When Barack Obama backed a Senate health reform plan that differed radically from prior proposals, he ignored the lessons he learned as a young organizer on Chicago’s South Side. Obama once knew that it’s wrong to bypass the community’s agenda to strike a backroom deal, regardless of its superior terms. Obama also understood that failing to consult with the community disempowers the base, and discourages people from participating in future organizing campaigns.
“Can we have a new Senate for Christmas,” asked blogger Joan McCarter yesterday at Daily Kos. “This one is broken.” It’s time for politicians to stop hiding behind an inaccurate, outdated and dishonest view of America. We are not conservative!
The American people who voted for “change” did not merely seek a return to the Nineties – or else they would have nominated Hillary Clinton. Obama stood to become the most progressive President in over 40 years, and yet his Administration has little to show for it.
When President Barack Obama took office, many activists and organizations saw their role as mobilizing the public support necessary to enable him to implement progressive change. After Obama’s September health care speech this strategy appeared to be working, but the President has since ignored the progressive base and taken a sharp turn to the right.
If all information is controlled by the corporations will they spew propaganda to distract and convince the masses how lucky they are and how they need to be good consumers? Will entertainment continue it’s decent to the lowest common denominator because it sells corporate products?
Obama still has time to deliver for his base. But this will require activists and constituency groups to ramp up public demands for such a course, rather than thinking they are helping the progressive cause by making excuses for a president whose inspirational words about social transformation have not been matched by actions.
Biden’s questions may have reflected his misgivings about America’s effort in Afghanistan. But his prodding also demonstrated the unique ability of a vice president to help ensure that presidential decisions are based on a full consideration of competing perspectives.
I’m sure this is something President Obama will be mindful of from here on out. Was it truly a “mistake” or the beginning of another conspiracy?
I have a suggestion for members of Congress: if you don’t know what you’re talking about, keep silent until you’ve done some real homework. And don’t expect the self-serving statements of hired guns to always represent the truth.
So, as this Thanksgiving weekend comes to an end, we at the LA Progressive look back over the year and focus on the reasons we have to give thanks. There is quite a bit, especially compared to where we were last year.
Was Beck truly the best man for the job, or a nice parting gift to Bratton and a pacification gift the Police Protection League. We certainly shouldn’t be afraid to ask the question, as suspicious as it sounds.
The question is whether today’s conservative Republicans understand that they cannot save their party by destroying it. Too many on the right have tried to conciliate a base that craves ideological purity. But ideological purity does not lead to victory. It leads to irrelevance.
During a White House meeting in early 1984, Ronald Reagan shocked economic adviser Martin Feldman in insisting that no tax increase in US history had raised revenue. The eminent Harvard economist penned him a memo proving that every increase in tax rates from 1917 to 1969 had actually done so.