This comment appeared from a reader, responding to my post about how progressives view Obama and objecting to the notion that people who approve of his overall performance may not also harbor serious disappointment. As the reader put it:
If asked, I’d say that, overall, I approve of Obama’s performance. However, the president has disappointed me on more than one issue since he was elected… So because I’ve been disappointed in some of the Obama administration’s actions, I’m not supportive? If I express that disappointment and disagreement, I’m not supportive?
I’m really troubled by the trend of criticizing anyone who questions and disagrees with Obama. We are abdicating one of our fundamental rights as Americans if we offer unquestioning, blind allegiance to Obama or any other government leader.
I agree, and by no means intended to imply that anyone should offer Obama blind allegiance, something no politician deserves. He should be criticized – and indeed must be criticized – by progressives who hope to push him to take bolder stands on a range of issues, from civil rights to the treatment of detainees under US custody. The point of my post was to question the notion that, broadly speaking, "the left" is disappointed with him in a way that is thoroughgoing and unqualified, as Rachel Maddow seemed to imply, an assertion that begs the question of who we’re talking about and, in my view, misreads the general mood even among progressives right now.