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It was suggested I turn this post into a diary. Here it is.

ACLU poll says that a supermajority of the American people oppose telecomm amnesty and warrantless wiretaps.

America as shown by polls also want

  • Out of Iraq
  • something done about global warming
  • national health care

The center is where the American people actually are.

They sound pretty progressive to me.

In American political-speak, "running to the center" is espousing rhetoric and programs to appeal to the GOP/DINO "CENTRISTS", who are well to the corporatist right of where polls show the American people are.

I think you could get everyone in America who understands and agrees with "centrist" political positions who are not:

  • DINO/GOP politicians or staff members
  • part of the Bush 20%ers
  • Richistani / Fortune 1000 CEOs who financially benefit from them and the best paid people on their payrolls
  • Beltway insiders, aka pundits on Fortune 1000/Richistani payrolls

into an average sized classroom.

The average American knows that if DLC/GOP "business as usual" is continued "FOUR MORE YEARS", America is toast.

Americans want out of Iraq, national health care, an economy with good jobs again that won't be shipped to India as soon as one finished getting educated for them, and somebody to DO SOMETHING about global warming. As a good start. (people want cheaper gas, too, but there's evidence to indicate that American's know that's not happening no matter who gets elected)

If Obama wants independent voters and GOP defectors and the Democratic base to stay home, he should keep right on "running to the 'center'". Because there is no electorally significant constituency for centrism, and if he acts like there is one, he's going to triangulate "Insane" McCain's worthless ass right into the White House. This will not be the fault of the "netroots", it'll mean that we've been given yet another political product we can't sell.

The other point is that the ideas that'll get America's economy off dead center are not within the heads of the Beltway pundits or the "think tanks" aka propaganda machines funded by various interest groups. Many of them are right here, and if Obama listens to us, he might manage to make enough of the right decisions to get his head onto Mt. Rushmore instead of leaving office compared to George Bush.

If Obama successfully uses us only for the ATM that'll get us into the White House and governs as a DINO centrist instead, the progressive political game is over.

After FOUR MORE YEARS of Federal spending dictated by K Street corporate and Richistani priorities instead of national needs, America's foreign credit that's all that is keeping the government going will be exhausted. And the money raised by credit will go into buying stupid shit America neither needs nor wants and the profit from the sales of these goods and services will go into the pockets of the Richistani and Fortune 1000 C-level bosses.

Leaving Obama's successor, and it won't matter who he is, in a position to announce what government programs will have be cut to keep the most minimal government functions going instead of the trillions of dollars we need to fix broken national infrastructure and transition off fossil fuel and turn our national health care non-system into a system that brings our costs down in line with First World nations.

Smart progressives will look for a new nation to be progressive in as soon as Obama makes it clear he intends to govern as a DINO.

Basically, Obama's our last hope for positive political change. If we elect him and get K Street priorities, i.e. the government's purpose is to facilitate upward transfer of wealth and he shows that he's on their side, the rational choice is to put our time and money into our personal survival because collective survival as a nation is not an option. With a nation that is actually bankrupt, if you get into trouble either as an individual or a community, you're on your own.

I have less confidence that he's on our side than I had 10 days ago. I still support him, but I'm wondering increasingly if he supports what we do.

Originally posted to alizard on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 01:54 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Please post a tip jar. Sigh... (4+ / 0-)

    Beyond that, I disagree with your "classroom-sized" bunch of "centrists".

    Americans are traditionally "centrist", though it may not SEEM like it, lately, given right-wing control of the mainstream media...

    But I AGREE that it is always prudent for folks to put their time and money into "personal survival".

    Some things don't change, much...

    •  The point is that after Bush (4+ / 0-)

      those playing center field are now considerably closer to left field because right field is a quagmire of stinking bushshit.

      The American people have moved away from the Bush McCain forever war.

      They have abandoned kidnapping, torture, murder and holding without rendition along with whatever else it takes to keep the oil flowing as defining our foreign policy.

      Peak Oil, Global Warming, a failed Economy, a loss of jobs, homes, healthcare, social security, economic security have seeped into our conciousness.

      The Center of America is now somewhere between Impeachment and trial for War Crimes.

      Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Impeach, Incarcerate

      by rktect on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 02:52:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That creamy frosted center of a Twinkie... (0+ / 0-)

      That's why he has MY vote.

      McCain: Running for Hoover's 21st term

      by Finck II on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 04:59:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The center is a funny place... (6+ / 0-)

    It hates the death penalty, wants to fight global warming even at immense cost, wants universal health care (especially for those who cannot afford it), wants to get out of Iraq in a year no matter what, wants a hybrid car, doesn't give a damn if gay people get married, and thinks that wealth redistribution is a good idea.

    The center is Left.  The mainstream is not moderate.  The Republicans cannot compete because their ideas are a failure.

    The trouble is convincing single-issue voters (like gun owners, who tend to be educated white males from rural areas) not to freak out and pull a dumbass maneuver like voting for McCain just because they can't see any reason why not to vote for him.

    "The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them." Orwell

    by NotablyZen on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 02:50:42 AM PDT

    •  it's a relative sort of thing (9+ / 0-)

      What we call centrists would be called "center-right" or just plain Right in the EU.

      We and the majority of Americans would be considered center or center-left.

      As for the death penalty, got numbers? AFAIK, Americans still support it. Its virtue is that people who undergo the death penalty are seldom repeat offenders. The biggest problem with it is that we have enough people getting convicted by mistake and action at the Federal and state level is exacerbating the problem to get various politician's body counts up.

      The progressive political problem is always to get the message out in a corporatist mass media environment where Republicans and DINOs get free passes unless they're caught so blatantly and publicly that they nave no choice about running the story.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 03:06:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yup, you got that. (0+ / 0-)

        the american machine is broken, if not broke. ow can we fix it? by moving to the "center"? I think not.

        What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology and understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

        by agnostic on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 05:41:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  tips for a progressive Obama in the White House (11+ / 0-)

    sorry, forgot.

    Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

    by alizard on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 03:00:39 AM PDT

  •  Obama was screwed by Hoyer and Pelosi (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irate, drbloodaxe, Quicksilver2723

    This bill should never have cleared the Democratic led House.

    The problem is that Obama would have had to have not only stood to the left of the Democratic Congressional Leadership to have blocked this bill - he would almost have had to go to war against the House Leadership.

    Can you see how bad it would be for his campaign to be painted in the media as way left of the House Democrats?  It would reinforce the lie that Obama is the "most liberal Senator".  It would cost him votes.

    Yeah, the center on a lot of issues is well to the left of where the media is painting it.  But if the rest of the Congressional Dems go with the media narrative, for now it forces Obama's hand.

  •  Absolutely, positively, completely YES. (7+ / 0-)

    So many on DKos became instant triangulationists the moment Obama started drifting right.  They couldn't tell that 'drifting right' now means wandering way off into what used to be the fringe of the right-wing frothing lunatic.

    This isn't a normal year.  The country is not 1/3rd Dem, 1/3 Rep, and 1/3 Ind this time.

    He could have stayed true to his word, stayed faithful to his oath to defend the Constitution, supported the progressive princiciples we hold dear, AND won in a landslide.

    He is not only wrong, but unnecessarily wrong.

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin, Feb 17, 1755.

    by Wayward Son on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 03:16:54 AM PDT

  •  Obama cited health care, war in Iraq, and (4+ / 0-)

    global warming as three most important guideposts for which he would be judged at the end of his first term.  I think he has his priorities straight, be they called Center, Progressive, Whatever.  The 'descriptive names' no longer matter, ending the war in Iraq, addressing global warming, and establishing a sound health care program are what matter.

    "Man's life's a vapor Full of woe. He cuts a caper, Down he goes. Down de down de down he goes.

    by JFinNe on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 03:19:24 AM PDT

  •  Historically, there are low information voters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    who are theoretically persuadable by either side. I think this in election it's pretty small pool but the media are doing there best to expand it. The more people tune in to election coverage, the less they will know.

  •  You are not a supporter (0+ / 0-)

    period. You are a voter.

    I have less confidence that he's on our side than I had 10 days ago. I still support him, but I'm wondering increasingly if he supports what we do.

    There is a difference between a voter and a party supporter. Party supporters or rank and file are also voters because as citizens they have the right to vote but they are members of a party and want to win an election. A voter is not into winning any election. A voter exercises their right as a citizen to choose a government and in so doing can make up their mind based on facts or can misdirect themselves with emotional rhetoric devoid of fact; it's a voter's right to choose anyhow they please and to slam everybody left right and center; a voter does not have to support any party. In any democracy voters out-number party supporters by a large margin.
    People are claiming that they support Obama, are Democrats etc and claim they have a right to slam their candidate if they don't agree with him blah blah blah. All the people writing in the blogosphere cannot elect or even swing a presidential election. It is the voters who elect and they base their judgement on what they hear from the press (including the blogosphere) and in the streets etc. If what they hear is that some party is divided and it's supporters are angry against their candidate they are not going to bother with the substance of that diagreement.  It's a party internecine affair. What counts for them is whether they can trust a candidate. If I was a voter and not party member or supporter and heard that a little known African American candidate was seen as a backtracker and non-defender of the constitution I would most likely be inclined to vote safe and vote a candidate who was more experienced than him. Barrack Obama is going to lose if his party does not stand behind him. That's the bottom line and you can rave and rent about your right to criticize etc.; nobody is denying you that right. But don't claim to be a supporter because supporters don't attack the people they support. And supporters are not lemmings who agree with everything their candidates say either.

  •  The Center actually is where you say it is, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ken in Tex, A Simple Man

    please notice the two guys who ran on a real centrist platform - Kucinich and Nader - are DOA.

    The real question is why do the people keep voting for their favorite mud wrestler and not for the issues that should matter to them.

    I think the answer is that they woud rather back a winner than have National Health Care or have the Fourth Amendment, or have Jobs and affordable education and a decent retirement.

    And the reason for that is that the Main Stream Media doing K Streets work keeps them so steamed up about the candidates personalities that they totally forget about issues.

    Until that changes we will have non of the things we say we want and there will continue to be no difference between the two major partys.

  •  Obama has always been a centrist.... (6+ / 0-)

    Even if you listened to his speeches during the primary he talked a lot about how government cannot solve all problems and there needs to be personal responsibility for example.

    So if you were expecting a progressive/liberal Barack Obama as POTUS you will be disappointed.

    Obama/Whoever He Chooses '08 Winning Change for America and the Democratic Party

    by dvogel001 on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 04:30:56 AM PDT

  •  Centrism is the tool... (6+ / 0-)

    ...the media uses to discredit progressivism.

    Notice they never talk about centrists/moderates in the GOP, there aren't any left. They were all purged. The GOP is a monotone of policy without variation. When was the last time you heard any substantive debate from their party? It's all about which taxes they will cut and which government programs are worse than others.

    Insisting on being moderate is how Republicans and the media water down the message. I completely agree with this diary and hope, just once, progressives reject the lurch toward the quicksand known as "the center".

    -7.5 -7.28, What's a guy gotta do to get impeached around here?

    by Blueslide on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 04:56:00 AM PDT

  •  Obama cannot fix the Bush Idiocracy... (0+ / 0-)

    Obama has the skill set vital to bringing into government all the intellectual capital that the Bush administration excluded during the past 7.5 years.  

    Obama has worked for civil rights, is a constitutional lawyer/professor.  He is best suited to re-balance powers between the three branches and restore legitimate processes.

    It really makes little difference what form the FISA2008 bill finally gets inked into law at this point.  Bush will EO it into oblivion.  His pal Addington was unrepentent in the hearings this last week on the topic of unitary executive theories.

    Congress can try to set limitations on the Bush administration's spyfest so as not to inherit the blame for his failures, which are legend.  But I don't for one minute believe this effort to be much more than cosmetics.    

    Maybe the Senate can refine the section about teleco immunity.  But I don't think they're really going to filibuster it for any length of time for fear of running the risk of being accused of doing nothing about national security if Bushies allow another attack.  

    Let them pass the bad bill and hang it around Bush/Cheney's political necks like an albatross.  They've thrown such a fit to have this tool to fight the war on terror.  Then if they fail, it's all on them.

    It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them. Alfred Adler

    by Quicksilver2723 on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 05:30:08 AM PDT

    •  The important part of that is.. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slatsg, Ken in Tex, Quicksilver2723

      Maybe the Senate can refine the section about teleco immunity.  But I don't think they're really going to filibuster it for any length of time for fear of running the risk of being accused of doing nothing about national security if Bushies allow another attack.

      Once again, they react with fear.  Not with leadership.

      They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin, Feb 17, 1755.

      by Wayward Son on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 05:42:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  oh, I agree... (0+ / 0-)

        ...we haven't seen any profiles of courage from our congress from either side of the aisle.  

        Not much room for Democratic legislators to maneuver with all the Bush locksteppers/obstructionists in Congress.  

        I remember working phone banks for Democratic campaigns back in 2002/04.  Democratic voters were hanging up on me after letting me know they weren't bothering to vote.  There were precincts in Texas this year who felt they were under-represented delegate-wise and actually took their case to court.  The judge told them that their poor voter turn-outs for the previous two elections reduced their delegate numbers and dismissed the suit.  

        So we citizens do share some responsibility for the poor quality of governance we're experiencing now.  
        People are waking up from decades of complacency and wondering why everything is so screwed up.  And it's apparently in much worse shape than we ever dreamed.

        So in whatever ditch we find ourselves, we need to get out of it first and then make the necessary repairs.  That's all I'm saying.

        It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them. Alfred Adler

        by Quicksilver2723 on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 06:39:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  about breaking our assumptions about the center (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alizard, Ken in Tex, mrchumchum

    this is what a lot of people are missing. There's a mythical center  , and a real one. On issue upon issue, people generally support the progressive position (take Iraq for example--70% do not support the war). But we are told time and again that politicians have to tack to the center, which is really the right. And we believe it, even though we know the stats. Why is that?

    Well, we've been trained. Even our mental image trains us.

    The way we're taught to look at these issues is with an imaginary  right/left dichotomous bar with one position (supports Fisa, Iraq etc) on one end/ and the other (doesn't support, wants to protect our constitutional rights etc) on the other--regardless of how many more people are on one end of the bar or the other. Imagine looking at a swimming pool from above vs from the side. On the surface, area seems equivalent left to right, but if you look at volume things are very different from deep to shallow end. So when we discuss this stuff, we are missing a dimension. We've been taught to do so.

     Instead of seeing that as  a left/right continuum, imagine the majority opinion (doesn't support Fisa),  as the center of a circle--most of that center would be blacked out, with a thin ring around the outside representing the % who disagree.

    For decades the right and the media have been conflating the mythical center with the real one to such a degree that we tend to nod our heads without thinking about it when people say reps need to tack center (really right) to survive. And they do too.

    I wrote this a few weeks ago in a context of a diary about Obama and Fisa and moving to the center. I've been advocating changing the visualization of this for some time now, as I think it will help breakthrough this imaginery center phenomenon. This may not be the ideal alternate, but I suspect good information designers can do it better. I hope it helps. I hope we really work on this.

    "Get informed, and let it change you."--wonderingmind42's chemistry professor

    by DemocracyLover in NYC on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 05:32:25 AM PDT

  •  The Center (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Is merely the party line that MSM 'journalists' have to toe if they want the owners of their journalism factories to mark them for promotion.

    No reason, just company policy.

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