- (Photo: Reuters/Larry Downing)
While liberals have been supportive of President Barack Obama for most of his presidency, that may be starting to change. Recently, Obama-friendly media and Democrats have not been as friendly as they used to be.
Some liberals appear to have turned sour on Obama within the last two months over the malfunctioning "Obamacare" website, and his broken "if you like your health care, you can keep it" promise.
The Chicago Tribune endorsed Obama twice and is located in his hometown, but recently the left-leaning newspaper has become one of the president's harshest critics, especially with its editorials.
On Nov. 11, the editors said the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," is a "train wreck" and not working. The editorial, "Truth, consequences and Obamacare," appears to have originally been called "Lies, consequences and Obamacare," from the title on the browser tab. In another editorial the next day, the editors called the ACA "a giant, exasperating mess." And on the third day, Nov. 13, the Tribune editors called on Congress to overhaul the entire ACA: "the only way to rescue the Affordable Care Act will be a complete congressional reimagining of the law."
On Sunday, Franklin Foer, editor of the New Republic, argued that Obama's failures are a threat to liberalism. New Republic is a liberal publication that was recently bought by Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook. Hughes was also part of both of Obama's election campaigns, helping to organize its online outreach.
"Liberalism has spent the better part of the past century attempting to prove that it could competently and responsibly extend the state into new reaches of American life," Foer wrote. "With the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the administration has badly injured that cause, confirming the worst slurs against the federal government. It has stifled bad news and fudged promises; it has failed to translate complex mechanisms of policy into plain English; it can't even launch a damn website. What's more, nobody responsible for the debacle has lost a job or suffered a demotion. Over time, the Affordable Care Act's technical difficulties can be repaired. Reversing the initial impressions of government ineptitude won't be so easy."
Obama's failures are also causing widespread panic among congressional Democrats, according to some of their staffers.
"Here we are, we're supposed to be selling this to people, and it's all screwed up. This either gets fixed or this could be the demise of the Democratic Party," a Democratic chief of staff recently told The Hill.
Other Democratic aides told The Hill that all they want from Obama is for him to fix the problems with the ACA and raise money for the Democratic Party. If the problems do not get fixed soon, they predicted that congressional Democrats will quickly distance themselves from the president.
"The only way he can really make it up to us is by fixing this sh*t," one aide said.