Time to Stand With the Prez?

barack obamaI am just a tad disappointed with the performance of President Obama thus far. Twenty-three days past the halfway point of his first term finds the man with a mixed record.

He called his autobiography “The Audacity of Hope”. During the campaign of 2008, he spoke of change we can believe in. Many of us were hoping for radical change. We didn’t get it – or at least, we haven’t gotten it yet. I am tempted to believe that for purely expedient political reasons, Barack Obama is saving his best routines for act two. Maybe I’m kidding myself. Maybe not. We shall see what we shall see.

FOR THE RECORD: As disappointed as I may be with the performance of this president to date, I still thank goodness each and every day that John McCain is not sleeping in the Oval Office at this very moment and that Fascist Barbie is not a seventy-two-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency. Can you even imagine?

As far as his political horizons are concerned, the President is in an enviable position. A cursory glance at the insane clown posse that passes for “the loyal opposition” these days tells me that defeating the GOP on Election Day 2012 will be as easy as shooting a goldfish bowl with a 12 gauge shotgun. Just have a gander at their front runners: The only one of the lot with an IQ above room temperature is Mitt Romney. A Mormon as Republican standard bearer? That ain’t NEVER gonna happen baby! The religious bigots and extremists who have hijacked that disgusting party will see to that.

No doubt about it; as of this writing anyway, it looks to me that the prez is going to have a relatively easy time of it during the campaign next year – that is unless he is challenged in the primaries by one of his own. Keep your eyes glued on Evan Bayh of Indiana. I predicted two months into Obama’s term that Bayh might very well go for it in 2012. Two years later, my suspicions are only heightened. Why do you think he chose not to run for re-election last year? He knows damned well that these days it is much easier to run as “an outsider”. One of the things he says he’s working on these days is moving the Democratic party more to the “center”. I translate that as meaning “more toward the right than it already is”. I can’t trust the guy as far as I can throw him.

My message today is for the Liberal base of the Democratic party.

barack obama state of the union

President Barack Obama greets Rep. Danny K. Davis, D-Ill, right, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., center, and Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., following his State of the Union address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


  1. tom warren says

    “you silly Liberals” qualifies as progressive bashing, Mr. D.

    Your argument is that once the first term is over and the 2012 election is past the “real ” Progressive Obama can stand up. I say that as long as there is one Repuglican in the House or Senate, all the spineless Democrats will have someone to fear and cave in to.

    It’s simple for me: there are two more years in this first term. Plenty of time for President Obama to show me he can “kick out the slats” — about something progressive. (anything). He does that, I won’t be an activist for Non-renomination. But he won’t., (you know he won’t.)

    Don’t worry. I won’t vote for Palin or Romney next time. I’ll vote for any other Dem on the primary ballot. But my dollars (and my activism) will stay firmly at home unless there are significant, Progressive, changes from the White House.

    Meantime, I’m going to remain just another whining effing retard, enamored of the “professional left”. Anybody know where I can find a publication that represents* my* views? Judging from this article, it’s not the LA Progressive..

  2. femfacal says

    I campaigned for obama. Made phone calls. Believed in him as a strong and caring man who could get things done. Now i see him caving into every republican special interest, the Chamber of Commerce, the rising of the deficit because he won’t raise taxes on the rich while our public workers are being demonized by right wing operators who want to see the work base demoralized and disunited by destroying unions. no, i don’t see any difference between this president and what we would have had with a john mccain. the country is in the last throws of destruction. i will help it along by voting for the closest thing to sarah palin that is running next time so i can be assured of the end of this country as we know it so that our revolution will start and we can start with a clean slate. to hell with obama and his weak knees. there’s no difference between he and the worst republican except that he sounds and looks better. his lies are sweeter sounding.

  3. Bill Gibbons says

    Paul McDermott says:
    February 15, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    “I detect elements of racism, militarism, and Islamophobia in yer screed there, Bill. Ya have some problem with a prez that ain’t a white warrior???”

    No, I have a problem with the fact that Obama is a do-nothing fake, plain and simple. And what makes you think that I am white? Tom Degan obviously has a problem with McCain’s age, and with fact that Palin dares to be her own woman, and a gutsy one at that, in spite of those who hate her just for being different.

    As for “Islamophobia,” you must be joking.

  4. Ralph Lopez says

    No dice. I think Obama should be primaried by a true progressive, or even a
    Democrat from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. To my esteemed
    fellow activists who put forth the argument, what about McCain, what about
    Palin etc., I say it is clear now that Obama is not really in charge, the
    Pentagon is and the national security establishment is, which is where he
    gets his orders to escalate wars and sign the Patriot Act. So if he’s not
    in charge, why would a Romney or Palin be any more in charge? They are not
    as big a bogeyman as people make them out to be, and what they are really
    doing is social management, which requires some amount of give and take.
    The people who really run this country are going to do exactly what they are
    going to do no matter who is in charge. All we can do is keep trying for
    someone, in a primary, who will take charge, and pick up where JFK left off,
    busting up the CIA. If it costs him his life. We ask these soldiers to
    risk their lives every day. Politicians should have the same courage.

  5. Bill Gibbons says

    “FOR THE RECORD: As disappointed as I may be with the performance of this president to date, I still thank goodness each and every day that John McCain is not sleeping in the Oval Office at this very moment and that Fascist Barbie is not a seventy-two-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency. Can you even imagine?”

    FOR THE RECORD: You mean Barack Hussein Obama, the least vetted President in the history of the USA, whose college records and birth certificate are being kept under wraps so we have absolutely no idea where he was born or what his post secondary educational grades were? The same Barack Hussein Obama whose Kenyan grandmother swears that she and other African relatives were at his birth in KENYA? The same Barack Hussein Obama who swears he is a Christian, yet supports partial birth abortion?

    As for the “old man” McCain, well at least he is a true American hero who endured the uspeakable horrors of confinement and torture as a POW in Vietnam, and that “fascist” Barbie who, as Governor of a state with an 80+ approval rating, has more governmental experience that Obama could only dream about before conning his way into the White House.

    If you can do any better than either of those two Tom Degan, then drop me a line and outline your campaign for public office. That is, if you’ve got what it takes.


    • Paul McDermott says

      I detect elements of racism, militarism, and Islamophobia in yer screed there, Bill. Ya have some problem with a prez that ain’t a white warrior???

  6. pigdog67 says

    I think Barack needs to go. We need a small defensive military (a 90% budget cut for the military). Private schools. No medicare or medicaid. No corporate taxes. A 2% sales tax. No public universities. No public schools. Get back to the basics of capitalism where people pay as they go. Overall a 90% cut at all levels of government. Get rid of the Federal Reserve. Go back to the Gold Standard. No bailouts for anyone. You will see this country rock with prosperity like it did in the 1890s when American was a libertarian society. Neither a Republican nor a Democrat be…

  7. garry walsh says

    Expansion of the military budget all the while slashing working peoples benifits. Torture (at home and abroad)-America is on the wrong side of most fights between the elites and the populace of the world..all the while supporting every evil dictator on the planet-Bailing the criminal/banker class with no prosecutions (not one) of the wicked bastards who created and profited from the mortgage crisis. Tax cuts for the ubber wealthy, cowtowing to the evil Chamber of Commerce , caving in to every, and i mean every, GOP demand …….and the list goes on and on. Is it better to die of a 1000 Obama cuts or a quick over the cliff with the other Corporatists party? Obama has turned the american people into proverbial frog in the hot water-slowly slowly killing us. The other Coporatist party is so obvious that maybe, just maybe. America will wake up and take to the streets.
    One can only dream.

  8. Gary Corseri says

    I’m not sure what commentator Ray Beckerman means when he characterizes Tom Degan’s article as “progressive bashing.” What bothers me much more profoundly is that I’m not sure what Mr. Degan means in most of this article.

    Perhaps Mr. Beckerman is objecting to the fact that Mr. Degan is presuming to make some kind of distinction between worthy “progressives” who see the world as Mr. Degan and Mr. Obama see it, and those unworthy “progressives” who see matters quite differently. If that’s the case, I agree with Mr. Beckerman. That’s a presumptuous definitional venture, requiring much evidence and fine-tuning.

    Mr. Degan appears to be fascinated with matters of style. For matters of style, the Left supported John Kerry above beer-drinking, Texas gun-slinger, Bush; Gore had already gotten the Left’s nod against the cowboy in the stolen election of 2000. By 2008, Obama could plug into a whole lot of Liberal guilt and across-the-board angst. He could promise to close Guantanamo, provide health care for the masses, end US military adventurism, return the economy to solvency and prosperity, et. al. Now, here we are two years later being asked to forget about all he couldn’t do because of those lousy dunderheads in the other party/parties, and let’s just focus on the next election when surely everything will turn out right since we’re smart, and our guy’s smart, and while we may not believe in the 2nd coming of Jesus, the 2nd coming of JFK–darker-hued and sans Marilyn–remains a hope in our hearts.

    When “Progressives” cease concentrating upon electoral politics, sham elections undermined by Supreme Court decisions that allow the pollution of campaign contributions with unlimited corporate money, when they can see beyond two-year or four-year election cycles, alerting the public to crises of global climate change, banking syndicates, corporate cartels and a media that eats at the brains of all who consume their fish spawn… then we may begin to get beyond the simple name-calling and ad hominem feel-good-we’re-smarter-than-they-are arguments of boosterish articles like these.

  9. says

    Unlike Degan I’m more than just a ‘tad disappointed’ in this DINO prez, so it’s much easier for me to simply conclude: No Renomination!

    Past a certain point, ‘decent guy with good intentions’ doesn’t cut it, when in fact predictably indecent results emerge from his policies or his wimpish pre-caves to others’ policies.

    Obama has just given away more tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires than it would take to employ each unemployed at $25K+. For two years running this ‘Dem’ pres has earned C- grades (from Center for Biological Diversity) for his enviro policies, for good reasons, including: his flip flop on climate, and his Interior Dept foaming to join the Gop land war on threatened wildlife and on the Endangered Species Act itself – to match the marine losses already happily incurred in the Gulf disaster. His Ag Dept has just said yes, in the name of chemical ‘progess’ (of the pre-Silent-Spring era) let’s be the Monsanto administration and unleash uncontrollable genetically pre-poisoned crops on the entire landscape. His overseas ‘peace’ and ‘nonproliferation’ capers barely paper over a war misdirected to Afghanistan while ducking the real nuke threats in Iran, N Korea and Pakistan.

    In short, Obama makes a middling reliably corporate president, Gop in all but name. That’s probably why the House Gops are happy to pursue brazenly ideological shoot-us-all-in-foot policies – pro-poverty, anti-job, anti-middle class, anti-environment, anti-science – that will so antagonize ordinary US voters as to ensure election of the Dem candidate in 2012. They presume (probably correctly) that (unlike 1968) Dems are so craven that they will renominate Obama. And although an Obama re-election may put some Gop house members out of a job, they will anyhow be amply compensated by their corporate sponsors.

  10. hwood0007 says

    I would be upset if any POTUS was sleeping in the oval office also, that is a place where work is being done, the bedrooms are upstairs..

  11. Benjamin says

    Is this really the best of progressive writing ? I read these updates and am just amazed at the writing. This is a good website to share with my students. It is always nice to point out bad political writing whenever one can. Who said propaganda died with Goebbels. Lack of logic. Lack of coherence. All the elements of bad writing all in one place.

  12. in_awe says

    Tom, thanks for the professional, lucid presentation of your perspective on the President and the GOP. You’ve done yourself proud!

  13. says

    Until today, I trusted LA Progressive to stand up for progressive values… the same values for which candidate Barack Obama vowed he would fight.

    Now I’m going to have to watch you much more carefully, if you’re going to have Blue Dog apologist propaganda on your pages.

    • says


      I am not a Blue dog. Far from it. The president falls in that category – not I. You have to admit that he has been a total letdown in too many areas to count. Like Clinton, he has proven himself to be – not the Progressive we were all hoping for – but a moderate to right-of-center dud. Still, I’m hopeful that a second term will see a second wind.

      With all due respect to you.


      Tom Degan

    • Carlene Brown says

      I don’t see Tom’s article as “progressive bashing” at all. I’m very pleased that LA Progressive published it. Perhaps some of their readers would like to join me at Westwood & Pico’s Barnes & Noble Bookstore Friday night (18th) to hear Dr. Michael Haas & Nobel Peace Prize nominee speak about his book, BARACK OBAMA, THE OLOHA ZEN PRESIDENT: How a Son of the 50th State May Revitalize America Based on 12 Multicultural Principles.

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