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View Diary: Don't Say Obama Didn't Run as a Progressive (146 comments)

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  •  It was all fine rhetoric... (23+ / 0-)

    ...but what POLICY positions did he run on?

    He did run on a public option in healthcare, I do know that, and when it became politically unlikely, he reversed and said he never ran on it.

    He ran on closing guantanamo and for the rule of law.  That went away.

    He did run on energy independance and getting off fossil fuels as a NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE, but what has come of that?

    They're still holding detainees without trial, there are still human rights abuses and concerns over torture of those individuals.  

    So it's all well and good to quote the progressive spirit of his speeches, but he made significant policy promises that have gone unheeded or undermined.

    And no I dont' want a list of the NUMBER of promises he's kept.  Rounding up a list of all the small promises he's kept does not negate that the ones he hasn't kept are BIG and significant.

    Let there be balance in all things.

    by DawnG on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:40:24 PM PDT

    •  Sorry that you see them as small (5+ / 0-)

      promises. I think there is a lot of good he has done in the health care bill, the financial reform, the student loan reform bill, and the credit card reform bill. And while Congress shares a lot of the credit on those issues, they also share blame on things like Guantanamo not closing. When Congress blocks funding for that, it makes it more difficult.

    •  These Conversations... (8+ / 0-)

      Would generally go a lot better if people stopped calling campaign policy positions 'promises'.  And even better if they came to terms with the actual limits of power the presidency offers.  And still better yet if there was at least some brief mention of the opposition, their positions, and the effects they have on the president's ability to carry out his preferred policies.

      I don't of course expect any of that.  At least not here.

      •  And if the President hardly tries? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        debedb, joanneleon, farbuska, Uberbah

        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

        by accumbens on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 10:03:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I Think It's A Mistake... (7+ / 0-)

          To assume that any failure is the result of "not trying hard enough".  And an even larger mistake to assume you can accurately tell how hard he's trying, from wherever it is you're posting from.  

          Moreover, you're assuming that 'trying harder' can change certain outcomes, when oftentimes it simply can't.  And worse, can often negatively impact other things being worked towards.

          •  It's pretty clear (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            accumbens, farbuska, JVolvo, Uberbah, musing85

            at least from the health care debate he didn't really push or fight for what he claimed to believe in when he was campaigning even though it was hugely popular - the public option. It was the first of several sacrificial lambs offered to the health insurance lobby who basically wrote that bill.

            When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

            by Cali Techie on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 12:26:31 AM PDT

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            •  Perhaps the President "framed" the issue in terms (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FiredUpInCA, SouthernBelleNC49

              which expressed his ideals and ultimate goals, then accepted the half  a loaf he was able at the time to get. Intending to later work to advance further?

              This seems like a reasonable approach. Not completely satisfying compared to achieving the goal in full, but much better than making no progress at all.

              An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out? Rene Descartes

              by Had Enough Right Wing BS on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 03:37:39 AM PDT

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              •  He didn't accept half a loaf. He accepted (6+ / 0-)

                celery.

                What we got is a codification of private, for profit health insurance with a state mandated public subsidy.

                It was not half a loaf. It was an entirely different food group.

                Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                by k9disc on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 04:20:44 AM PDT

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                •  Don't agree, but would you have been willing (0+ / 0-)

                  to accept gaining nothing ay all?

                  An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out? Rene Descartes

                  by Had Enough Right Wing BS on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 04:24:06 AM PDT

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                  •  Was there an actual net gain? (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    k9disc, musing85, denise b, Cali Techie

                    30 million Americans will be forced to buy junk insurance or pay a penalty.  There were no end to the anti-trust exemptions, no end of tort immunity, no drug reimportation, no end to double digit rate increases.

                    For every step forward that was taken with that health care insurance reform bill, there was one step taken back.

                    The insurance industry was being crushed by it's own weight.  Now it's going to be sustained through 30 million new customers and subsidies paid for by taxpayers.  People will still be running out of money, still be losing their homes because they pay for medical costs instead of mortgages, and still end up on Medicaid where the taxpayer gets hooked in the end anyway.

                    "Pragmatists don't DO things! They explain to you how things CANNOT be done." - AndyS In Colorado

                    by Uberbah on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 10:36:44 AM PDT

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                  •  I agree with Uberbah. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Cali Techie

                    I think it was a tremendous set back to any kind of Human Agenda.

                    We are throwing sick people into a captive market. A captive market for life saving services are not good for making people healthy.

                    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                    by k9disc on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 01:06:15 PM PDT

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              •  No, Obama caved (0+ / 0-)

                and pretty rapidly too. Single payer was never on the table, the public option was given up almost immediately, no progressive health care experts were invited to participate, and the insurance lobby basically wrote the health care bill, which is why it's as crappy as it is.

                Sure the insurance companies have to take all comers and issue a policy, but there's nothing in the bill that says those policies actually have to cover anything. The health insurance industry adds NOTHING to the value of health care. They only exist to siphon money from the system. If we eliminated them it would chop at least 15% from the cost of administering health care.

                When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

                by Cali Techie on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 05:22:27 PM PDT

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        •  Thats your point of view (0+ / 0-)

          "You took a dump on the little guy..? Why? "Cause, I can." Karl Rovian bible.

          by tdslf1 on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 10:15:37 PM PDT

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        •  WTD!! Every one of them have hardly try!!!! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Had Enough Right Wing BS

          Not saying that this should be the point of cause, but NONE of them, and I mean presidents, ever live up to the myth of what has to be done and exactly how much they do accomplish...name me Just one that has accomplished what he campaigned on??? Clinton...WTH...he demented the welfare system, along with his friends, the Republicans, and had hundreds of thousands of single mothers and children hungry and homeless....name me one out of the few DEM presidents that we have had??? THis FACT is why I get so freaking angry with many of this Presidents detractors, WTH!!!! Not one of the past presidents have been held to the same strict code of accomplishing half of what they promised, as people hold this president to.....and I am by far old enough to remember many of them....from Kennedy to Clinton....and all the republicans in-between...sometimes I wonder why so many people misread just where he stood, and what he, in essence, was saying....

          Republicans make a mockery of the saying: Great minds think alike...

          by Danise94 on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 02:08:33 AM PDT

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          •  One thing I have noticed about this site is... (0+ / 0-)

            when you really touch a NERVE most of President Obama's detractors won't comment, especially when they know what you are saying is RIGHT!!! Have a good day, folks, yeah, have a blessed one!

            Republicans make a mockery of the saying: Great minds think alike...

            by Danise94 on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 06:51:20 AM PDT

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            •  Riiiight. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              musing85

              Clinton tried to pass real health care reform.  He failed, but at least he tried.  Not only has Obama not tried, what he ended up backing in the end was very similar to plan released by the Heritage Foundation as the conservative alternative to Clinton's plan.

              And you're skipping the the backroom deals that Obama made - the kind of gameplaying that he ran ads against as a candidate:

              "Pragmatists don't DO things! They explain to you how things CANNOT be done." - AndyS In Colorado

              by Uberbah on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 10:41:50 AM PDT

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              •  And that makes him what???? (0+ / 0-)

                Just like the rest of the stinking group...no better or no WORSE...so why are all of you people whining as if we haven't seen all of this before...I have seen it...seen it with Clinton and his lies, Bush and his, Carter and his, and Regean and his...BUSH the second with his.....so what makes this President any different...THEY ALL MAKE PROMISES, and THEY ALL BREAK THEM...so why all the whining with this one???? That is my beef...WTH??? And the NEXT ONE after Obama, whether Dem or Recon will do the same...all of you need to get with the program, Obama has done MORE than MOST, but by MOST of your standards, HE will never have done enough....and I will ask the question one more time and wait patiently on your answer...and I wonder WHY nothing he does is ENOUGH??

                Republicans make a mockery of the saying: Great minds think alike...

                by Danise94 on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 01:54:12 PM PDT

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                •  Because he RAN as better than that, (0+ / 0-)

                  which I'm sure you noticed at the time since you seem to be such a fan.  This wasn't a forced compromise, this was a sellout of choice as 80% of the public backed the public option.  And this sellout was particularly ham-fisted since Obama made the same backroom deal with the same politician that he ran ads against:

                  Once Obama's target, lobbyist Tauzin now his pet

                  White House visitor logs dumped late in the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve show that Billy Tauzin, the top lobbyist for the prescription drug industry and once a favorite target of Barack Obama, visited the White House at least 11 times in Obama's first six months in office.

                  The White House's open door for Tauzin, whom candidate Obama attacked as the embodiment of the revolving door and the corrupt collusion between politicians and industry, further dismantles the myth of Obama as the scourge of special interests. It also bolsters the conclusion that health care "reform" has become a boondoggle for the health industry, especially pharmaceutical companies.

                  "Pragmatists don't DO things! They explain to you how things CANNOT be done." - AndyS In Colorado

                  by Uberbah on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 02:21:38 PM PDT

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                •  There was no DailyKos before (0+ / 0-)

                  so what makes you so sure you know what people here had to say about Clinton or Carter or any previous presidents?

                  And has it never occurred to you that people might be more disturbed now than they were 15 years ago because we see the situation as being that much worse?

                  Because instead of a strong economic recovery we're in the 10th year of decline, with an enormous deficit in jobs? Because since Clinton's term we've gotten enmeshed in two quagmires overseas, and had disastrous tax cuts that we are not rolling back, and because instead of ending the wars and raising taxes we're talking about cutting services for the needy and destroying Medicare? Because we've had the finance industry almost collapse the world economy and not one person has been prosecuted, nor have the regulations been put in place to prevent it happening again? Or that we are 15 years closer to environmental catastrophe and still haven't done anything about it? Because way, way more people are without health care, the cost of which has continued to zoom? Because college involves taking on more and more crushing debt? Because more and more of our manufacturing jobs are permanently gone, and we still don't seem to know what to do about it? Because large numbers of people who had retirement nest eggs and pensions 15 years ago don't have them anymore, and are facing poverty as they age?

                  I think you'd be hard pressed to come up with very many things that weren't better in 1996 than they are now.

                  Whether people are harder on Obama than they were on Clinton is a distraction. The challenges are different now. Would Clinton have done any better than Obama if he were in office now? I don't care. That's chit-chat for an evening over drinks sometime. I don't care about the reputation of either one of them. What I care about is, are things getting better, are they the same, or are they continuing to get worse? A laundry list of accomplishments doesn't really answer that.

                  The word bipartisan means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. -- George Carlin

                  by denise b on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 03:28:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I wouldn't know about the unemployment.... (0+ / 0-)

                    Since NONE of these "men" have ever addressed the issue of high unemployment in the African American community...not one, so you see, I hear what all of you are saying...in some respects I am disappointed too, but unlike some of you, you see, I have been here before, felt the disappointment before, but unlike you and the millions that continue to bash this president, I didn't whine or pick up my ball and take it home, many of us in the African American community, even with our run down communities and terrible school systems,that none of your OTHER presidents had the guts to address either, we sucked it up and still voted for the best of our worse, anyway...now what makes you and your ilk any better than ME???

                    Republicans make a mockery of the saying: Great minds think alike...

                    by Danise94 on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:59:35 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  The opposition? (2+ / 0-)

        The one that wants to cut 70% of the funding for clean energy initiatives? Why would we talk about them when Obama's failures are the topic du jour.. every day.

      •  Limits to presidential power (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Uberbah

        From a foreigner's point of view, I thought Bush/Cheney had very few limits on presidential power. President Obama on the other hand is frequently described as a president who has many limits on his presidential power. Is that due to differences in congressional majorities?

        This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

        by Agathena on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 01:03:58 AM PDT

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        •  I'd say it's because President Obama (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FiredUpInCA

          considers himself to be our leader, not our ruler.

          An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out? Rene Descartes

          by Had Enough Right Wing BS on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 03:50:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Bush served corporate and Progressive (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Agathena

          policy is inherently anti-corporate.

          I never believed that Obama was anything but a Centrist, but he did speak in terms and policy that were Left of mainstream.

          So, Bush had an easier time because his agenda coalesced with Corporate's Agenda.

          The things that Obama has abandoned were those that ran against corporate.

          The issue here is that serving the people to Corporate has been a problem for several years. And it needs to stop.

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 04:25:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Like bombing Libya without Congressional approval? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Agathena

          Like giving the CIA the go-ahead to assassinate American citizens?

          Like expanding Bush's claims of executive privilege and states secrets?

          Like prosecuting more whistleblowers than any previous administration?

          Like appointing a deficit panel - a move he mocked as the "oldest stunt in the Washington book" when McCain was proposing one - after Congress specifically voted it down?

          Like asking Congress to revise Miranda rights - and then having the DOJ do it anyway when Congress voted that down too?

          It's almost as if Obama's respect for the Constitution and the other two branches of government depends entirely on what he wants to do.  Huh, interesting.

          "Pragmatists don't DO things! They explain to you how things CANNOT be done." - AndyS In Colorado

          by Uberbah on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 10:47:55 AM PDT

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    •  Politically unlikely? (6+ / 0-)

      It was a political impossibility. Is that even still up for debate? Nelson, Nelson, Landrieu, Lincoln, Lieberman, Bayh, Begich, Baucus, Byrd, Carper, Conrad, Pryor, Tester, Warner were all NOs on the P.O. Shit even Feinstein and McCaskill were weak as could be on the public option.. these people were not for a public option. And that sealed the deal. There wasn't 60 votes, there wasn't even 50. Remember the big dailykos whip count? That didn't come close to 50 votes. What Obama said about the public option doesn't matter a goddamn, unless you really think he could have flipped the votes above. And what he did say was certainly more than most on this site want to give him credit for. He rang the public option bell loud and clear, and because he dared go on without it, he's hated here.

      There's a new solar factory 25 miles away from me thanks to this President. I'm no energy expert but he appeared to put a lot into that. He claims he made the largest investment in green energy in our history. Not true?

      Guantanamo vote was 90 or so No votes. What exactly did you want from Obama after that?

      •  Let's not forget (3+ / 0-)
        Politically unlikely? It was a political impossibility. Is that even still up for debate? Nelson, Nelson, Landrieu, Lincoln, Lieberman, Bayh, Begich, Baucus, Byrd, Carper, Conrad, Pryor, Tester, Warner were all NOs on the P.O. Shit even Feinstein and McCaskill were weak as could be on the public option.. these people were not for a public option.

        That the "public option" that the House finally presented was neither public, nor an option.

        It was not public because as the CBO reported only 6 million people could avail themselves of it. 6 million people in a country of 300 million.

        It was not an option because you could not use the public option if you got your health insurance through your employer.

        What's lost in the signal to noise ratio over the debate of whether Barack Obama is progressive enough, is whether he has a progressive enough Congress to get stuff done.

        They had majorities in both Houses and wanted to the abdicate their authority to write robust legislation and wait on the President and constituents to give them safe polling before they would present a robust public option and they collectively never did.

        Consider all the red meat rhetoric that filled the blogosphere from Rep. Weiner and Rep. Grayson and Rep. Kucinich and look at the actual record of what they did with their majorities when it was time to put up or shut up.

        A public option that was neither a public nor an option.

        Then there is the utter unseriousness about closing Guantanamo Bay and climate change or comprehensive immigration reform or their failure to seriously deal with DADT or the Bush tax cuts before the midterms or the fact that they held their first hearing about a deepwater drilling cleanup plan after the worst spill on American soil.

        This site can continue to be impressed about what Russ Feingold and other famous progressives say and I'll watch what they do and remain largely unimpressed.

        There are three branches of government granted authority in the constitution. This I know. Despite the relentless re-writing of the constitution that goes on here that insists that there is one: Barack Obama.

    •  And when pressed, he also said... (0+ / 0-)

      ... that "nobody is above the law" and that he thought anyone who committed war crimes should be prosecuted, if investigations warranted. Of course we now know he was LYING THROUGH HIS TEETH.

      "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

      by ratmach on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 04:28:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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