Another day and a couple more intemperate rants make the rec list chastising those of us on the left.
First of all, this is a blog, not the real world. I come here to engage a bit with those who share some of my values and to debate the issues of the day. But in the end, this is a blog. It’s a diversion but certainly not the focal point of life. And it certainly isn’t that influential in the political sphere.
To somehow believe that we here have more impact on election outcomes than the Democratic power brokers or the administration is absolute nonsense. Whatever lessons one draws from the outcome of the 2010 election, the responsibility for the results lies with the actions of the administration and the Democratic leadership. If the results had been better, they would have taken the credit. If the results are better in 2012, they will certainly take the credit.
To my fellow leftists who are expressing major chagrin and disappointment, my question is why? The President has done more or less what I expected him to do.
President Obama is a centrist and always has been. In fact he is probably slightly center-right. He is basically Bill Clinton, except that he has a bit of class and self-control. I knew what we were getting back in 2008. Now I know that I am not the most astute of political observers, so if I could see it ....
He said he was going to escalate in Afghanistan. He did it. I don’t like it, but I am not surprised.
He voted for FISA. Why are we surprised that he isn’t a staunch defender of civil liberties?
He invited McClurkin and Warren to his events. He obviously doesn’t get it in regards to gay rights.
The President is a centrist. We need to forcefully and agresively advocate for our issues, but we should not make personal attacks.
Now regarding those who can’t brook any disagreement from the party line. To repeat ... President Obama is a centrist. I am a socialist. That doesn't mean I hate him. It simply means that I am going to continue to push for a truly progressive agenda. If President Obama and Congress enact progressive legislation, I will support them. When they promote garbage like Race to the
Top Bottom, I will not only oppose them, I will work actively against such nonsense. No Child Left Behind was bad; RttT is possibly worse.
Health Insurance Refrom, to cite another example, had some positive as well as negative aspects; but I would have been more impressed if the President had truly fought for at least the public option. He didn’t.
I opposed the invasions and occupations of both Iraq and Afghanistan. I will continue to oppose the occupations regardless of what the administration does.
I opposed the Patriot Act, MCA, FISA, and the curtailment of civil liberties when Bush was President. Even if President Obama and every Democrat in Congress believes that we should support more curtailments of our individual rights, I will actively oppose such actions.
I will actively push for the repeal of DADT and DOMA. I am hoping that the President will do the right thing, but if he doesn’t, c’est l’ vie. I will do what I need to do.
I will also work against the continued impoverishment of the working people of this country. And unlike the MSM, when I refer to the working class I am referring to working people of all races and ethnicities. If the President works in what I consider to be support of working people, he will receive my support. If I believe he needs to do more, I will say so. And if his actions indicate he is working more in the interests of the corporate overlords, then I will oppose those actions.
This has nothing to do with the President personally. I don’t know the man. To me he is another politician. I will continue to advocate and work for those policies that I believe will promote individual rights, peace and social justice. Those policies of the President which coincide with my beliefs I will support. Those that don’t will not get my support.
Finally, regarding a primary challenge. This really isn’t just about President Obama. It’s where we are as a country. I’ve worked for decades on the issue of civil rights and social justice. The one bright moment in the past thirty years of US political history was the election of an African-American to the Presidency. He has been targeted by the overt and covert racists in this country and though I don’t agree with him about many issues, I will do what I can in 2012 to prevent the racists from winning.
And it isn’t if there is someone who stands a chance of receiving the Democratic nomination who will be any better. It isn’t like Barbara Lee or Bernie Sanders will get the Democratic Presidential nomination. So stop the talk about a primary challenge. We put up with eight years of the self-centered Clinton. We can deal with President Obama.