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View Diary: Beyond Views of Barack Obama: "We're All In It Together." (274 comments)

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  •  That's my point. (34+ / 0-)

    Each side sees a false view of the other that prevents working together.

    I see the people who think Obama walks on water, and the people who are trying to be realists

    And they see Obama haters or some other negative description or whatever.

    I don't think either view is useful.  Some people really like Barack Obama, but very few of them think he is perfect.  

    And some people really are criticial of Obama, but most don't see him as "bad" or a corporatist.

    In defining your ideological opponents with strawmen, and both sides do, we all end up talking past each other.  

    "Free your mind & your ass will follow" Parliament Funkadelics

    by TomP on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 02:27:14 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I am called a hater (4+ / 0-)
      So, I have no idea what that means other than people who disagree with President Obama strategies regarding centrism and his policy goals, announced over otherwise.

      He's a politician, but more than that he's a centrist so that means certain political behaviors that I think have proven destructive to the country.

       I also have no idea how one can say he is not a corporatist if he is advocating through centrism what are in effect regressive policies that favor large corporate interests. His intentions do not matter to me. A mandate without a public option is a corporatist policy. So, what does it means when he because he says it is the best he can get- what is he doing there?

       I don't care what is in his heart of hearts. His heart of hearts is not policy making. It would matter if that heart was on paper in his actions. So, again, as someone called a hater by those who simply want cheerleading, I  have no idea what you mean.

      •  I think you provide excellent criticism often. (12+ / 0-)

        I don't agree that Obama is a corporatist.  I also don't think it's useful to call him that in terms of pursuading people.

        There are policies I disagree with also and I would prefer a more left course.  Nonetheless, it takes time for real change and Obama may not be the one to make deep changes.  He is, however, making it possible for future change.  

        We have been so right wing for so long.  Really since 1968, at least with respect to the presidency.  And Reagainism is still deep.  Bush was reelected (and maybe they cheate din Ohi, but it should not even have been close in 2004 or 2000).  

        I think real change is more likley to happen with an alliance than with open warfare among centrists and leftists.  So calling an all a corporatist is a counterproductive tactic, in my view.

        I also think you ae an important voice, Bruh.  Take care.      

        "Free your mind & your ass will follow" Parliament Funkadelics

        by TomP on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 03:21:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your response is what I feared (5+ / 0-)
          I suppose the question I am asking is what do you think this is about? I think people with power don't give it up. The centrist are not looking for allies. The powerful interests in our society like Wall Street certainly are not. I have met them.  They are looking to retain power. That's what this is about. Your approach is what progressives would like to believe is everyone's interests, but it is not everyone's interests.

           I am describing how his behaviors fit into the greater society. I am not calling him a corporatist. I am saying that it does not matter whether he is one or not since that is the result of the power struggles and the centrism that he chooses to use in addressing struggles with the powerful.  The whole frame is irrelevant. It is Obama-focused. Obama is a tool. He is either our tool or those of the powerful. It comes down to that.

          •  I understand that (4+ / 0-)

            people with power don't give it up.  But see South Africa re end of apartheid.  That, however, took years of struggle.  

            I understand that the 1%ers are looking to retain power.  

            My approach is not this:

            Your approach is what progressives would like to believe is everyone's interests, but it is not everyone's interests.

            I believe in class conflict, with the working class struggling to gain a better life.

            We just see two things differently.  First, I think Obama is fundamentally with working people more than with Wall Street, notwithstanding some of his policies that suck.  Second, I see this as a very long struggle in which Obama is just an important person now, but will not and cannot determine the eventual outcome.  

            The 1%ers have grown very strong.  Defeating them and changing America will take far more than the next few years.  Obama moving a bit left won't do it.  It might help, but this is a very long struggle.

            I'm not naive.  I just disagree on tactics and the idea that Obama "is either our tool or those of the powerful."

            I think improving the lives of people is worth a reform path and Obama is a left of center reformist who MAY, and just may, lay the groundwork for future, deeper changes.

            But your critique is necessary.  We need left voices who push.  

            "Free your mind & your ass will follow" Parliament Funkadelics

            by TomP on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 03:48:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is not South Africa (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              buckhorn okie, TomP
               since that was as far as  I understand it a racial struggle.

               I am not  a leftist. I am a moderate politically speaking and believe strongly in capitalism, but of a different kind than that  which is practiced in America right now.  The leftist doctrines are great as critique but like anything taken too far it can cause just as many problems.

              I simply find the laissez faire/plutocratic type capitalism that came into power as a result of Reaganism destructive. I am a follower of main street or middle class capitalism, pragmatic policy making not based on entrenched interests and appreciates the complexity of markets as not being simply a matter of black and white government bad slogans. Under this view, capitalism is for maximizing the wealth of the maximum number of people rather than just the few.

              I can give you some practical examples if you do not understand what middle class capitalism entails. The Cap Gains rate would be used to focus on investment in main street rather than in the paper finance economy. Diversify economies are a good thing because it prevents economic shocks. Smaller banks are preferred not because I am against large companies but because they promote more efficient allocation of resources for technical developments and innovations that will help the most number of people.  We want to change the dynamics of healthcare because it wastes GDP and resources. These are all things I believe. I use the leftist critique for describing the political nature of the debate. That power is not given up easily is true regardless of whether one agrees with leftist about all their solutions.

              •  I'm to your left, (2+ / 0-)

                although we agree on much.

                "Free your mind & your ass will follow" Parliament Funkadelics

                by TomP on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 04:43:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yeah, I appreciate that (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  buckhorn okie, CWalter, TomP
                  I used to get in trouble with this guy Matt Stoller over at Open left and when he was at because I am not particularly leftist.  He has this thing about copyright, and I felt he did not know what he was talking about, but that's a digression.

                  My focus is different than being a leftist. I am a moderate, but I have seen the country shift so far right that people now define what used to be moderation as leftist.

                   My belief is that the country is skewed so far to the right that we are entering not a working market, but a plutocracy, and that last year's bailout for example was kleptocracy. Those concepts are not particularly leftist other than in the sense that they are to the left of free market extremism as touted by Reaganism, the Washington Consensu, neoliberalism and other ideological rather than pragmatic understanding of how markets and economics work.

                  Another practical example- I am for energy diversification, or the green economy, because for moderate reasons- our economy should not be dependent on oil as that affects our economy aversely rather than for what are probably different reasons for leftist.  If you look at Brazil, it has a growing energy diverse economy, and was the last to go into the recession and  one of the first to come out of it.

            •  There is a book I recommend (4+ / 0-)
              The Great Risk Shift. The point is that over the decades Reaganism has shifted natural risks from the corporation to individuals. Risks such as mortgage risks that one would expect of businesses, the cost of education being so expensive that people are not able to start businesses, the cost of healthcare being so high that people are forced to stay in jobs, etc. All of this produces a bad economic outcome overall for the economy and reduces the chance for wealth for as many people as possible.
          •  someone who thinks of people as tools (4+ / 0-)

            is surely not the people I will follow, or probably give much attention to.

        •  TomP, did you see this piece by Gary (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          buckhorn okie, TomP

          Younge in the Guardian?

          In many ways, he is addressing exactly what you are talking about and places some perspective on the fact that Obama is the most progressive president in decades, but we also need to place this in context and the limits of what we can expect while recognising the positive changes. I've been wanting to show this to you to see what you think and this is the best opportunity as it is consistent with what you have addressed in the diary.

          I've tipped and rec'd the diary, we do need to move beyond a focus on Obama. There are differences certainly between people on tactics, there are differences on the extent of reform, but we do agree on the direction of reform.

          No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable (Adam Smith, 1776, I, p. 96).

          by NY brit expat on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 06:08:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Obama is clearly a corporatist. I do not (0+ / 0-)

          accept your terms of debate.

    •  I call Bullshit (0+ / 0-)

      I can say the same about the right wing. They have what they think is a valid perspective too. They truly believed that we were all just haters on George Bush. I know. I have these people as Facebook friends and family. They really BELIEVED in their man.

      That doesn't make them right.

      The ones who are right are the ones who are the most objective. What is the objective reality? That Obama is really playing 11 dimensional chess? That despite all the evidence to the contrary, he is really on our side and he's just too smart for us to realize it.

      Or how bout this one - that people who aren't sold on Obama anymore, are "haters"?

      I'm sorry, but "trust him" is not objective. And in a democracy, it is not an acceptible argument.

      Now, maybe there are some people around here who really do hate Obama. And that is unfortunate. But I don't know one progressive who hates Obama. Every single one I know is just disappointed with his CHOICES as president.

      Not all of his choices for sure. But many of them.

      These are policy issues we're concerned about. It isn't about personality. That's daytime TV garbage mentality.

      We care about the fucking policies. And we are called racists, haters, and other nonsense for it.

      I also care about Obama's political and economic BELIEFS. And I care about the differences between his real beliefs and those he espoused during the campaign.

      I think we got lied to. I think when Obama stood in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and talked about trade reform, he was lying through his teeth, just like the Canadians said.

      I didn't think that then. I gave him the benefit of the doubt. But now he's completely reversed himself on trade.

      I could go on and on and on, providing real, objective, fact based evidence of Obama's very Republican like presidency (except on a few issues for sure).

      But the defenders never respond with fact based, objective evidence to refute these points. They either throw up a few examples of Obama throwing the left a few bones, or just go straight to attacking the critic.

      I appreciate the sentiments behind this diary. TomP is good people. But I just cannot accept the premise that both sides are equal here.

    •  I really like Barack Obama (0+ / 0-)

      I really hate how he's bumbling along on health care behind the scenes.

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