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

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  •  obama contradicted himsef to some (1+ / 0-)
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    Words In Action

    extent. What I'm saying is his core priciples were very left and that is what mattered most. This is why so man bought th 11 dimensional chess idea.

    How else does one reconcile the contradiction of, say, appointing Larry Summers with the clearly articulated belief in brother's keeperism?

    Obama must have something up his sleeve since the two are mutually exclusive. Summers is a right wing botto feeder. Maybe Obama is keeping his enemies close?

    Core priciples are what define us. They inform our every move. We've now seen Obama's moves. What does it  tell us about his core principle when his budget proposal calls for cutting programs for the poor in a collapsed job market?

    It's an important question.

    •  Nobody in mainstream US politics.... (2+ / 0-)
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      meg, FG

      ...has "very left" core principles.


      "Brother's keeperism" alone isn't necessarily very left.  And when we're just talking about the level of rhetoric, it's not even exclusively left.  Remember all the "compassionate conservatism" talk from Dubya before 9/11 transformed his presidency?  Here's a snippet of his first inaugural address:

      While many of our citizens prosper, others doubt the promise, even the justice, of our own country. The ambitions of some Americans are limited by failing schools and hidden prejudice and the circumstances of their birth. And sometimes our differences run so deep, it seems we share a continent, but not a country.
        We do not accept this, and we will not allow it. Our unity, our union, is the serious work of leaders and citizens in every generation. And this is my solemn pledge: I will work to build a single nation of justice and opportunity

      Now you might say that this was just b.s., just empty rhetoric. And, you know, you'd be right.

      But you cannot argue that someone is progressive, let alone "very left," on the basis of the fact that they are willing to engage in a rhetoric of mutual responsibility.  Such a rhetoric is necessary for progressive politics, but it's hardly sufficient.

      •  lol (0+ / 0-)

        So you don't see much of a difference  between the statements of Obama I cited and these of Bush? Nevermind. I'm bored now and off to bed.

        •  That _would_ be lol-worthy... (1+ / 0-)
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          ...but that's not what I said.

          There are huge differences between what Obama does and what he says and what Bush did and said. Bush is much further right than Obama.

          I was addressing a much more specific, narrow point.  Much of your case that Obama "ran as a progressive" in 2008 is that he used a rhetoric of mutual responsibility.

          One of my responses to this argument was that a rhetoric of mutual responsibility does not, in and of itself, make a campaign progressive. Put another way: this is not an indication of progressivism  Even some conservatives use such a rhetoric.

          Dubya was an example of this last point.

          But feel free to argue against the strawman that Obama=Bush.  It's sadly true that a handful of people have made that equation. But I'm not one of them.

    •  No. I don't agree with your opinion about (0+ / 0-)

      Summers but it's neither here nor there. The point is that you think that general principles of 'being my brother's keeper' should lead to certain specific policy and personnel decisions. Other people (presumably including Obama) may disagree with you. It doesn't necessarily mean that they are hypocrites (although some of them are).
      About the budget proposal, well, if people didn't want the program cuts for the poor, they shouldn't have elected the Republican House. You could argue that Obama shouldn't 'pre-compromise' with Republicans (and you may be right) but with Republican House program cuts of some kind are inevitable.

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