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CHIMO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 07:18 PM
Original message
Obama's pragmatism will backfire
President Barack Obama's very non-ideological pragmatism, which has received so much praise inside the Beltway and which has given him public support in his few months in office, will ultimately be the downfall of his presidency.

This approach and the free pass it generates from the media may indeed allow him to push through programmes that here and there make significant advances toward a more generous and caring society. But it guarantees that he will not be able to gain mass support for a coherent worldview that can form the basis for an alternative to "let the marketplace decide", which has been the guiding principle for American domestic politics, and "let our power shape the world", which has been our primary approach to foreign policy.

The non-ideological approach implicitly encourages us to believe in Obama himself he will be our saviour, our refuge, our deliverer from the bad times of the Bush administration.

And indeed he may. I believe that we've never had a more brilliant, decent and spiritually grounded president. Yet by failing to educate people on a fundamentally different way of thinking, by eschewing articulation of the spiritual and ethical principles that ought to guide us as a society and showing how his programmes flow from those principles, Obama is disempowering those who will have to continue the fight when he is no longer president.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009...
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 07:19 PM
Response to Original message
1. "I believe we've never had a more brilliant, decent and spiritually ground president." ???????
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virgogal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Yeah,that was a bit over the top.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Jimmy Carter, Maybe
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
2. "Yet by failing to educate people on a fundamentally different way of thinking"
Thats quite a good way to put it. It is a common trait of the modern Democratic party. When it comes to any kind of task that requires education and nudging the population to the left, it seems they settle for ideologically empty, "pragmatic" approach. Sometimes I just wonder if that is a way to appease the people and continue to capitulate to big business
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 07:27 PM
Response to Original message
3. President Obama Has Already Proven, He Is a Politician First and Foremost
and he is undeniably intelligent. But will he use those talents for the public good? Early signs say NO WAY.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Maybe like Lincoln;
of whom Obama professes to admire he will grow in to the job.
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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-05-09 01:36 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. Not really the same though.
Lincoln rose to the changing circumstances. Obama's opportunity to "come to the aid of our country," has long since passed.

Barring reversal(s) that would be astonishing to the level of suspecting mental illness, he will not be a champion against, or even a remedy for, bushcheneyism.

--
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-05-09 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. On the other hand Lincoln had four plus years in office and didn't
come out to abolish slavery until the Civil War was half finished and even then only in the rebelling states, he did so because of political considerations. At one point in his life Lincoln thought the slaves should be shipped back Africa, he grew and expanded his wisdom and moral courage while in office.

Lincoln felt the country wasn't ready yet for abolition and his primary goal was preservation of the union even though the abolition of slavery would seem like a moral no-brainer today, just as I believe Cheney/Bush's impeachment for torture and war crimes will only become more apparent to the people with time.

President Obama has been in office for a little over four months, and he inherits probably to some degree by deliberate Republican design, a Thanksgiving Platter full of problems to keep him occupied.

I disagree or have serious reservations with some of his decisions but I'm willing to give him more time before I pass final judgment.

I also believe we're doing President Obama a favor when we keep his feet to the fire on his decisions and the critical issues, I believe in many respects this is more important to his service and ultimate legacy than unequivocal praise.

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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-05-09 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Anything's possible. Just not very likely...
...or more importantly, supportable by any evidence.

In fact, with cheney on a PR roll, Obama is allowing us to continue to slouch toward Gomorrah.

It's far more likely that his weakness/impotence will continue to breed denial, hopelessness, and comtempt.

--
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-05-09 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. I agree, that is the current trend.
Edited on Fri Jun-05-09 03:44 PM by Uncle Joe
Maybe I'm just being overly optimistic in hoping that Obama has some fire and steel that will be tapped at some given tipping point.

I also see Cheney's corporate media enabled P.R. extravaganza in trying to white wash his policies of promoting torture and war crimes as a threat to our democratic republic and long term peace. While I believe this is giving Cheney a bump in the polls, I also believe this will become a double edged sword against him.

I'm hoping and praying the American People as a whole will wise up to what Cheney; is and represents, not to mention his corporate media agents.

We must evolve as a society or there will be war like no other in history.

This evolution will require some hard and difficult decisions, Obama along with the nation will need to decide whether Cheney is leading the way or the President of the United States, currently I believe Cheney with the aid of a compliant corporate media is leading. However my gut feeling is that at some point Obama will come to the emotional realization that he is the President and that's when all hell will break loose, for the better.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 07:32 PM
Response to Original message
4. I believe overall this is a good column and the author makes some valid points.
While pragmatism is great for building, you need to articulate a passionate ideology and a clear vision to form a solid foundation or when the eventual, almost inevitable high tide of fear and hatred comes along, all that you've built will be washed away.

Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread CHIMO.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Me too. nt
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 08:02 PM
Response to Original message
8. Sadly, this is very possible.
:-(
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Politicalboi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 09:19 PM
Response to Original message
9. Well he better wake up about
The "Conspiracy" about 9/11. I hate to hear him just close that door on 9/11. He can't do it if they are going to try detainees for 9/11. If done right the US will have to have proof. And they don't. 9/11 makes for a good movie but it's not reality. Come on President Obama show us more video's of the Pentagon attack. Then tell us it's all a conspiracy. Those video's belong to "We the People". And I want to see them.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-05-09 12:13 AM
Response to Original message
11. k & r
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democracy1st Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-05-09 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
16. I just wish this administration would give full disclosure on some of their decisions
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Psychic Consortium Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-05-09 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
17. His spirituality and ethics guide every single decision he makes.
He also takes the long view and is willing to be cautious
and circuitous to ensure lasting change.
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-05-09 07:40 PM
Response to Original message
18. I thought we were voting for a president who had promised change.
A president needs to have some strong ideology to do works for the good of the people. If Obama is a total centrist compromiser, why didn't he say so? Then at least we would have known what we were getting. And maybe we would have chosen Clinton. If I had been aware, for example, that Obama was not for single payer or transparency or investigating torture or several other etcs. I would have been very loath to support him.
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