Fridays the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Joe Weinstein commenting on Obama Ignores Community Organizing Lessons, by Randy Shaw.
Here’s Joe’s comment:
Randy’s piece is an exemplar of clarity and fairness, and merits careful pondering. Especially by those of us who supported Obama’s candidacy and campaign, and continue to admire his rhetorical abilities and productions.
No matter what his other deficiencies in experience and background might be, presumably Obama knows all about community organizing. As Randy demonstrates, Obama has failed on his own strong point, concerning his own allegedly key domestic agenda item in relation to his own allegedly key constituencies.
Many of us care very earnestly about many big issues – including health and the economy, the environment, saving this country’s lands and resources and wildlife, stopping genocide, helping democratic friends abroad, stopping (and teaching basic simple corrective lessons to) nuke-making dictatorships such as Iran and N. Korea; and yet others. On all these issues many of us have looked at the reality (beyond the upbeat public statements defensively produced by our good-cause organizational spokespeople trying to hang on as DC lobbyists). We have pretty much given up on Obama.
At the present rate, historians will be speaking of the dozen years of the OBushma administrations. It’s getting very fast to look as if the only thing that MIGHT save the Obama presidency for a second term is the Gop death wish to nominate Ms Death Panel – i.e. Ms Death Palin – herself.
Craig is right. The very idea of community organizing, indeed of community altogether, is subverted by our constitutional scheme of taking public policy decisions away from communities, away from juries of ordinary citizens, and instead giving them over to an all-powerful oligarchy of special long-term political officials (mass-elected or appointed): president, congress and a few others. This outdated system works only when the key oligarchs happen to be persons who combine talent, good will and readiness to act. Sometimes we are lucky, but usually (as evidently in the case of Obama) we are not.