I occasionally like to poke around Salon.com for a healing dose of tolerance, inclusion and progressive enlightenment whenever my heathen conservative predilections get the better of me. Imagine my shock when browsing through some reader comments when I saw the sort of lowbrow discourse usually reserved for people who couldn’t get into Swarthmore or Brown and never drove a Saab: “go fuck yourself;” “you’re so full of shit;” “shut up idiot;” “get a fucking clue;” “screwball… crank;” “bitch;” “whore;” and the never encouraging, “cunt.”

What's it going to take to put you in some Hope & Change today?

What's it going to take to put you in some Hope & Change today?

What was happening here? A good-n-proper reaction to the obligatorily reviled Ann Coulter? Did Sarah Palin say something unacceptably state-schooly on TV again? Did an enemy trollette deposit some right-wing talking point in an otherwise high-minded and compassionate Salon discussion thread?  Alas, something much more catastrophic had occurred: one of the flock strayed and had to be punished. 

Spunky feminist and noted Obama enthusiast Camille Paglia dared speak ill of the first seven weeks of the Obama Presidency in her most recent monthly column, and Salon’s intellectual backwash devoted readership would not stand for it. So just what did Ms. Paglia say to force these rabid jackals to cannibalize one of their own? Ironically, nothing critical about Obama himself, rather, she criticized “his flacks, fixers and goons — his posse of smirky smart alecks and provincial rubes” who led The Chosen One astray. In fact, she bent herself into a yoganidrasana to avoid criticizing Obama, “in whom [she] still [has] great hope and confidence.”

However, it seems that even critiquing the lackeys, yes-men, tax cheats, polished turds and fellow Ivy League Affirmative Action admits who now infest the White House  Best and the Brightest Part II is enough to mobilize the Hope/Change Musketeers into battle since it’s an admission that all is not rainbows, sunflowers and waterfalls in Obamatown… “just give him a chance, man, it’s only March.”

Of course, for a litany of reasons discussed on this site at length, Obama’s first two months in office have been a study in ineptitude, failure, and public embarrassment. It’s too early for an “I told you so,” but what we’re seeing now is about what one would expect if a clueless, inexperienced community organizer with socialist erogenous zones was rammed into the White House by a desperate, frothing electorate more concerned with punishing the old guy than picking the right new guy.

Ms. Paglia’s Salon article and comment section betray two strains of debilitating denial currently ravishing the Obama Left.  The more obvious case is that of the rank-and-file goose-steppers who see nothing wrong with bungling cabinet appointments to the point of absurdity; inexplicably insulting our strongest foreign ally; publicly indulging a juvenile personal vendetta against a meanie radio host; fear-mongering the Dow to 12-year lows; signing the filthiest pork bill in U.S. history without reading or writing it; lifting America’s knickers and bending over for the much more clever Vladimir Putin; closing Gitmo without an exit strategy; etc.  In the eye of the true believer, all of this is miraculous and wonderful by definition because Obama did it.  For this group, any blemish on Obama’s record is sooner the fault of George W. Bush, Sasquatch or the Illuminati than it is that of the first African-American President of the United States.