Manipulating Obama: Moving Left

biden obama

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Historically “ignored” segments of the voting population are also in the manipulation mix.

Certainly several segments feel over-empowered as they seek to go into this election as the “tipping point” for the President’s reelection or ouster.

At the front of the line is Obama’s strongest base, black America. Early on, I thought some African American spokespersons were trying to manipulate the President for personal and petty reasons.

I don’t need to call any names…those critiques didn’t really gain any resonance in Year 1. But Year 3, more people are listening. Why? Well, the truth be told, 24% black unemployment is not a good look for any President. 40% black male unemployment is not a good sign for the symbol in the White House that looks like those with the highest unemployment.

If the truth be told (again)…if this was a white President, we’d be marchin’ in the street, and Jesse and Al would be running for President again. The standard of economic disenfranchisement must be applied to every President, including Obama.

The foreclosure crisis affects black homeowners more than any other segment of the affected population. So, when Cornel West asked how he can help Wall Street but not Main Street, that is going to gain some resonance. And neither issue has been satisfactorily addressed.

This is not so much feeling that Blacks are trying to manipulate Obama as Obama trying to manipulate us. It’s gonna be something to watch whether a suitable explanation comes from the President before Newt Gingrich or another Republican convinces his party to recruit blacks to come over to the dark side. That’s a joke (but it’s not).

The Latino community says it’s waiting on comprehensive immigration reform (and so is everybody else). The problem is that it means different things to different people. Obama can push it (as he did), but the Republicans won’t pass it.

Yet, the threat is on the President’s re-election instead of unseating Republicans. Go figure? Can they continue to give Republicans a pass on that issue? It’s not on the conservatives agenda in either Republican or the Tea Party.

The same with same-sex marriage. Eliminating “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” isn’t the same as advocating for same sex couples. But there are some that don’t think the President has gone far enough.

Women are loading up, even though he appointed two women to the Supreme Court. There’s still room to push the President further to put Hilary on the ticket (it’s coming).

Unreasonable expectations cannot drive what is not reasonable or rational. One thing these groups haven’t thought about in their desperate pushes for “rapid speed” is political progress.

If they are not with Obama, what is their alternative? And can they do any better? That should quiet everybody down. But it won’t. They would rather continue to try to manipulate Obama. That’s the only thing that will make the race interesting.

Part of being starved at the table of mainstream politics is that the so-called “progressives” don’t get to eat often, and when they finally get a seat at the table…they want to “pig out” because they haven’t eaten in so long and really can’t say when they might eat again. That is very real if President Obama ends up being a one-termer.

Progressives don’t know when they’ll EVER see another President as policy friendly as this President. Obama has given Progressives unprecedented access to the nation’s policy agenda.

They need to respect that, understand the public policy process is incremental and develop a sophistication about the compromising nature of mainstream politics…everybody has to get something, or nobody get NOTHING.

That’s how the nation has moved forward for 236 years. Two steps forward, and one step backward is the game.

It is necessary for progressives to work diligently for Obama’s re-election and not be impatient with the process. Everybody will get fed in due time…unless everyone gets greedy and turns over the table like starved pigs at the trough.

Anthony SamadProgressive can’t feed into the impatient frenzy that the right, and far right, are pushing. Let the ring wingers turn over the table – it will ensure President Obama’s re-election.

We will then have four more years of progressive seats at the policy table and four more years to push the policy agendas of progressive stakeholders.

Anthony Samad
Black Commentator

Published by the LA Progressive on June 29, 2011
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About Anthony Asadullah Samad

Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad is an author, scholar and the co-founder, Managing Director and host of the Urban Issues Forum. Dr. Samad's most recent book is entitled "Saving The Race: Empowerment Through Wisdom". His national column can be read in newspapers and cyber-sites nationwide. His weekly writings can be read at For more information about Dr. Samad, go to