spiral? And how can progressives help him? First of all, little Obama needs to gain some self-confidence. Were he a pimply, pudgy middle-school kid, he might want to sign up for a gym membership, but little Obama is all grown up and has vast support from the American people. All he has to do is take a quick glance at any of the polls showing that Americans still overwhelmingly support him, especially when he stands strong on the progressive priorities he campaigned on. Or he could look at polls revealing that young people are less likely to re-elect senators who intend to vote against a climate bill or for health care without public option. If I were little Obama, I’d frame these polls and hang them up in my office alongside the results of the 2008 elections. They should make him think twice before giving in to another conservative talking head or one of their crazy town hall, tea-bagger minions.

Little Obama might also want to enroll in a self-defense class. No, I’m not talking about martial arts here; I’m talking about communications self-defense. Little Obama should review tapes from the previous administration and notice how everyone in the executive branch and congressional leadership stuck to the same talking points, regardless of how absurd or false they were (e.g. “Iraq is a threat to America!”). The Bush administration managed to have a simple and common response on almost every issue that came up and thus shifted the media’s attention to wherever they wanted it. Unlike Bush, little Obama has the truth on his side, so there is not anything wrong with repeating it over and over ad nauseam. If little Obama learned how to defend himself he would be more prepared next time big bad Beck launches another smear attack.

Little Obama needs to keep his friends close, not throw them under the bus as soon as big bad Beck launches his attacks. When bullies are allowed to speak out unchallenged, they gain strength and followers. If little Obama had let his friends speak out against the smears, it would have opened floodgates for more people to stand in support of the truth. Showing bullies that you have more friends than them, thus humiliating them and robbing them of their perceived power, is possibly the strongest tool to stop the attacks. Bullies thrive on the complicit silence of onlookers while the target becomes increasingly isolated.

Thankfully, not all of little Obama’s friends are sitting idly by. An incredible campaign by ColorOfChange.org has successfully weakened big bad Beck by robbing him of 62 of his show’s most generous supporters. They stood up for their bullied friend and achieved some impressive results, but until little Obama learns to stand up for himself and stop giving big bad Beck victories, this barrage of attacks is unlikely to end. The truth is that big bad Beck’s power is an illusion, and the man behind the curtain will be revealed as soon as little Obama shows his power by not letting bullies push him around and by passing bold progressive legislation to set our country straight. The improvements will be visible and bring big bad Beck’s deranged paranoia into the spotlight.

But he can’t do it alone! Now is the time to strike back against Glenn Beck, to let him and his corporate enablers know that young people are still watching and actively organizing to take power away from the bullies and put it back in the tools of our democracy. Young people have overwhelmingly voted for progressive change, and we expect President Obama to deliver. President Obama — will you deliver the change that we elected you to bring about, or are you going to let bullies destroy the dreams of our generation?

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Written by bearmarketnews

September 16, 2009 at 2:56 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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