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The Nation: "If Obama and Gibbs are feeling pressure from their left flank that's good for America"

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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 11:14 AM
Original message
The Nation: "If Obama and Gibbs are feeling pressure from their left flank that's good for America"
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 11:14 AM by Better Believe It



Left Owes a Very Big Thank You to Robert Gibbs
By John Nichols
August 10, 2010

Progressives should, of course, thank White House press secretary Robert Gibbs for the small favor of distinguishing the Obama administration from the left.
 
Principle progressives should be at odds with the Obama administration on issues of principle: Afghanistan, marriage equality, renewing civil liberties protections and the economic justice agenda on which this White House has so frequently pulled its punches. On all of these issues, Obama and his aides have adopted stances too similar to those of former President George Bush and his aides.
 
Bush refused to listen to reason when it came to distant and unsuccessful occupations. Obama did the same with regard to Afghanistan.
 
Bush made nice noises about tolerance, but he accepted discrimination. Obama does the same when he refuses to commit to marriage equality.
 
Bush disregarded the constitution when it came to its explicit bars on spying on Americans, cruel and unusual punishment and a host of other concerns. Obama, despite his experience as a constitutional law instructor, has not begun to do enough to renew the federal government's acquaintance with the Bill of Rights.
 
Bush worried too much about what Wall Street, big banks and multinational corporations wanted. So does Obama, as his administration's compromises during the health-care reform and banking-reform debates make all too evident.
 
Does this make Obama another Bush? No, of course not.
 
Just as sincere conservatives objected to much of what Bush did, sincere progressives should object to much of what Obama does. Indeed, they should do so more loudly, more aggressively and more consistently than they have up to this point.
 
Principles should trump partisanship and personality.
 
If the Obama administration is frustrated with, upset by and angry about the left speaking the truth that the United States needs a single-payer "Medicare for All" health system or that the Pentagon budget can and should be reduced, that's terrific.
 
This administration's agenda has suffered because of the compromises made by the president and his aides with Wall Street and Republicans on Capital Hill -- especially during the first stimulus fight but also during the bank reform fight. That has harmed people in the United States, just as the administration's choices with regard to Afghanistan have harmed some of the poorest and most disregarded people in the world.
 
If Obama and Robert Gibbs are feeling pressure from their left flank, if they are bothered enough to be griping and grumbling about it, that's good for the left, for America, for the world -- and, ultimately, for an Obama administration that needs to take the left as seriously as it does the right.

Please read the full article at:

http://www.thenation.com/blog/153971/left-owes-very-big...
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
1. I don't mind irritating the Obama administration at all.
You know the BIG difference between Obama and Bush to me? I write Obama every single time he pisses me off. I never bothered to write Bush. Not only was I sure it wouldn't work, but I was afraid for them to have my name. Genuinely afraid.
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zipplewrath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I wasn't afraid
I just figured it was a complete waste of time. I had a GOP congressman and one GOP senator. I tried on occasion but it was all for nothing.

It took about a year for me to stop with Obama. He doesn't want to hear it either, and I think it actually encourages him. Makes him feel like he must be doing the right thing if he's getting it from both the left and right. He seems to think the average of good and bad is successful. The average of right and wrong is progress. It's not. The average of good and bad is bad dressed up as good. The average of right and wrong is wrong covered up in just enough right to be confusing.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
2. "Principles should trump partisanship and personality."
"Just as sincere conservatives objected to much of what Bush did, sincere progressives should object to much of what Obama does. Indeed, they should do so more loudly, more aggressively and more consistently than they have up to this point."

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Enrique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
4. I loved seeing Obama get pissed at the gay-rights hecklers
not because I want Obama personally to be upset, what good would it do anyone to have Obama be personally upset? But it's the idea of getting through to him.

It's also laying out how things really are between Obama and the left. If everyone pretends that Obama is a lefty, that's bad news for the left because it's not true.

Here's Obama getting pissed at the hecklers. You can imagine him thinking to himself, "f'ing retards..."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQZW29tUsWY&feature=rela...
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. It just makes his "Make me do it" line seem all the more disingenuous.
:-(
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Excellent point, Enrique. I couldn't agree more. n/t
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
5. Dance with them that brung ya
The thing that killed my hope that Obama would ever work for the American people? His admission that he was going to continue to include GOP ideas in legislation.

I sure as hell do not remember the American people electing 50% 'Thugs and 50% Dems. We gave a landslide victory to Obama and he has systematically and consistently pissed it away. I never want one single Rethug idea enacted into legislation. It's obvious to me that the G.O.P.'s wonderful "ideas" are what brought this country to the brink of destruction, killed the middle class, and put our economic future in jeopardy.
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