I don't have time to write great blog posts like this one from Rabbi Michael Lerner on the HuffPost. Even if I did, I doubt I could've even come close to nailing it like the good rabbi does.
Some choice pieces below the fold. But, really, just go to the link and read the whole damn thing. I just wanted to bring some attention to his post here.
Sure, they said, Obama had led peace and justice-oriented liberal and progressive movement people to believe he would end rather than escalate middle east wars, punish rather than ignore those who had lied us into the Iraq war and those who had ordered or carried out torture, end discrimination against gays in the military and elsewhere, secure rather than undermine domestic civil liberties and human rights, fight for rather than duck serious changes in immigration and in environmental protection, and insist on at least a public option in health care and lowered prices for pharmaceuticals. But, hey -- those people who paid attention to these details were only a small minority, and they would rally around Obama no matter what, giving him no incentive to listen to them. After all, Obama was just being "realistic" about the limitations of his power.
I wondered why George Bush, who came into office without any electoral mandate, managed to fight for and demand his Right-wing program, while Obama seemed unable to even articulate a coherent worldview and kept falling back onto the formulations and assumptions of the Reagan/Bush years about the wisdom of the marketplace and the need to fight an endless war against terror. Spineless to his core, Obama seemed unable to fight for anything -- his style was to concede before a battle, except if it was a battle to put down his own progressive and liberal base.
The big mistake we made in 2007 and 2008 was to have a candidate before we had a movement and platform to which we could hold the candidate. Repeating the errors of the previous decades, many of us fell into the "identity politics" trap -- we wanted Obama or Clinton not because they articulated a clear and detailed progressive agenda, but because of their race or gender.
The good rabbi goes on to talk about that new platform -- The Caring Society -- Caring for Each Other, Caring for the Planet. With a new "bottom line" for America featuring a long list of sensible policies and actions, which you should just go read.
Congrats, Rabbi Lerner. We either do what you say or go make the Greens a viable party in this country.