Sometimes, the body misunderstands where it is in space. There’s a little thing you see gymnasts do all the time on the balance beam called a balance check. In a standing position, an off-balance gymnast will right herself quickly and with luck imperceptibly by bending her knees ever so slightly, contracting her glutes, squaring her shoulders and making solid contact between her feet and the beam. That sounds like a lot to do in a few milliseconds, but when you’ve done balance checks hundreds or thousands of times it becomes natural as blinking an eye. Often, it works and the athlete goes on with her routine. Sometimes a balance check fails and the athlete falls. I thought of it when I read Aravosis’s lament:
Since Democrats didn’t adequately defend the stimulus, and didn’t sufficiently paint the deficit as the Republicans’ doing, we now are not “politically” permitted to have a larger stimulus because the fiscal constraint has become more important than economic recovery.
And whose fault is that?
Bernstein said that the progressive blogs (perhaps he said progressive media in general) haven’t done enough over the past year to tell the positive side of the stimulus.
Emphasis: Aravosis. That was February 2010. Yesterday, he added:
I remember Bernstein specifically asking the Nation’s Chris Hayes whether he and his paper had done enough to help promote the benefits of the stimulus over the proceeding year. Chris said that they had just done a podcast about it that day, but yes he probably could have done more. I recall jumping in and noting that Chris was the last person Berstein should criticize, as he’s on Rachel Maddow every night defending the administration quite diligently.
The occasion of this recollection was an incident that happened at the White House the other day where Crooks & Liars blogger Mike Lux was present. As reported by Ben Smith at Politico:
Yesterday, [White House National Economic Council Director Gene] Sperling faced a series of questions about the White House’s concessions on the debt ceiling fight, and its inability to move in the directions of new taxes or revenues. Progressive consultant Mike Lux, the sources said, summed up the liberal concern, producing what a participant described as an “extremely defensive” response from Sperling.
Sperling, a person involved said, pointed his finger backed at liberal groups, which he said hadn’t done enough to highlight what he saw as the positive side of the debt package – a message that didn’t go over well with participants.
Perhaps I was the only person in all the all the world who, upon reading that, bent my knees slightly, tightened up my glutes, squared my shoulders and made solid contact between my feet and the surface I was standing on. In short: I suddenly understood where I was in space and righted myself.
The Obama Administration considers bloggers employees and not independent entities. Some bloggers consider themselves subservient to the administration. I am completely clear on who is supposed to work for whom and there’s something else. Someone should say these magic words the next time Sperling spews:
We don’t work for you. If you were doing good work for the American People, you wouldn’t need anyone to highlight anything. You could simply tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may, but you are not doing good work. You are for the most part failing the American People. You are upset because you know it, we know it, the People know it and you want our cover to sell your weak legislation. The answer is no. We have our own opinions, we expect better from you and we will continue to tell you so.
That is how you deliver pressure from the Left. The blogger who says this may get shut out, but he or she will win the admiration of principled people everywhere.