Chris Hedges admits the motivation behind cynical left punditry

We’ve all noticed that there are pundits and bloggers on the left who attack Obama non-stop, even when he does things that the left has wanted for decades. Why can’t Obama get a fair shake from so many left bloggers who should be helping to make more progress happen?

Chris Hedges did everyone a favor by admitting his true agenda at truthdig. We now understand why he, and those of similar ilk, are just as fair and balanced about Obama as Fox News. The reason they spread so much cynicism is to convince people that elections are a waste of time and that the Democratic Party must be destroyed.

If elections were that effective, as the anti-war activist Phil Berrigan used to say, they would be illegal. We must follow the path Nader forged, attempting to sway enough people with conscience to sever themselves permanently and unequivocally from the mainstream and especially the Democratic Party.

This is different than working on progress toward progressive issues. Progress is happening on many issues, and often without the help of ankle-biting pundits who have done nothing but attack.

In the mind of Hedges, Progress = destroying the Democratic Party.
Therefore, spreading cynicism against Obama and Democrats = Progress.

But, what if a Democratic President does something very positive that liberals like? Well, that would disprove Hedges’ core belief system so Obama’s progressive accomplishments must always be ignored or downplayed as inadequate. And that’s what we’ve seen from a sizable chunk of left pundits. They spread disingenuous cynicism about Obama because admitting his accomplishments would invalidate their belief that destroying the Democratic Party is a necessary precursor to making progress.

One consequence of this is that the left blogosphere doesn’t get an accurate picture of what Obama and Congress are doing. And if the left blogosphere isn’t writing about something progressive Obama does, then I can guarantee the corporate-owned press won’t either.

Since most people can see that the Green Party has nothing to show after 20 years of effort, the campaign to spread cynicism about Democrats hasn’t brought more people to any third party or direct action movement. Oddly, convincing people that everything they’ve done for Democrats amounts to nothing doesn’t convince them to do even more. It simply encourages hopelessness and inaction. The effort to convince the left that voting is a waste of time really paid off in 2010.

We have to admit that a significant portion of left pundits/bloggers have an ideological, dogmatic approach that is effectively sabotaging the efforts of many others on the left. I’m happy to support the kind of direct action effort that Hedges’ writes about, but I disagree with his belief that the only way to build support for direct action is to tear down and insult the tangible progress that many others on the left are already making every day. It’s dishonest and counterproductive.