Now that the boycott seems to be ending, The Daily Kos is starting to look like a "Praise Obama Telethon" again. There's much ado about the president's new jobs proposal, with many of the diarists on this site lauding Obama for finding his inner liberal...which begs the question: What made Obama change directions?
We know the president didn't wake up last week and suddenly discover his inner liberal; he is not a liberal, and he never will be; no, he changed because millions of democrats had the courage and conviction to voice their disapproval with his policies.
He changed because the reality on the ground did not match his belief that he could bring about meaningful change in D.C. by compromising with the republicans.
He changed directions because of the efforts of MoveOn.org members, union members, Latino voters, members of the Gay/Lesbian community, the anti-war activists, and the hard working members of the green coalition.
From Ezra Klein:
Why the White House changed course
President Obama’s deficit-reduction plan (pdf) is most interesting for what’s not in it. It does not cut Social Security by “chaining” the program’s cost-of-living increases. It does not raise the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67. Nor does it include any other major concessions to Republicans. Rather, the major compromise it makes is with political reality — a reality that the White House would prefer not to have had to acknowledge.
Many of Obama's watered-down policies have not been popular, and his willingness to compromise with the vilest of politicians has cost him political support from many independents, a bloc that he had counted on to sweep him into office in 2012. Now, a number of Obama supporters are trying to sweep the president's failures under the rug while they sing praises for his new Progressive direction, but that is a mistake. If they fail to acknowledge the discontent that lingers and the concerns for several of the bill's political problems for the Democrats, then they run the risk of alienating a number of people who are standing on the side line weighing the political and practical viability of the proposal.
Obama does not want to acknowledge that his base forced him to change directions.
As Digby says:
...it would appear that once again the left is relegated to premature anti-fascist status instead of being granted the respect of being right
But what is different this time, and what is relevant at this point, is that the Democratic Party can no longer take the Progressive wing of the party for granted, and if they fail to acknowledge our contribution in bringing about this new direction, then they will run the risk of alienating many members of the base again. A lot of us are waiting to see if this new program is just another political ploy by Obama during an election cycle or if it is a meaningful proposal that will bring about change.
If he does not win against the republicans this time, and if the jobs bill is all rhetoric instead of a bill that brings about significant jobs gains, then his credibility with many members of the base will be damaged beyond repair.
And the political reality is that this program does nothing to resolve the anger that many progressives feel because of his ecology failures, his unwillingness to prosecute the white collar and military criminals in our country, his escalation of the war in Afghanistan, his unwillingness to end Bush policies of surveying American citizens...and the list goes on.